Qatar Red Crescent’s (QRCS) mission in Somalia is set to initiate Ramadan projects worth nearly QR 5.5 million, for the vulnerable groups, to help improve their living standards and mitigate the impact of the three-year drought.
Under its annual Ramadan Iftar, QRCS will distribute food packages to poor families, at a total cost of QR 400,680. Lasting for 15 days each, these distributions will benefit 2,500 families (12,500 people).
Also, a therapeutic nutrition center will be established to reduce malnutrition and resulting deaths. Expected to serve more than 15,000, the new center will take a budget of QR 5 million.
QRCS and Katara Cultural Village have recently completed a fundraising campaign for Somalia. The joint drive could secure QR 2.3 million of relief and food aid, to be entered into Somalia through Berbera Port.
The humanitarian situation across Somalia is critical, with the drought and looming famine threatening the lives of 6.7 million people as well as livestock. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) statistics, more than this figure need urgent humanitarian aid, including 3.2 million on the verge of a disaster.
Since November 2016, about 680,000 people have displaced. Around 1.4 million children are at risk of malnutrition. Looking for food, 7,000 crossed the borders into Ethiopia and Kenya.
The communities of internally displaced people (IDPs) witness too bad living conditions, endemics, scarce food, and low sanitation levels. World Health Organization recorded 32,000 watery diarrhea cases, 5,600 measles cases, and 370,000 malnutrition cases.
Having played a vital role in dealing with the drought of 2011, QRCS is actively engaged in the efforts against the current drought, with ongoing development and health projects across the country.
Soon, a multi-sector emergency intervention program would be launched, with $2 million from Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). Another health project would be conducted in cooperation with the United Nations.
Over the past few years, QRCS operated Afgooye Public Hospital, which is the only health service provider in Lower Shebelle, serving 250,000 people. It also run three medical centers in Middle Shebelle, Sool, and Sanaag, which take care of 280,000 patients.
The third phase of the integrated development and rehabilitation programme was launched in Lower Shebelle, Middle Shebelle, and Banaadir. It is planned to provide a bunch of services in water, health care, and food security, benefiting more than 21,000 people of different groups.
An agreement was signed with OCHA to operate a number of health facilities, dispatch mobile clinics to remote towns of Lower Shebelle and Middle Shebelle, and refer serious cases to QRCS hospitals and centers. The intervention also includes water and food security projects, covering 52,000 people in total.