The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that 173,000 have fled the conflict-torn city in the past two weeks.
"Thousands from Mogadishu have already reached areas in southern Somalia where we operate," says Graham Davison, World Vision's operations director in Somalia. "Many women and children are arriving with nothing and require urgent assistance. With fighting continuing in the capital, it is likely these figures will increase in coming weeks."
Our staff estimates we will need nearly $1 million to supply plastic sheeting, medicines, water, critical non-food items, and psychosocial support to meet the immediate needs of 20,000 internally displaced people.
"We are calling on our donors and the international community to help us respond quickly," explains Marie Bettings, World Vision's emergency response officer for Somalia. "Children, who constitute more than 46 percent of Somalia's population, bear the brunt of this crisis."
Our staff also is concerned about how the ongoing fighting will affect our relief operations in Somalia — one of the most impoverished counties in the world — where we have worked since 1992.
"There must be unhindered, protected access for humanitarian workers trying to deliver aid in Mogadishu and surrounding areas," Davison says. "Civilians are in urgent need and must be reached with supplies quickly, wherever they are."
World Vision's current development projects in Somalia include food security, supplementary feeding, school feedings, health, education, water, sanitation, advocacy, and relief programs.
>> Pray for God's comfort and relief for the Somali people, who live in one of the poorest nations on earth amid nearly unbearable conditions. Pray especially for the comfort and safety of children, nearly half of Somalia's population, 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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