Survival In No Man’s land: Our International Relief Director’s Report from Somalia.

Oftentimes when one door closes another one opens. In our case, when flooding prevented CHRF’s International Relief Director from overseeing food distribution in Ethiopia he immediately bought more supplies and personally delivered thousands of pounds of food to starving children and refugees in Somalia.
Because of a brutal and long lasting civil war, not to mention a terrible drought, BBC reports hundreds of thousands of children and their families are fleeing their homes to seek shelter elsewhere. Without any police, military or government to keep things under control reports show that chaos is breaking out in many areas where violence is occurring rapidly and young women and girls are being raped and abused.

Why wouldn’t these refugee people flee to a safe refugee camp? Because there are none to go to that are not already over flooding with thousands of families in desperate need. Instead thousands of people are being forced to walk through miles and miles of desert in order to make it to a safe place away from all of the fighting.

Because these people have left their homes, their jobs and most of their possessions they have no source of finding or buying food. Their situation has forced them to be completely dependant on relief agencies like CHRF to help them eat. Thousands of children are horribly malnourished and not getting the proper care they need in order to live.

In order to deliver much needed aid, life saving meals and to find out how we can help our International Emergency Relief Director traveled to Somalia. Below is his journal from the trip from which he has just returned…

“Wake up at 5 AM, shower, coffee, some more coffee, grab backpack and head off to the airport to meet my team (five people, 3 Ethiopians and 2 Somalis as our guides). Have booked seats on a plane to an area that I have not been to but heard much about. I don’t know what to expect or what we’ll see but I’m looking forward to this new experience, new people, new challenges and to see how we can make a difference in this area.

Two vehicles are waiting for us as the plane touches down. Within minutes we are speeding away down the road (with a crazy New York City Cab Driver) to what looks like the middle of nowhere.

"This is her reality, sleeping in the open, in the dirt."


There’s a piece of rope across the road and a guy with an AK47 stops us.
Apparently he is looking for weapon smugglers. We stop and get out, and I look around. It’s a village with 2 or 3 buildings, a woman is lying in the dirt sleeping. This is her reality, sleeping in the open, in the dirt. “What if this was me?” I think to myself……the wind is howling and it’s dusty. Can’t help but think how far from home this is.

The more I look, the more malnourished children I come across. I get this
sick feeling in my stomach again. I had expected the usual refugee type
situation, but this seems more serious with so many children suffering from
severe malnourishment.

This is Anfa Omer, severely malnourished and in need of urgent help.

Not only are children suffering, adults are starving as well.

This woman is in her late 30's and is in a serious state of poor health, she needs urgent attention.

As we drive on I see some refugee type shelters and tents scattered across the land. I ask the driver stop, I want to see how these people are living and what condition the children are in. I walk around, the kids are in a terrible situation. As with most refugee situations there is little hygiene or cleanliness, no running water or ablutions, this looks bad to me. A young boy has some skin disease and is crying on and off, he is struggling. There is no clinic around, nowhere for him or his parents to go for help, this
looks pretty hopeless to me.

I want to find out more about this area, the people, their needs and the solutions.

This is 17 year old Johar with Khadra her 1 year old daughter who weighs 13lbs, this child is severely malnourished. (her head was out of proportion to her body).

I could go on and on, child after child, but I have seen enough, I know I
need to do something quickly to save lives in the short term and come up
with something sustainable in the long term if we are to make a meaningful
difference and save lives.

Another Child In Need of Urgent Help.

We may not be able to save all the children, but we certainly can save some of these precious lives.”

To learn how to help please visit http://www.chrf.org

About Children's Hunger Relief Fund

Est. 1975
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