Increase in aid for drought-stricken Somalia
17-03-2006 News Release 06/21
Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is stepping up its emergency operation to assist more than 1,200,000 drought-affected people in Somalia over the next four months. Relief is being delivered to the most conflict-ridden areas in the southern part of the country in order to avert a potential famine.
Severe drought following up to four years of insufficient rainfall has resulted in acute shortages of water and food, withered grazing lands, a sharp drop in cereal production and vast numbers of dead cattle in the parts of southern Somalia that have been hardest hit.
The drought has aggravated an already appalling situation in humanitarian terms. In 15 years of internal conflict, thousands of families have been forced not only to flee their homes but also to endure lawlessness and cope without basic health and education services.
In a crucial partnership with the Somali Red Crescent Society, the ICRC will deliver aid at least until the next harvest, in July, and may further boost its assistance if rains continue to be scarce.
The ICRC has been working in Somalia since 1977. It carries out over 300 water, health, agricultural and veterinary projects in the country each year.
For further information, please contact:
Nicole Engelbrecht, ICRC Nairobi, tel: +254 20 2723 963 or mob. +254 722 51 27 28
Pédram Yazdi, ICRC Somalia, tel: +254 20 2723 963 or mob. +254 722 51 81 42
Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2271 or mob. +41 79 217 3217or