STORIES FROM SOMALIA

In Somalia, 5.6 million people (nearly ½ of the population) are estimated to be suffering from severe to acute malnutrition, with 2.8 million people being unable to meet their daily food requirements. People are starving and, as reported by the United Nations team on the ground, Somali families are forced to watch their children die of famine, one by one, day after day.

As we have analysed in previous blogs, the main drivers of food insecurity in Somalia include the compounding effects of erratic and irregular rainfall, flooding, desert locust infestation, the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, and ongoing conflict.

The international community cannot ignore the urgent needs of Somali citizens. Through the help of our partner, International Medical Corps Somalia, MOAS is delivering nutritional supplements to children on the brink of famine. International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through emergency response and development programs. Their mission is to improve quality of life through health interventions, healthcare training and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide as they make the journey from relief to self-reliance.

Below is a testimonial from the field, a beneficiary from our last shipment, which was handled at the end of 2021, that demonstrates the effectiveness of the humanitarian aid we deliver in the country.

Testimonials from the ground: the story of Mohamed

Mohamed is a nine-month-old boy living with his family in the Midnimo camp for internally displaced people in Somalia, since his parents escaped a harsh drought in their home region. In August 2021, Mohamed’s mother started noting a drastic change in her son’s health:

When my son began showing signs such as having general body weakness, sudden weight loss and fever, I knew something was wrong with him.

Once mother and son arrived at the Midnimo PHU, an International Medical Corps-supported health clinic in the camp, doctors diagnosed him with moderate acute malnutrition. Mohamed immediately received a treatment consisting of Plumpy’Sup, nutritional supplements created by Edesia Nutrition.
After receiving 75 days of nutritional treatment and support, Mohamed met the discharge criteria.

In the words of Mohamed’s mother,

“I am happy with the staff at the health facility. It is not the first time I have interacted with the organization. I remember when I was diagnosed with acute malnutrition [while breastfeeding her son], I sought treatment at this same facility and was well treated, so I also decided to bring my son. It’s wonderful how the staff treat us with dignity and are always friendly.”

Final thoughts

Conflict, climate change and the recent Covid-19 pandemic continue to unfold in Somalia, escalating humanitarian challenges. An estimated 7.7 million people will require humanitarian assistance and protection in 2022, and women and children will unfortunately continue to bear the brunt of the crisis. MOAS will continue to deliver nutritional supplements and humanitarian aid to Somalia to help the population.

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