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Somalia: World Vision Rushing Aid to 20,000 People Fleeing Mogadishu

Nearly half of the destitute nation's population is children who bear the brunt of this humanitarian crisis.

November 15, 2007

Please note: If a sponsored child is directly affected by a crisis or disaster, it is World Vision's policy to notify that child's sponsor as soon as possible.

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
World Vision is rushing to aid some 20,000 civilians forced to flee Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, because of escalated fighting that 40 aid agencies say is responsible for unleashing a "humanitarian catastrophe."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that 173,000 have fled the conflict-torn city in the past two weeks.

Nearly $1 Million to Meet Needs

"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."

Graham Davison on National Public Radio

Listen to an NPR interview with World Vision's Davison.

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.

Children Bear Heaviest Burden

"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.

Learn More

>> Listen online to an interview with Davison on National Public Radio.
>> Read more about the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Somalia and World Vision's response.

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 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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