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UAE launches first phase of relief programme in Somalia

posted on 31/07/2011: 851 views

Mogadishu - The UAE launched yesterday the first phase of an urgent massive humanitarian programme to assist victims of drought in the Horn of Africa. The UAE relief team, which is made up of the Red Crescent Authority and Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation, said the first phase would target camps housing tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) located around the capital, Mogadishu. From Mogadishu downtown, the team run a convoy of food aid to Bidbadu camp, some six kilometres away from the capital, and doled out rice, edible oil, sorghum and dates.

The UAE aid workers also toured the camp to assess urgent needs of the IDPs so as to be met as soon as possible through successive convoys. The UAE relief agencies will run daily aid convoy to a number of camps in the Somali capital.

Mohamud Ahmed Nor Tarsan, the governor of Mogadishu, who escorted the UAE relief team during the tour, said there were 55 camps in the capital housing around 350,000 displaced persons.

He warned that children who arrived the camp were suffering from acute malnutrition and fatigue and need urgent therapeutic food and healthcare. He revealed that five to six feeble, thirst and hungry children are succumbing to death daily in each camp. He added that the situation in Bidbadu camp is much better than in other camps.

According to him, the camp is the largest one, housing about 20,000 IDPs and receiving 100 to 150 people a day.

Later the UAE relief team, led by Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, had a meeting with the governor of Mogadishu to discuss the UAE relief plan to help drought and famine victims. The team explained their upcoming relief operations to spare the IDPs the repercussions of famine and drought. The governor commended the plan and pledged to extend all possible facilities to help them deliver their humanitarian mission. The UAE relief team, who arrived here Friday, were welcomed by a group of Somali ministers led by Abdullahi Ugas, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry, who lauded the UAE leadership's initiative to send a relief team to Somalia to support its people at these difficult circumstances.

The UAE, he noted, is always acting as first responder when it comes to charity and its hand reaches out to all without return. Al Shamsi said the presence of the UAE aid workers on the ground underscores the swift response by the UAE leadership to the drought calamity in the Horn of Africa, in general, and Somalia, in particular. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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