Catholic Entity in Somalia Triples Stabilization Centers to Address Malnutrition

Credit: Trócaire

The leadership of the overseas development agency of the Catholic Bishops of Ireland, Trócaire, has said that the entity has tripled stabilization centers in Somalia’s Gedo region since the beginning of the year in view of addressing the challenge of malnutrition.

In an interview with RTÉ radio 1 published Thursday, August 4, Trócaire Somalia Country Director, Paul Healy, attributed malnutrition to the effects of climate change, including a prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa country.

“On malnutrition, we have thousands of people coming up every month; our stabilization Center for malnutrition across Gedo has tripled in numbers from what we had at the beginning of the year,” Mr. Healy told RTÉ radio 1.

He said that those admitted to the centers are treated for severe acute malnutrition and other health complications, adding, “We take them in for a number of weeks and try to ensure that they have adequately recovered.”

The Director of the Irish Catholic entity said that besides the families of those admitted being given “food baskets so that they can get through this period”, Trócaire also tries to address the underlying root causes of malnutrition.


The challenge of malnutrition and other issues that the people of God in Somalia are facing might not end soon, Mr. Healy said during the radio interviews, adding that the crisis may extend up to 2023 and beyond due to the expected 5th season of poor rain.

In a July 11 report, Mr. Healy was quoted saying that despite the world focusing on the “dreadful crisis in Ukraine”, what was happening “in Somalia and the Horn of Africa” needed not be overlooked.

“Severe malnutrition has taken hold in Somalia and it will get much worse in the coming months unless urgent action is taken,” the official of Trócaire said.

In the interview with RTÉ radio that was published August 4, Mr. Healy made reference to his own experience in Somalia, saying, “I have been watching this for over two decades now and I have seen an incremental decrease in the predictability of rains, long drought seasons, severe flooding and all are precipitated by the impact of climate change.”

He recalled an incident where a family lost a child on the way to Boyle’s IDP camp and that the family had to bury the child by the roadside and continue with the journey.

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“I can’t simply imagine the suffering of the mothers seeing that child die on the road,” Trócaire Somalia Country Director said.

At the moment, he said, “we are addressing a quarter million people in south central Somalia in the Gedo region who have been living there for 30 years but have lost everything.”

He explained, “3 million livestock gone, half of the population at the edge of starvation, the prices of commodities have gone up due to global economic factors, the situation is actually desperate and there has never been a drought like this for 70 years.”

In the interview with RTÉ radio 1, Mr. Healy expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Irish government and said that the humanitarian response to the crisis in Somalia is about 30 percent, adding that there is a “huge need for more support.”

He added, “The Irish public has never forgotten us; the historic memory of famine is still with us in Ireland and we cry out for financial support to be able to address the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly children in our stabilization centers with basic things such as food.”


Mr. Healy added in reference to the refugees, “They arrive in IDP camps with literally nothing except the clothes in their bags.”

“Hopefully, the global community will pay attention at this stage as there has not been enough attention in the past years,” he told RTÉ radio 1.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.