The recent fighting in Somalia is the latest in a series of catastrophes to affect the country's population. The inhabitants of Mogadishu have been caught up in the worst fighting in 15 years. Hundreds have been wounded and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee the Somali capital. They have sought refuge in other areas, living in makeshift camps or hosted by local residents.
The ICRC has stepped up its humanitarian operations in Somalia to treat the wounded and assist displaced families.
In addition to this emergency work, the ICRC continues to carry out other activities, as it has done since 1977. They include medical support for 23 clinics run by the Somali Red Crescent Society in the centre and south of the country, building and repairing water-supply facilities, agricultural and livelihood projects, and work to restore family links through tracing and Red Cross messages (messages to relatives made otherwise unreachable by armed conflict).
The ICRC remains one of the principal providers of emergency aid to people affected by conflict and natural disaster in Somalia. The Somali Red Crescent is its main partner.
ICRC emergency operations since April 5
- 12 tonnes of medical supplies sent to medical facilities in Mogadishu
- 20,000 packets of oral rehydration salt sent to the five rehydration-treatment centres for cholera victims
- a surgical team sent to Baidoa has so far performed 18 operations.
The capacity of Keysaney hospital has had to be increased to cope with the large number of new arrivals. Located in North Mogadishu, the facility is run by the Somali Red Crescent and has been supported by the ICRC since 1991. Madina hospital in South Mogadishu is run with local community participation and has been supported by the ICRC since 1999. The ICRC provides these two surgical referral facilities with monthly consignments of surgical and other supplies, salaries for staff and maintenance support. It also trains medical and technical staff and works to upgrade the hospitals' infrastructure.
Other medical facilities in Mogadishu that are admitting and treating wounded people are being assisted on an ad hoc basis.
ICRC-supported hospitals in Mogadishu treated over 1,000 war-wounded people during the month of March. Of these, 674 were admitted to Keysaney and Madina hospitals. In January and February 540 war-wound victims were treated in the two hospitals.
- 260,000 litres of water are being distributed to over 50,000 persons daily
People who have fled Mogadishu to Lower and Middle Shebele and southern Galgudud have had difficulty finding sufficient drinking water. The ICRC is trucking survival rations to them (five litres per person per day).
Essential household items
- 19'194 families (115'164 persons) have so far received essential household items
The average household has between six and 10 members. The families are usually exhausted by their ordeal, especially by the grueling journey and hunger. They also suffer greatly from uncertainty regarding their future.
The ICRC distributes essential household items (plastic sheets, kitchen sets, jerrycans, mats, blankets and clothing) to displaced families to help them become less dependant on the host community and thus regain a sense of dignity.
For further information, please contact:
Pedram Yazdi, ICRC Somalia, tel. +254
20 272 39 63 or +254 722 51 81 42
Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 79 217 32 17
or visit our website: www.icrc.org