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Somalia: aid reaches more than half a million people

05-01-2011 News Release 11/02

Geneva (ICRC) – Ongoing fighting exacerbated by drought is forcing millions of Somalis to continue to depend on humanitarian assistance. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society have just finished providing food and urgently needed household items for over 540,000 displaced people (IDPs) and vulnerable residents in major cities and along the road heading south-west from Mogadishu to Afgoye.

"Twenty years of war have left Somalia in a dire state that is steadily getting worse," said Pascal Mauchle, the ICRC's head of delegation for Somalia. "Tens of thousands of people have fled Mogadishu over recent months. Food production has fallen, prices have skyrocketed and many people cannot afford to buy food and other essentials, even when they are available on the market. The economic situation is still deteriorating and people struggle for their daily survival, not only in conflict-affected areas but also in major cities in the northern part of the country."

Over the past few weeks, the ICRC and the Somali Red Crescent have distributed two-month rations of rice, beans and oil to some 240,000 displaced people and needy residents, and blankets, kitchen sets and plastic roofing to over 300,000 people. Priority has been given to disabled people, orphans and households headed by women. The aid reached many different cities in Lower Shabelle, Gedo, Bakool and Bay in the south, in Hiraan and Mudug in the central part of the country, and in Puntland in the north.

For further information, please contact:
Yves van Loo, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 736 084 015
Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24



Afgoye, Lower Shabelle Province. ICRC distributes jerrycans, tarpaulins and kitchen sets to 10,000 internally displaced persons.
© ICRC / N. Gure


Afgoye, Lower Shabelle Province. The most vulnerable groups had top priority – disabled people, single mothers and orphans. This woman is bringing up a family on her own. She lost her leg during shelling in Mogadishu and recently fled to Afgoye.
© ICRC / N. Gure