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Somalia: Helping those forced to flee their homes

12-04-2007 News Release 07/09

The ICRC is stepping up its assistance for displaced people in Somalia: in the past month alone, it has provided more than 135,000 individuals with water, shelter, clothing, blankets and basic household items such as mats, kitchen sets and jerrycans.

© ICRC / Pedram Yazdi /so-e-00241 
Lower Juba region, Afmadow district. Children clutching clothes just received from the ICRC. 

With the worst fighting in the past 15 years having forced large numbers of people to flee Mogadishu, the ICRC's immediate priority is to supply the displaced with clean water. Every day ICRC trucks distribute 215,000 litres of water to 43,000 people in Lower and Middle Shabelle and South Galgudud. At the end of last week, the ICRC also delivered over 11 tonnes of medical and surgical supplies to the hospitals it supports in the Somali capital.

The ICRC constantly monitors the living conditions of those displaced throughout the country in order to respond to their most urgent needs. Recurrent flooding and drought have further swollen the ranks of those who have had to leave their homes and now find themselves in dire economic straits.

" Every year the ICRC assists hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Somalia by ensuring that they have access to clean water and by providing them with shelter, blankets, basic household items and sometimes food, " said Pascal Hundt, head of the ICRC Somalia delegation. " We begin by evaluating the needs of those recently displaced and then we deliver the assistance. "

The ICRC's role is to protect and assist the victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It does so by taking direct and immediate action to meet their needs while promoting compliance with international humanitarian law.

  For further information, please contact:
  Pedram Yazdi, ICRC Somalia, tel : +254 20 272 39 63 or +254 722 51 81 42
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel : +41 79 217 32 17