Doha: Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) has spent more than QR10m in past three years in pursuing its relief and developmental endeavors in Somalia to save victims of drought and improve their quality of life in face of critical economic and security conditions.
More than QR10m worth of aid has been delivered by QRC on the ground, helping save the lives of more than 298,000 people in the poverty and disorder-struck nation, by virtue of its considerable experience as a humanitarian aid provider in Niger, Darfur, and other African disaster and conflict areas.
As thousands became at risk of starvation due to the 2011 severe drought, with alarmingly deteriorating humanitarian conditions and a wave of mass internal migration in search of food, QRC was among the first international organisations to respond, by launching several urgent relief programmes to provide basic needs, particularly food, healthcare, and sheltering, with more focus on the most affected southern provinces.
In the beginning, the top priority was to distribute food, nonfood, and sheltering assistance. This was done in two phases, benefiting 127,855 people (25,571 families) across southern and central Somalia as well as the capital Mogadishu. Costing QR4.6m these distributions effectively helped cover the basic needs of families amid unfavorable circumstances in camps, let alone scarce and overpriced food products.
A total of 13,571 one-month food rations was distributed among 67,855 people (13,571 families). At a cost of QR1m, QRC provided 60,000 people (12,000 families) with different requirements of everyday life, such as rain and mosquito protection plastic covers, blankets, straw mats, mosquito nets, cooking utensils, and large-sized water containers with special attention paid to school children.
To deal with the poor state of health among displaced Somalis, some of who walked hundreds of kilometers to Mogadishu and provincial urban centres in the wake of the crisis, QRC carried out 16 health and food therapeutic projects worth QR3.6m to serve 132,500 people (20,500 families), including 9 mobile emergency clinics, 3 healthcare centers, and 4 food therapeutic centers.
In terms of water and sanitation, QRC transported water from water sources (some of which are more than 100 km away) to camps and established water reservoirs and sanitary and garbage facilities. These efforts served 67,875 beneficiaries (13,575 families) at a value of QR1m and had a positive impact on environmental safety and water pollution control in camps, which largely reduced infection and disease incidence rates.