In 2011, Somalia experienced extreme food insecurity, leading to UN declaration of famine situation in South and Central Somalia July - September 2011. An estimated 4 million people, representing over half the Somali population, were in crisis nationwide, with drought affecting the North East and North West parts of the country. While the food security situation had improved significantly since 2013, however, more than 1.05 million Somalis remain in need of food assistance and livelihoods support with the majority of them in South and Central Somalia. Malnutrition rates in Somalia remain among the highest in the world, with 215,000 children under the age of five acutely malnourished.
In addition, the relentless violence compounded by food insecurity and drought has already forced Somali people to flee to neighboring countries, especially Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen. Currently, it is estimated that the number of Somali refugees outside of the country has reached more than 1 million people and almost 1.1 million additional Somalis have been internally displaced within the country, settling mainly in the South-Central region. During March - April 2013, the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Xudur and its immediate occupation by Al-Shabaab as well as the flooding, have led to the fresh displacement of thousands of people.
International Red Cross Action
With the intensity of the humanitarian crisis engulfing Somalia, the International Red Cross maintains its focus on the provision of emergency aid to the people affected by armed conflict, violence and natural disaster. In 2012, the response from the International Red Cross included:
- Distributed food rations to over 1.7 million residents and internally displaced people (IDPs) in conflict and drought affected areas;
- Distributed 15,000 tarpaulins, 20,000 blankets, 10,050 jerry cans, 4,890 buckets, 5,000 kitchen sets, 8,459 hygiene kits and 10,000 sleeping mats to over 23,000 households in Somaliland and Puntland;
- Provided health outreach services and nutrition to over 220,000 people in Somaliland and Puntland through 14 mobile health units;
- Provided free primary health care services to over 480,000 IDPs and residents in conflict-affected through the health clinics in South and Central Somalia;
- Ensured over 27,000 severely malnourished children received free primary health care and therapeutic feedings;
- Assisted over 86,000 rural households in boosting agricultural production and some 170,000 people in improving their long-term access to water;
- Distributed fishing gears to 700 households from the fishing communities to improve the livelihoods at household level and thereby reduce their vulnerability to future shocks;
- Provided family-links services for Somalis to locate and exchange news with their relatives at home and abroad. 300 missing persons were located by the families searching for them through Missing Person Radio Programme;
- Worked to ensure that detention conditions complied with International Humanitarian Law by visiting detainees;
- Provided relief, water and satiation as well as health and nutrition supports to IFO 2 Camp in Kenya, which nowadays receives approximately 76,000 Somali refugees.
Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) Action
Through the International Red Cross, the HKRC has mobilized in total over HK$29 million during 2011-2012 in response to the needs of people affected by conflict and drought across Somalia, including HK$22 million to people within Somalia and over HK$ 7 million to Somali refugees in Kenya.
- Distributed 10,000 kitchen sets, 10,000 sleeping mats, 10,000 tarpaulins and 21,000 blankets in South and Central Somalia;
- Distributed 280,000 kg of cereals, 140,000 kg of beans, 56,000 litre of oil and 94,804 kg of corn soya blend in South and Central Somalia;
- Distributed 156,000 kg of ready-to-use therapeutic food to approximately 16,750 malnourished children for 3 months;
- Supported the operation of permanent outpatient clinics, therapeutic feeding centres, mobile nutrition teams and oral rehydration centers in South and Central Somalia.
- Supported the procurement of Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kits (IEHK) and medical supplies to provide life-saving medical services in particular communicable disease and malnutrition, benefiting about 40,000 Somali refugees in IFO 2 Camp for 3 months;
- Supported the construction of 1,390 family latrines to improve the hygiene conditions and prevent the outbreak of communicable disease in IFO 2 Camp.
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