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Concern continues work in Somalia

Violent clashes in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, led to approximately 340,000 people being displaced. Although fighting has ceased and some people have started to return, the situation is very unclear.  The people displaced are without food or shelter and the distribution of aid has been difficult.

An estimated 1,300 people have died since the beginning of April, due to what some say is the worst fighting in Mogadishu in 15 years. Intense fighting erupted between forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and their Ethiopian allies against opposition forces drawn from the Hawiye clan, fighters from the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) and others.

Thousands displaced

This recent violence marks the most intense phase of the current Somali conflict which has rumbled on since early this year. Since February, an estimated 340,000 people have been displaced by the violence in Mogadishu and medical facilities in the city have been overwhelmed.  Many people are stranded in the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions and further afield with little or no accommodation, food or water.  A few thousand are camped near the Kenyan border to the south, which is, however, closed.

Most of those displaced by the violence have no food or shelter. With the imminent onset of the “Gu” rains, the plight of these displaced people has taken on a new urgency, with cholera already occurring.

Concern’s work in Somalia

The security situation in southern Somalia has made the provision of aid very difficult. With the support of Irish Aid, Concern was able to distribute shelter and cooking equipment to around 3,500 families (approx. 17,000 people), at a cost of €390,000.

Concern has been working in Somalia since 1986. Despite the relative insecurity, Concern has managed to make a real impact on the lives of poor Somalis through long term development programmes. Concern is now working with more than 200,000 people in Somalia.

The work of Concern and its Somali partner organisations includes helping to provide clean water and irrigation in rural communities, assisting in the education of 10,000 children in Mogadishu and neighbouring Lower Shabelle Region, HIV and AIDS awareness raising, and a small youth project. Concern is also helping to provide nutritional assistance to severely malnourished children.