If there are other children that are not necessarily malnourished but may well still be hungry, do mothers share the Plumpy’Nut with other children?
Yes, absolutely. We think that whatever we give to this mother for the malnourished child that she will keep it for that child, but she has a bigger responsibility and has choices to make. Choices like yes this child needs it, but also this one – and if you don’t assist him now, he will also be in a similar situation as the severely malnourished child.
Sometimes the Plumpy’Nut becomes the only food available for the children, for all other children. And yes, so it happens in IDP settings when a mother decides to go and register the malnourished children at different agencies with the idea to get maybe sometimes more Plumpy’Nut for other children. However, when cash comes in, and when we prioritise the mothers with severely malnourished children with cash, that’s where it helps. She can keep that Plumpy’Nut for the severely malnourished child, and then she has something for the rest of the family.
Have you ever met any children who’ve made a good recovery because of the Plumpy’Nut, who you’ve maybe met when they were malnourished, and seen a couple of months down the line when they’re recovered? Can you share your experience of that and tell us how it makes you feel?
Seeing a child who has recovered from malnutrition is really the greatest joy and motivation to me, as someone who has been in the humanitarian sector for many, many years.
A child smiling, gaining weight - and not just at the centre but also you see the child in the the IDP camps there, and that child playing with other children, that really certainly is what has kept me going over the years, and being a humanitarian worker from the early 90s. The difference is there, it’s nothing like that first day when I saw the child, the day that they are given a screen and their case is closed, and they’re back with the rest of the family. That’s an impact really, that’s a very positive impact, and that’s when you say it has been worth doing or taking all those risks over the months to continue providing the services for those people.
If someone was considering donating to Concern’s work in Somalia, what would you say to them?
I know the people are suffering in Ukraine, but human suffering is a human suffering, whether it’s Ukraine or in Africa, or in Somalia. I think there are enough resources to assist people suffering in all corners of the world.
People’s support has made a big difference in Somalia already, whether it’s the lifesaving treatment or long term funding for a serious table of programmes there, and I can say that that generosity has saved millions of people previously.
Thank you so much Abdi Rashid!