Somalia: relief operations continue in Juba valley
26-07-1995 News Release 30
ICRC relief distributions are continuing in Somalia's Lower Juba Valley, where people displaced by the civil war are facing serious food shortages. Some 2,600 families living in 11 villages in the Marere area are to receive seed and food this week. The current emergency arose as a result of adverse weather conditions, causing floods in some areas and a shortage of rain elsewhere.
This operation will bring to more than 9,000 the number of families assisted in the Juba Valley, south of Mogadishu, since the beginning of June. Each family receives a month's supply of maize, beans and cooking oil, together with seed and fishing equipment. Further surveys will be carried out to determine future needs.
The previous major distribution took place at the beginning of July to 5,000 families in the Gilib area, where returnees were left destitute after floods washed away their seedlings; many children were seriously malnourished. Stephanie Daniels, an ICRC nurse who revisited the area last week, said the situation had already improved: " Seeds have been planted and once again the people have some hope of producing their own food " .
The distributions are carried out in close cooperation with village elders. ICRC field officer Mohammed Jeh says this is crucial to the success of the operation in this very poor area: " They have helped us explain to the local people that the assistance is intended for the most needy " .
Fred Grimm, head of the ICRC's Somalia delegation, said there was an urgent need for other organizations to take action: " In the Juba Valley, the ICRC has responded to an emergency situation because no- one else was doing so. But we know there are other places, such as Kismayo, where people are in a desperate situation. We are in touch with other agencies, including the UN, to explain the problem and are urging them to intervene. "
Video pictures taken recently in Somalia are available from Christophe Naigeon or Catherine Tellier, Agence PERISCOOP, Montpellier, France Tel. ++33 67 04 60 37