21 June 2017

Kenya: Firm Calls for More Aid for Starving Somalis

Photo: AU/ONU IST/Stuart Price
Des liasses de shillings somaliens dans un bureau de change à Mogadiscio, en Somalie. Des millions de Somaliens comptent sur l’argent envoyé par leurs proches et amis à l’étranger sous la forme de transferts de fonds pour survivre.

A leading money transfer firm has rallied corporates, individuals and governments to join hands and support thousands of Somalis hit by prolonged drought.

While it joined other corporates at a Charity Iftar held at the Radison Blu, Dubai Creek on Monday evening, Dahabshiil, represented by CEO Abdirashid Duale, said it was time for concerted efforts in combating the effects of the prolonged drought in the African state.

The event tagged 'every dirham counts' raised money towards the 'For your sake Somalia' project spearheaded by among others Emirates Red Crescent that seeks to alleviate the effects of famine in Somalia and fund other projects.

Somalia's Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh, Somali Ambassador to the UAE, Representatives of several charity organisations, UAE Citizens and the Somalis living in the diaspora attended the event.

Many regions of Somaliland have for the past three months suffered from the effects of epidemic diseases such as diarrhoea, measles and malnutrition caused by the prolonged drought.

REPORTED CASES

Most of the deaths were caused by the diarrhoea which affected around 11,000 people in different regions of the country.

Worst hit was Ethiopia's Somali region which borders Somaliland where about 350 cases were reported in and around the district of Buhodle.

There were 3 cases in Burao -- the capital of Tog Dheer region -- at its central prison.

The director of the health department in Burao confirmed that the region alone, had 3,600 cases reported with 139 fatalities.

Minister Mohamoud Hashi Abdi said the disease affected about 3,900 people with 800 cases being reported in Awdal region which was confirmed by the health authorities there.

There was also an outbreak at the central prison of Borama.

CIVIC EDUCATION

Aid and help came from the government, business people and the civil society among them Dahabshiil, said Mr Duale.

"We gave emergency aid to the areas seriously affected by the disease like Tog Dheer region and the district of Buhodle.

"We donated money to buy 6,000 saline drip equipment in this region and another 3,000 to the affected Burao areas.

"We have contributed medical aid to the Somali regions frequently. For example in the Mogadishu hospitals like Daynile, Madino and Lazarette," added Mr Duale.

He called on more corporates to come to the aid of the affected people.

Mr Abdi said although the affected number was over 7,000, most of them had survived.

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