Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

Somalia: over 95,000 people receive aid in drought-stricken areas

Publisher International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Publication Date 10 June 2011
Cite as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Somalia: over 95,000 people receive aid in drought-stricken areas, 10 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4e0057612.html [accessed 25 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Nairobi (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed a distribution of seed and tools in southern and central Somalia. Over 300 tonnes of maize, sorghum, cowpea and sesame seeds and nearly 800 tonnes of fertilizer were distributed in addition to 30,000 shovels, 30,000 hoes and 30,000 rakes to over 95,000 people in the provinces of Lower and Middle Juba, Gedo, Bay, Bakool, Hiraan, Lower and Middle Shabelle, Mudug and Galgaduud.

"The people we are helping faced near-total crop failure last season due to very poor rains," said Andrea Heath, the ICRC's economic-security coordinator for Somalia. "Because they had to use their savings or sell off assets to bridge the gap between the last harvest, in July and August of last year, and the current agricultural season, they could not afford to buy seed and tools for this season. Somalia is highly dependent on agriculture, so it is essential that farmers maintain their capacity to farm."

The severe drought that has gripped Somalia since October 2010 is having a devastating effect on a population already weakened by almost two decades of armed conflict. The ICRC is providing support for farmers to augment crop production. The aim is to safeguard their livelihood by giving them the chance to get back on their feet again.

The ICRC first began working in Somalia in 1977, when it responded to the crisis that arose when armed conflict erupted with Ethiopia. It has maintained a permanent presence in Somalia since 1982, with its delegation based in Nairobi since 1994.

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