Walk for Somalia: Response to Appalling Human Conditions

More than half of Toronto Homeless and without Assistance, Imagine

TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The recent multiple droughts in Somalia caused massive refugee displacement, a spike in food prices and in turn, increase in malnutrition in Somali children and adults. As a result, the dire living conditions in Somalia made it a perfect recipe for the world's worst humanitarian condition, according to the United Nations. In response, a group of Canadian university and college students and graduates decided to organize an initiative titled Walk for Somalia.

In an interview with Human Rights Watch, refugee researcher, Gerry Simpson, states: "The refugee crisis worsens with every day of delay, continued paralysis and unresponsiveness puts the well-being of all the refugees - new and old - at grave risk." Medicine Sans Frontier states, of those refugees, 600,000 live in Afgoye, the world's largest refugee camp for internally displaced people.

As conditions worsen, WFS requests Canadians' immediate attention and assistance. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Mark Bowden said: "Somalia needs to be seen as a priority case, the implications of not responding now are a future of miserable destitution but also the potential to tip the region into a far greater level of crisis through the movement of Somalia's population out of the country if assistance isn't provided, we have critical shortages in the water, sanitation, health and nutrition areas which endanger the relief operation at the moment." He also added: "before this I worked in Darfur and I'm concerned that conditions for the displaced populations in Somalia are if anything worse than in Darfur."

Walk for Somalia is a non-political initiative. Looking beyond the short, news-clips of the violence, piracy and general chaos that far too often, constitutes the entire discussion about Somalia; WFS would like to remind Canadians that Somalia is not on the verge of a catastrophe, the catastrophe is a daily reality for over 3.2 million people. In support of this campaign, we call on all to come out and join us on October 10, 2009 for a silent walk on behalf of those suffering in what the UN has labelled the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

    Please join us:
    Saturday October 10th 2009
    Start: Yonge and Dundas
    End: Queens Park
    1:00 pm


For further information: For further information: Warda Abdulsamed, Communications Director, Walk for Somalia, (416) 854 4719, walkforsomalia@gmail.com

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