Help in civil war-torn Somalia

The worst drought in 60 years has already driven hundreds of thousands of Somalis to flee to the neighboring countries Kenya and Ethiopia; they hope for help in the completely overcrowded refugee camps. On Wednesday, the United Nations classified three other regions of Somalia as hunger zones – including the community of refugees in the capital Mogadishu. Helping them is particularly difficult due to the security situation. “The city is encircled and many areas are not accessible for us,” Volker Rath, our logistics expert, reports from Mogadishu. “At great risk, people are still coming into the city night after night. I spoke to a mother who had just marched more than 300 kilometers by foot.“

Despite the extremely tense security situation, a Cap-Anamur team of crisis-experienced employees is committed to the help of the people in Mogadishu. Rath organized support for the children’s hospital in Benadir, a district of the capital, during his on-site evaluation visit. Back in Kenya he and Raphael Veicht, a registered nurse, arranged an aid transport: 15 tons of aid supplies will lift off by plane next tuesday. These include much-needed medical devices, drugs and other hospital supplies, as well as specialised and normal food. That is because most of the patients in the 200-bed house suffer from malnutrition.

On board on the way to the children’s clinic in Mogadishu is also a team of ours. Among Veicht there is the technician Andreas Herr and also Luitgard Wiest. She has worked worldwide as a physician – amongst others for Cap Anamur in countries as Afghanistan, Colombia, Angola and Somalia. She has great experience in crisis and disaster situations and will now support the work in the children’s hospital during the first phase. In the middle of August another physician will travel to Mogadishu.

At the same time, we are examining the possibilities for deployment in Somaliland. In the independent, but internationally not ackknowledged state, in the northern part of Somalia, quite a number of refugees have arrived. Cap Anamur supervised a hospital in the capital city Hargeysa for several years.