Earlier this year, the leadership of the overseas development agency of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, Trócaire in Somalia, called for “drastic action” to provide reprieve to the people of God in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa nation.
In a February 11 report, the Country Director of Trócaire in Somalia, Paul Healy, said the effects of the drought were “truly devastating”.
“Severe water shortages have heightened the risk of disease outbreaks, with people and animals now competing for untreated water from hand-dug shallow wells and dwindling rivers. Cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea/Cholera, and outbreaks of measles, are on the rise in multiple drought-affected locations,” Mr. Healy said.
In the August 19 interview with ACI Africa, the Caritas Somalia Director said that the Catholic humanitarian agency is facing a financial hurdle in its attempt to reach as many affected people as possible.
“Caritas Somalia, with its reduced forces, has always stood and continues to stand by the Somali population. As you can imagine there are many needs, but unfortunately funds are lacking,” Ms. Rached said about the Catholic entity that officially joined the global confederation of Catholic relief agencies, Caritas Internationalis (CI), in 1983.
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Ms. Rached who, in the interview with ACI Africa, recognized the support she receives in her service from the Local Ordinary of Djibouti who doubles as the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu in Somalia, Bishop Giorgio Bertin, highlighted the initiatives of Caritas Somalia that are underway.
In addition to the distribution of food rations, Caritas Somalia intends to build latrines in some IDPs camps, distribute dignity kits to women, and distribute tents and mosquito nets to the new IDPs families, she said.
The Caritas official said that the Catholic humanitarian agency is targeting remote and hard-to-access regions in the Horn of Africa nation in its revamped fight against the growing humanitarian situation in the country.
“Caritas Somalia, in agreement with the Somali government, the various UN agencies and the different partners, will intervene in the most affected areas and are not easily reachable by other organizations due to lack of security,” Ms. Rached told ACI Africa August 19.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.