Ireland's overseas development body has sent emergency supplies to Somalia to help combat the humanitarian crisis that has left nearly half the country facing severe hunger. The aid will be distributed to the most vulnerable people in Gedo in Somalia through Trócaire's aid programme.
Somalia is the world’s most fragile state. Decades of conflict and recurrent drought have forced millions from their homes and driven hunger and malnutrition.
Over six and half million people – almost half the population - are in need of humanitarian assistance.
In September 2017, 75 tonnes of Irish Aid humanitarian supplies made a lengthy journey from the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) hub in Dubai to Dollow in the Gedo Region of Somalia - an area experiencing devastating food insecurity.
The shipment contained tents, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, emergency shelter tool kits, lanterns, hygiene kits, water tanks and jerry cans for up to a thousand Somali families.
Somalia is an extremely dangerous place, and humanitarian staff there face ongoing security threats.
Upon arrival in Kenya, it was decided the shipment of stocks would be separated in to three separate convoys. This was done in order to ensure that the stocks would arrive safely in Somalia.
Almost six weeks after departing the UNHRD hub in Dubai, the Irish Aid stocks finally arrived in Dollow, in the Gedo region of Somalia where Trocáire was on hand to begin distributing the humanitarian supplies immediately.
These supplies will help the most vulnerable families in the Gedo region, including those displaced as result of conflict and insecurity.
Trócaire has a strong, long-established presence in the Gedo region in southern Somalia.
Its humanitarian programme, supported by Irish Aid since 2008, provides health, nutrition and livelihoods support for vulnerable communities in Gedo.
Last year, for example, Irish Aid funding helped Trocaire provide livelihood support to vulnerable women with a history of having their children readmitted to nutrition programmes due to severe acute malnutrition.
In addition to the shipment of humanitarian supplies, Irish Aid has provided almost €6 million in humanitarian assistance to United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) partners on the ground in Somalia in 2017.
Ireland's total support to Somalia since 2012 of over €33.7 million has focused on saving lives, alleviating suffering, building resilience for women and children and increasing timely access to life-saving health, nutrition and livelihood intervention for the Somali people.
Last year alone, Ireland’s support of €3 million to the UN Somalia Common Humanitarian Fund enabled partners to respond to devastating drought in Somaliland and Puntland, to provide essential water, sanitation and hygiene services to effectively respond to a cholera outbreak in Kismayo, and to kick-start the ongoing famine prevention response that has continued in 2017.
In 2017, the government of Ireland has also supported Trócaire's emergency drought response for displaced persons in the Gedo region, World Vision’s cholera response in South Central Somalia, and Oxfam’s emergency food security intervention in the Somaliland autonomous region.