Somalia : ICRC urges quick and unimpeded humanitarian access to victims of violence in Las Anod
Several weeks of continuous violence left more than 150 people dead and over 600 wounded, while thousands find themselves in difficult conditions after they fled their homes. "People in Las Anod urgently need humanitarian assistance, and we are acting as quickly as possible to bring it to them," said Juerg Eglin, head of the ICRC delegation in Somalia.
"Political disputes must never stand in the way of saving lives."
The ICRC together with the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) has been providing support to local hospitals to evacuate and treat the wounded. However, more resources and supplies are needed on the ground to respond to the growing humanitarian needs.
While the ICRC is scaling up its response to the situation, social media posts are circulating online inciting blockage of the life-saving aid. "Misinformation spread online can have a serious real-life impact on the security of our teams and our ability to respond to the urgent needs," said Merick Alagbe who oversees ICRC's operations in the area. "All our teams are working together in a strictly neutral way to ensure help gets to Las Anod."
Immediately after the violence broke out, the ICRC sent surgical materials, sufficient to treat more than 400 patients to six hospitals in Las Anod. It also delivered four dressing sets and 38 first aid kits to the SRCS as first responders to treat patients.
Together with the Somali Red Crescent, the ICRC is deploying a surgical team and an ambulance unit from Mogadishu and Galkayo to further support health services. A team of ICRC staff is currently in Las Anod assessing the humanitarian needs of the population affected by the violence.