Oman sends medical aid to Djibouti
The Sultanate of Oman has sent humanitarian aid to for the drought-hit people of Djibouti. The aid items included 42 tonnes of medicines, two ambulances, 20 tonnes of medical equipments, including X-rays, ultrasound and ECG machines among other things. Omani authorities have had discussion with Djibouti officials about the needs of their people and Omani aid is designed to address Djibouti requirements, Ali Ibrahim Shenoon al Raisi, Executive Chairman, Oman Charitable Organisation (OCO), told the Observer. Children are particularly vulnerable to the impact of the drought. Water scarcity continues to persist in many locations, particularly in Djibouti city and the north western part of the country.
Dependence on food assistance remains high and more than 60 per cent of household’s food supply is derived from food assistance. The nutrition situation remains worrying in Djibouti, with 20 per cent of under-five children suffering from acute malnutrition, including five per cent who suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Epidemics have also emerged with more than 600 cases of measles reported between January and August 2012, as well as seasonal acute water diarrhoea, mainly in Djibouti city and Dikhil. An estimated 210,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance: 120,000 people in rural areas; 60,000 in urban areas; and 30,000 refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia.
Omani officials say these conditions are difficult for anyone to see, thus prompting many countries to send humanitarian aid for the people of Djibouti. Oman’s humanitarian aid actions in Djibouti are aimed at reducing people’s vulnerability to droughts and climate-caused disasters. This is being achieved by increasing communities’ resilience to respond better to upcoming crises. The Omani authorities also work on improving the food situation in the country as well as on fighting malnutrition and malnutrition-related diseases. Since 2005, Djibouti is increasingly suffering from water scarcity due to poor rains. This has led to a reduction of water sources and pasture for livestock. As a result the country has faced serious food deficits.