International NGOs cannot adequately respond to the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia

    NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Today World Vision, along with more than
40 international and national humanitarian agencies working in Somalia, is
highlighting the dramatic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in South
Central Somalia and calling on those with a responsibility to protect
civilians to act now to save lives.
    Constrained access and deteriorating security is leaving international
and national NGOs with little humanitarian space in which to operate in
Somalia. All indicators point to a deterioration of the already dire
humanitarian situation.
    "We cannot stand by while thousands of children and their families suffer
through one of the worst humanitarian crises in our world today," said Chris
Smoot, program director for World Vision Somalia. "World Vision is calling on
the international community to intervene for the sake of thousands of families
before it is too late."
    The following Statement of Concern was issued today by more than 40
organizations working in Somalia:
    "There is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in South Central Somalia.
Tens of thousands of people are currently fleeing violence in Mogadishu adding
to the up to 335,000 people already needing immediate lifesaving assistance in
Mogadishu and the Shabelle regions.
    "International and National NGOs cannot respond effectively to the crisis
because access and security are deteriorating dramatically at a time when
needs are increasing.
    "The international community and all parties to the present conflict have
a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow the delivery of aid and to
respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers."
    World Vision has served in Somalia since 1992, conducting extensive
relief programming across sectors such as food aid, livelihood recovery, water
and sanitation, health, education and advocacy.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. Motivated by our Christian faith, we serve all people
regardless of religion, race, gender or ethnicity.

    Note to Editors
    The above statement has been signed by the following agencies:

    Advancement for Small Enterprise Programmes (ASEP)
    Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA)
    Africa Rescue Committee (AFREC)
    Agency for Technical Cooperation & Development (ACTED)
    Caritas Somalia
    Centre for Peace and Democracy (CPD)
    Concern Worldwide
    Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI)
    Coordinating Committee of the Organisation for Voluntary Service (COSV)
    Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
    Diahonia Emergency Aid
    Diahonia Sweden
    Family Economic Recovery Organisation (FERO)
    Gedo Health Consortium (GHC)
    HARDO Relief and Development Organisation
    Horn Relief
    International Aid Services (IAS)
    International Committee for the Development of People (CISP)
    International Medical Corps (IMC)
    Islamic Relief
    MDM France
    Mercy Corps
    Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
    Oxfam GB
    Oxfam Novib
    SAACID Australia
    Save the Children UK
    Swedish Alliance Welfare Association (SAWA)
    Veterinaries Sans Frontieres Suisse (VSF Suisse)
    Welthungerhilfe/German Agro Action (DWWHH/GAA)
    World Vision International

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with staff in
Somalia, please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext 2151 (office),
(416) 677-0086 (cell),

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