Supporting Somali Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Drought Affected Households

 Ambiah arrived at one of the government registration centers in Dadaab with her baby, Hamsa, her one year child and her mother. Hamsa was only one day old when the family left its village in Somalia to make the long journey to Dadaab. For the 18 days they were on the road, they ate next to nothing, Ambiah said. She often feared her baby would die on the way. Photo Credit: ACT/LWF/Melany Markham

Following the Horn of Africa drought in 2011, the 2012 weather conditions have been seemingly better. However, the damage from recurrent droughts, and decades of conflict, has had negative effects on people’s lives and livelihoods. The below-normal and uneven precipitation during the April to June rainy season, pest infestations, and other factors, led to a significantly below-average 2012 harvest, leaving more than 2 million Somali people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.

Food insecurity continues to cause hunger and displacement, resulting in increased pressure on already crowded settlements of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around Mogadishu and in urban areas of Somaliland.  Assessment carried out by Week of Compassion’s ACT Alliance partners confirmed that the IDPs living in affected areas are in urgent need of food assistance as the rising grain prices affects their access to food, and that several regions are approaching emergency thresholds due to the impact of the dry spell.

The Dadaab refugee camps, established in Northeast Kenya, received more than 160,000 new arrivals in 2011, bringing the total population of the camps to 451,500. While there are efforts to provide basic services in new camps, 35,000 vulnerable refugees and 25,000 refugee children in the Kambioos camp are in need of life-sustaining assistance.

With Dadaab close to capacity, a new camp was set up in August last year in a bush-covered area to accommodate around 160,000 more people. The land is now a town of residential tents, toilets and schools. An estimated 30,000 buildings are needed to accommodate all camp residents. Funding is available for only 4000. Photo Credit: ACT/LWF/Melany Markham

While international and local organizations continue to provide humanitarian assistance to conflict and drought affected people across Somalia, and the Somaliland government appealed to the international and local humanitarian community to take urgent action to assist the areas that experienced a dry rainy season.  Week of Compassion’s ACT Alliance partners will continue to coordinate with other international and local NGOs and UN agencies in their respective areas of operation.

Since August 2011 more than 250,000 Somali people in South-central Somalia, Mogadishu and the Dadaab refugee camps have received support from the ACT Alliance, including psychosocial support, water, sanitation, and health interventions, protection of refugees, food and other staples, emergency shelter, emergency education and support for those whose livelihoods were threatened.

Continued efforts are needed in 2012-2013 to meet immediate lifesaving needs, and build the resilience of vulnerable households.  Activities planned include:  food distribution; distribution of dignity kits; water, sanitation, and health interventions; livelihood recovery activities targeting 53,000 households; education and protection activities for more than 25,000 schoolchildren and 35,000 vulnerable refugees in Dadaab.  Because insecurity and safety concerns continue to challenge ACT Alliance work in South-central Somalia and in the Dadaab camps, Alliance members are working with local organizations to better maintain security and respond to ever-emerging needs.

If you’d like to reach out in Courageous Compassion and support the ongoing work of our partners in East Africa, please follow this link.

Choir Robes Available

First Christian Church in Morehead, Kentucky, has recently purchased new choir robes, and would like to donate their gently used robes to a congregation in need, particularly one affected by disaster.  Should your congregation have that need or should you know of a congregation that has lost its choir robes, please contact First Christian Church’s Music Minister, Jonathan Adkins at (606) 784-4836.

Week of Compassion, as a ministry of the entire Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), relies on your generosity.  We give daily thanks for your support.  Your gracious giving provides healing and hope to communities all over the world.

Praise be to the God whose love stretches all over the world, and from whom all blessings flow!

This Week’s Reponses

Disaster Relief

El Salvador, trauma treatment
New Zealand, earthquake recovery
Alabama, tornado recovery
Pakistan, flood recovery