Muslim Aid expressed serious disappointment about the slow global response to the Horn of Africa drought and the situation in south Somalia which has now been upgraded by the UN to famine. An estimated 3.7 million people are affected by the crisis and are in urgent need of assistance. Muslim Aid’s Somalia field office is among the first British NGOs providing relief aid to the internally displaced persons in makeshift camps in Mogadishu following the mass movement of people to the capital of Somalia this month in search of food and water.
A spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: “We are disappointed that the creeping drought in the eastern region of the Horn of Africa has taken so long to make headlines despite the signs of the looming crisis being visible for the past few months. Muslim Aid is also concerned that the international community is taking time to act in putting together a coordinated global response to the famine”.
“Muslim Aid was amongst the first British aid agencies to launch an appeal for the Horn of Africa drought and provide dry rations, oil and utensils to people arriving in IDP camps in Mogadishu from southern Somalia. The situation in the region is critical and cannot be ignored any longer. We strongly urge the international community, especially donor countries to follow the timely example of Britain in increasing their emergency aid allocation for the region and making it available immediately”, added the spokesperson.
Muslim Aid has been working in the region for over 15 years providing healthcare, education, food and carrying out long-term poverty-alleviation programmes.
Note to Editors
Muslim Aid launched an emergency appeal on July 5 2011, to provide humanitarian relief to people affected by the severe drought and malnutrition occurring in the countries of eastern Horn of Africa. On July 10, Muslim Aid began distribution of emergency aid in Mogadishu, handing out food packs, water and kitchen utensils to around 1000 people on the first day of distribution. This first stage targeted IDP camps in Mogadishu and Afgoye corridor, a region of Somalia with already alarming high numbers of internally displaced people. Despite it being very difficult for many NGOs to operate in the region due to prolonged conflict and instability, Muslim Aid never left, which meant we were able to respond to this crisis very quickly and were one of the first British NGOs on the ground.
There are acute levels of hunger and malnutrition as food prices continue to escalate, with women, children and elderly increasingly vulnerable. It is estimated that the drought is resulting in around 2500 people entering Mogadishu every day. Many people are travelling hundreds of kilometers on foot. A Muslim Aid mission comprising the Head of International Programmes and the Emergency Manager recently travelled Mogadishu from the UK. They spent four days working with Muslim Aid Somalia team to distribute emergency aid in IDP camps in Mogadishu.
The links below highlight Muslim Aid’s work in Somalia which has continued to date.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwAGIrT1nKY latest TV appeal advert
http://www.flickr.com/photos/muslimaiduk/ Muslim Aid’s flickr photo stream, updated hourly – photo’s from the field.
http://www.muslimaid.org/index.php/what-we-do/current-campaigns-live/horn-of-africa - Muslim Aid Horn of Africa web appeal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M1BiOun-JZU – Muslim Aid TV Horn of Africa TV advert
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbSsIw6bJIQ – distribution of emergency aid in Mogadishu (video).