Somalia

CARE awaits release of consultants taken in Somalia

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May 14 (Nairobi, Kenya) - CARE International has suspended its relief programs in Puntland state, in Somalia, until two consultants working with CARE are released by their captors.

The men were kidnapped last week and have sent word that they are okay. Both men, one Kenyan and one British born in Uganda, were hired as surveyors a week ago by CARE for the construction of two jetties in the towns of Hafun and Garaad.

"We understand that negotiations are progressing for the release of the men. Village leaders in the area where the men were taken have been engaged with the captors to resolve the situation peacefully. Due to a concern for the safety of everyone involved, we will be making no further statements at this time," said David Gilmour, who directs CARE's projects in Somalia.

CARE opened operations in Somalia since 1981 when it began to support refugees. Programming since then has included large-scale emergency relief and refugee assistance, water facility construction, primary health care, small scale enterprise development, local institution building, primary school education, and agriculture. In Puntland, CARE supports about 5,400 households in 41 communities that have been affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The aim of the project is to restore and strengthen the livelihoods of fishing communities along the coast.