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Aid Delivery a Victim of Troubles in Somalia

Contact: Amber Meikle, 0207 9349348, meikle@careinternational.org; Lurma Rackley in Atlanta, 404-979-9450, lrackley@care.org, both with CARE International

 

MOGADISHU, Feb. 8 /Standard Newswire/ -- Caught in the specter of ongoing civil war, floods and drought, some 1.8 million people in Somalia are relying on aid to simply survive. But the delivery of essential food and basic services remain seriously impeded. Organisations like CARE are facing enormous difficulty in assisting millions of the most vulnerable people and are calling upon the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia to ensure access to affected populations so emergency relief can be delivered safely.

 

Somalia is a land divided by rival clans. Since December 2006, Islamic militias, which had held Mogadishu and much of south-central Somalia, were driven from the city by forces loyal to the country's interim government, backed by the Ethiopian army. Splinter groups vowed to regroup underground and the threat of insurgent attacks are significant, making the delivery of aid extremely problematic.

 

UNHCR report that some 15,498 people have had to leave their homes due to the conflicts and are displaced within Somalia. In addition, more than 35,000 Somali refugees have arrived in Kenya, putting additional pressure on the already crowded Dadaab refugee camps.

 

CARE's response

 

Just prior to the conflict which began on 25th December, CARE and its Somali national NGO partners responded to the worst floods seen in Somalia for at least a decade. This included food and other item distributions in the regions of Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Hiraan and Gedo regions - areas which are now affected by the most recent conflict.

 

CARE's programmes in the north east and north west of the country (Puntland and Somaliland) have been largely unaffected by the recent conflict and our work has continued without disruption. We are working to:

 

Start a food distribution programme in South and Central Somalia

 

Restore peace through a project aimed at strengthening local government in conflict resolution

 

Set up a project that will assess flood damage and provide emergency relief to people affected

 

Help 10,000 farmers in four districts to find other sources of income

 

CARE's focus is to strengthen capacity for local governance, conflict mitigation and livelihoods restoration. Across the country, food and nutritional supplies along with water and sanitation services are among CARE's highest priorities and we have worked to assist 6000 households in three districts to access water.

 

CARE is one of the largest aid agencies working in South and Central Somalia. We have been working in Somalia since 1981, primarily on large-scale emergency relief and refugee assistance activities, construction of water facilities, primary health care, small business development, strengthening local organisations to deal with conflict situations, primary school education, and agriculture.