Three years of rainfall has failed in Somalia and if the rains don’t fall during the 2018 season, the region could be plunged further into a humanitarian crisis.
At present, 6.2 million people have been identified to be beneficiaries of humanitarian aid according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Those who suffer the most are inevitably children. 388 000 kids under the age of 5 have been categorised as being critically malnourished, a figure that has gone up by almost 10% in the last 6 months alone.
The story of suffering and hardship experienced by so many in the drought hit country has missed the attention of mainstream media. African suffering is a much under-reported phenomenon.
The Salaam Foundation, the humanitarian wing of Salaamedia, this week returned from a 1 week journey into the heart of Somalia. Heading to Baidoa, 250km west of Mogadishu, the team of Azhar Vadi and Aqeel Wadee visited the Arafat Paediatric Hospital, a beacon of hope in the middle of one of the hardest hit areas in the humanitarian zone.
The team delivered an important contingent of nutritional supplements and children’s medicines to the institute to help fight back against the large scale malnutrition issues.
The consignment was well received by the hospital management as well as the Director of Health for the South West region, Mr Ishaaq Morsa. “We are in need of these kinds of contributions. The circumstances are very difficult and resources are very little. The world has forgotten the plight of the Somali child.”
Medical staff members at the hospital were extremely thankful. “This is just what we needed,” said an ecstatic Dr Aadam, a senior surgeon at the hospital.
The Salaam Foundation team also visited various Internally Displaced Persons camps on the outskirts of Baidoa. Soccer balls were distributed to kids playing on dusty fields. The joy and happiness could be seen on the faces of the many youngsters and the extended refugee community.
#LoveHopeCare postcards that were part of the joint effort by the Trade Route Mall in Lenasia and Salaamedia were also handed over during the hospital visit. The messages of support sent a strong signal of solidarity to fellow Africans from their brothers and sisters in South Africa.