Mogadishu Hospitals are being flooded with drought victims, mostly women and children and are asking for donors to provide food, medical equipment, and money. When Capital visited Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu on March 23 hundreds of children under five years old were lying in hospital beds and volunteer nurses surrounded them to provide medical support.
In the last three months alone this hospital which serves mothers and children treated over 500 people affected by the drought, mostly coming from Lower and Upper Shebelle.
Dr., Humer Mohammed, Head of the Pediatric Department at Benadir Hospital told Capital they did not have enough money to provide adequate treatment for drought victims and that all medical staff are working for free. “We are in an emergency situation if you see Mogadishu hospitals the number of people affected by the drought is increasing but we do not have enough money to buy medicine or to pay nurses or doctors.’’
“The responses to the drought have been miniscule and disorganized. We need donors to understand our problem and to save our children and we need food and money.’’
She said children affected by drought are more prone to Cholera and malnutrition.
Somalia’s current drought is threatening half of the country’s population, or about 6 million people, according to the United Nations. Aid agencies have scaled up efforts but say more support is urgently needed. The emergency is made worse by similar hunger crises in South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Yemen, which together make up what the United Nations calls the world’s largest humanitarian disaster in more than 70 years. The crisis has once again uprooted hundreds of thousands of people across Somalia, which already has a sprawling diaspora of two million people after a quarter-century of conflict.
Drought-stricken families are on the move, trying to reach points where international aid agencies are distributing food. The agencies cannot distribute food in areas under the control of al-Shabab, Somalia’s homegrown Islamic extremist rebels who are affiliated with al-Qaida. Somalia’s fragile central government struggles to assert itself beyond the capital and other limited areas.
These realities touched the heart of French social media star Jerome Jarre who started the #Love Army For Somalia campaign with the hashtag #Turkish Airlines Help Somalia to get the airline’s support to send food supplies to Somalia.
He got their support and raised USD 1 million in 24 hours with the help of international celebrities to pay for the food aid.
Over USD 2 million has been raised, 7 African countries out of the 54 donated and 60 tonnes of food aid was flown to Somalia on Monday March 27.