Aside from SOS Children, there are very few humanitarian organisations operating in Baidoa. The region is controlled by Al Shabab, a militia opposing the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia. Although Al Shabab have lifted the ban on organisations who are interested in supporting drought-affected families in the region, most NGOs are sceptical of their sincerity and have not yet set up operations here.
Over two years of rain failure has devastated lives and livelihoods of rural communities in the Bay region of Somalia. Desperate to survive, thousands of drought affected families from all over the Bay and Bakool regions in central Somalia have moved south to the city of Baidoa in search of food and medical care. Currently, there are two large refugee camps on the outskirts of the town with approximately between 40,000 and 48,000 displaced people living in this area.
Access to food for the displaced families is severely inadequate, with only two organisations currently distributing food in the camps. A number of the displaced families often sleep in Baidoa town and beg to survive.
Emergency Relief for families in Baidoa
SOS Children are running an Emergency Relief Programme in Baidoa, which includes:
- The provision of food rations for approximately 2,500 families
- A mobile clinic in the camp, which is providing specialist mother and child health services, is treating patients with common diseases and providing essential drugs
- An immunisation programme to protect children from diseases such as measles, which are highly contagious in densely populated camps
- A therapeutic feeding centre to improve nutritional services for children. This includes providing basic nutrition supplies and equipment as well as staff training.
For more information visit: www.soschildren.org