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The ICRC in Somalia: activities January – June 2004

11-10-2004 Operational Update

The ICRC's operational presence in Somalia is concentrated mostly through central and southern areas where the country's conflict is ongoing and political institutions are non-existent. In north-western Somaliland and north-eastern Puntland regions the operational presence is limited to sporadic emergencies and implementing preventive measures.


1. Emergency response 

During the first half of 2004:

  •  17'000 IDP families received non-food assistance such as tarpaulins, clothing, jerry cans, blankets, kitchenware and agricultural tools.

  •  63'000 empty sand bags, (flood emergency prevention), were distributed in Middle and Lower Shabelle and in Lower Juba regions, saving thousands of hectares of agricultural land from inundation


2.Surgical and first aid programmes  


The ICRC supports the only two referral surgical hospitals , based in Mogadishu (Medina Hospital & SRCS Keysaney Hospital) by maintaining or upgrading their capacity and professional competencies, and training their medical and technical staff.

Over the first half of 2004:

  •  The Keysaney hospital admitted 930 surgical cases of which 313 or 34%, were weapon wounded . The hospital also treated 1'362 outpatients needing general medical services.

  •  The Medina hospital, treated 1'384 surgical cases over the same period, of which 816 or 60% of them were weapon wounded.  The   hospital also treated 1'261 outpatients needing general medical services.

  •  The ICRC supplies both hospitals on a monthly basis with drugs, surgical equipment, structural support and other running stock according to need.

 Pre-Hospital Care Centers (PHCC)  

The ICRC supports 4 PHCCs consisting of 2 regional hospitals in Baidoa and Baraawe, and 2 existing SRCS health posts in Jilib and Dusamareb, by supplying them with basic stabilization equipment, supplies and technical training.



The ICRC supports 18 SRCS managed health posts in the conflict-affected areas with dressing material and structural support. These clinics registered approximately 30'000 consultations , providing medical treatment for a combined population of some 500'000 residents and IDPs.  

 ORS Centers  


During the cho lera season the ICRC supports 5 cholera treatment centres run by the SRCS in Mogadishu, providing inpatient re-hydration treatment with oral re-hydration salts. During the seasonal outbreak period April-June, 2'480 persons visited these centres.  


3. Rehabilitation program 

The ICRC's Economic Security and Water Rehabilitation activities aim at rebuilding or protecting basic infrastructures of vulnerable rural communities in order to strengthen their coping mechanisms weakened by armed conflict and natural disasters.


 Economic Security  


  •  32 Community Intervention Projects (CIPs) were initiated or completed.

  •  1'000 coastal sea fishing kits were distributed in Puntland to 1'000 beneficiary families , while 7'000 fishing-kits were distributed along the Juba and the Shabelle rivers to 7'000 beneficiary families  

  •  3 Pump Irrigation Projects (PIP) were completed in Hiran region allowing for the irrigation of 360 ha of farmland for 360 farming families  

  •  The Gravity Irrigation Project (GRIP) was co mpleted providing for the irrigation of 3'000 ha of farmland in 15 villages along the Shabelle river

  •  9 additional canal intake gates for Gravity Irrigation were rehabilitated/constructed in Lower Shabelle.

  •  10'000 families received 15 kg of staple seeds each for the coming planting season enabling them to plant 1.5 ha of farmland each .

  •  16'000 vegetable seeds kits were distributed to 16'000 families in Southern Somalia and Puntland that allows each family to plant up to 2 acres of mixed vegetables .

  •  1 Neem tree nursery supported by the ICRC was handed over to the community. The Neem tree provides a local remedy for malaria and pesticide for crops.

 Water and Rehabilitation  

  •  11 Boreholes were rehabilitated primarily in Puntland and the Central region.

  •  21 Hand–dug wells were rehabilitated in Lower Shabelle and Central region

  •  14 Community Berkets  (underground water storage) were fully rehabilitated in Puntland and Central Region (Mudug and Galgadud). In addition the distribution of 6'000 bags of cement in 34 areas allowed minor rehabilitation of about 2'700 berkets in the Central Region and in Southern Puntland

  •  6 rainwater catchments were rehabilitated mainly in Puntland and Lower Shabelle.

  •  Cholera:  The ICRC supports health facilities treating cholera cases by providing chlorination of wells. This preventive action has been a major contributor to a decreased mortality rate: 3.95% in 1998 to 0.77% in 2003.

4. Tracing and Red Cross Messages 

The ICRC provides tracing services to persons searching for their missing family members due to their separation and displacement. This provision is offered through a joint ICRC/BBC initiative. Broadcast six times per week, this 15-minute program on the BBC Somali short-wave radio service receives thousands of requests from families and friends desperate to restore contact. The exchange of Red Cross Messages enables the re-establishment of family links, when no other means of communication is possible. A network of 23 Somali Red Crescent Society tracing officers collects and distributes Red Cross Messages (RCMs) throughout Somalia.

During the first half of 2004:

  •  5'748 Red Cross Messages  (RCMs) were exchanged through the SRCS tracing services

  •  1'532 BBC-tracing forms were collected

  •  2'766 names of missing persons were aired on BBC Somali radio.

5. Cooperation with the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS)  

The ICRC works on building the capacity of the SRCS, a key partner working in the field. Through its network of 19 branches, the SRCS provides essential community services. These are first aid activities, carrying out disease prevention campaigns, organizing dissemination sessions on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to the public and the restoring of family links of persons separated due to conflict or insecurity.

During the first half of 2004:


 IHL Dissemination/Awareness  


  •  1 dissemination workshop was conducted by the ICRC for 17 students from 5 different universities in Mogadishu.

  •  The ICRC supported the SRCS to conduct dissemination sessions on Red Cross/Red Crescent principles and IHL to an estimated 5'531  civilians  


 Training/Capacity Building  


  •  3 tracing & dissemination officers received a 3-day training provided by the ICRC in Bossaso

  •  The ICRC continued technical and financial support to the SRCS for tracing services and RCM messages.


 First Aid/Health Campaigns  


  •  500'000 inhabitants of Mogadishu benefited from a cholera prevention campaign

  •  250 First Aid Kits and shoulder bags for SRCS volunteers were produced at the Kenya Red Cross Society