Somalia: food support for 420,000 people in Mogadishu
17-08-2012 News Release 12/157
Geneva/Nairobi (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed a distribution in Mogadishu of a one-month supply of basic food aid to some 420,000 highly vulnerable people, including displaced, orphaned, elderly and disabled persons.
"The presence of a large number of internally displaced people in Mogadishu, including some who recently fled fighting in the Afgoye corridor, makes it difficult for the most vulnerable to get a steady supply of food," said Mohamed Sheikh Ali, who coordinates the ICRC's economic-security programmes in Somalia. "Demographic pressure on markets plus a drop in food production owing to conflict and uneven rainfall have together significantly affected the availability of food. This in turn has inflated prices in urban areas, often putting food staples beyond the reach of those who need them most."
The ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent Society worked in partnership with several other humanitarian organizations to carry out these food distributions, which include rice, beans, oil and corn-soya blend.
To mark the month of Ramadan in Somalia, the ICRC also distributed food rations and portions of dates to around 1,000 detainees held by the Somali authorities in Mogadishu during the weekend of 28-29 July. The ICRC resumed visits to detainees in Mogadishu in May, in particular those detained in connection with the conflict, with a view to monitoring their treatment and conditions of detention.
"Visiting detainees is a core ICRC activity throughout the world, directly linked to its mandate to protect people in situations of armed conflict," said Hichem Khadhraoui, who coordinates the activities carried out by the ICRC in Somalia for detainees and other categories of people protected by international humanitarian law. "Where necessary, we help the authorities improve the conditions of detention." Essential supplies, including blankets, mattresses, hygiene items, sandals and clothing, have also been distributed to detainees in Mogadishu over the last three months.
The ICRC has been working in Somalia since 1977. In close partnership with the Somali Red Crescent Society, it provides emergency and long-term support with the aim of strengthening community self-reliance. In addition, it promotes compliance with international humanitarian law and monitors the treatment detainees receive and the conditions in which they are held.
For further information, please contact:
Fatuma Abdulahi, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 731 008 754
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17