Internal migration puts pressure on communities already struggling to
GAROWE, Somalia, July 29, 2011 /CNW/ - The situation in northern Somalia
is increasingly dire as communities face rising levels of acute
malnutrition, plus mounting pressure from the inflow of internally
displaced people (IDP) escaping famine and conflict in the south, says
"We're seeing an increasing number of people searching for food and
water," says Mike Weickert, World Vision Canada's Director of
Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs, who is currently in the Puntland
region of northern Somalia. "Conditions in the north are rapidly
deteriorating, forcing families to make desperate decisions."
More than half the Somali population of 3.7 million require humanitarian
assistance, an increase of 35 per cent from 2.4 million at the
beginning of the year.
Host communities are increasingly anxious as more people arrive in
Puntland daily, seeking shelter, food, water and safety. This region
has endured seven consecutive years of poor rainfall. Water catchments
have dried up, forcing people and animals to share limited water
supplies, a risky coping mechanism which causes waterborne disease,
particularly in young children and the elderly.
According to the World Health Organization, acute malnutrition rates
across southern Somalia range between 20 to 30 per cent. Among Somali
refugees who have arrived in Ethiopia, the rates are between 45 to 47
World Vision response
World Vision has been working with communities in Somalia since 1992,
and began programs in Puntland in October 2010. The agency is currently
reaching out to 46,000 people in Puntland and Somaliland, addressing
the challenges of both local communities and the growing IDP
populations. This support includes providing specialized emergency
nutrition programs, clean water, and food-for-work activities.
A key World Vision project, in partnership with the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA), is providing emergency water,
sanitation and health care, including the treatment of severe acute
malnutrition in children.
How Canadians can help
Canadians can contribute to World Vision Canada's Horn of Africa relief
effort by visiting worldvision.ca or calling 1-800-268-5528.
Note to media: Mike Weickert is available for interviews (telephone or Skype) from
Garowe in the Puntland region of northern Somalia until Sunday, July
31. To arrange an interview, please contact one of World Vision's media
staff listed below. Note that Somalia is seven hours ahead of Eastern
Daylight Savings Time.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
organization dedicated to working with children, families and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our
News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada
For further information:
Bob Neufeld - Tel. 905-565-6200 ext 3265, mobile 647-622-2045, Bob_Neufeld@worldvision.ca
Darryl Konynenbelt - Tel. 905-565-6200 ext 2496, mobile 416-669-2602, Darryl_Konynenbelt@worldvision.ca