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Somalia: Aid Groups Struggle In Response to Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe

World Vision is among 39 aid agencies to sign 'Statement of Concern.'

October 30, 2007


Shamso, 3, is shown recuperating from a bout of severe diarrhea at World Vision's Maternal and Child Health Hospital in the Waajid district of Somalia. The 3-year-old and her family fled Mogadishu this summer because of ongoing violence. Thanks to the treatment she received at the clinic, Shamso is now fully recovered.
© 2007/World Vision staff
Following the resignation of Somalia's prime minister yesterday and the ongoing exodus of tens of thousands of civilians from the capital of Mogadishu, World Vision — along with 38 other international and national humanitarian agencies working in Somalia — is calling on those responsible for protecting civilians to act now to save lives.

"We cannot stand by while thousands of children and their families suffer through one of the worst humanitarian crises in our world today," says Graham Davison, World Vision's operations director for Somalia. "World Vision is calling on the international community to intervene for the sake of thousands of families — before it is too late."

Deteriorating Humanitarian Situation

Constrained access and deteriorating security is leaving international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including World Vision, with little space in which to operate in Somalia. All indicators now point to a deterioration of an already dire humanitarian situation.

Unceasing violence has ravaged Somalia's capital city of Mogadishu for months. In the meantime, a looming drought has threatened to further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in this besieged, disaster-prone African nation that also experienced severe flooding nearly a year ago.

The combination of conflict, drought, and flooding has created a nearly unbearable situation for tens of thousands of Somali families who live in one of the poorest nations on earth.

Statement of Concern Issued

In response to the situation, some 39 aid organizations working in the beleaguered nation issued the following Statement of Concern on Oct. 30:

"There is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in South Central Somalia. Tens of thousands of people are currently fleeing violence in Mogadishu adding to the up to 335,000 people already needing immediate lifesaving assistance in Mogadishu and the Shabelle regions.

International and National NGOs cannot respond effectively to the crisis because access and security are deteriorating dramatically at a time when needs are increasing.

The international community and all parties to the present conflict have a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow the delivery of aid and to respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers."

World Vision has served in Somalia for 15 years, where we have conducted extensive relief operations in such areas as food aid, livelihood recovery, water and sanitation, health, and education.

Since we began operations in Somalia's Middle Juba region in 1996, World Vision's U.S. donors have invested significantly in long-term development programs, including a water and sanitation project and highly successful household food security project.


Learn More


>> Read a Reuters article detailing the dire conditions in Somalia.
>> Read a recent World Vision eNews article detailing three crises that have combined to make living conditions for Somali families and children nearly intolerable.

Two Ways You Can Help

>> Pray for God's comfort and relief for the Somali people, who live in one of the poorest nations on earth amidst nearly unbearable conditions caused by the combined effects of three major disasters: ongoing violence, drought, and flooding. Pray especially for the comfort and safety of children, who are most vulnerable during times of crisis.
>> Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response fund. Your contribution will help World Vision continue to deliver desperately needed aid to places like Somalia.

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Learn More

Read a Reuters article detailing the dire conditions in Somalia.
- -
Read a recent World Vision eNews article detailing three crises that have combined to make living conditions for Somali families and children nearly intolerable.

Two Ways You Can Help

Pray for God's comfort and relief for the Somali people, who live in one of the poorest nations on earth amidst nearly unbearable conditions caused by the combined effects of three major disasters: ongoing violence, drought, and flooding. Pray especially for the comfort and safety of children, who are most vulnerable during times of crisis.
- -

Donate now to World Vision's Disaster Response fund. Your contribution will help World Vision continue to deliver desperately needed aid to places like Somalia.

 





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