By Maggie Farrand
Xaliimo Cabdilahi Mohamed considers herself to be a lucky person, even though she is a refugee living in the Hiiraan camp in Garowe, Somalia.
“We fled and left all our belongings because of killings, looting, rape, robbery and hunger in our region,” Cabdilahi Mohamed recalls. “Now, we are living in a peaceful place but we always need your support.”
That support arrived in December, which was sent by Counterpart International with support from Churches of Christ and other individual donors.
More than 7,000 people living in displacement camps in Garowe, located in the Puntland region of northern Somalia, received donated rice, personal hygiene kits and plastic buckets, which were distributed by a long-standing Counterpart partner, Kaalo Relief and Development Organization.
Additionally, Counterpart sent MannaPacks (fortified rice and soy protein meals) through the generous support of Feed My Starving Children and Churches of Christ. The 272,160 servings of MannaPacks will arrive to Garowe at the beginning of March; they will then be distributed to those living in displacement camps by Kaalo Relief and Development Organization.
Last fall, a drought in the Horn of Africa caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya that threatened the livelihood of 13.3 million people, according to the UN.
While the famine has officially ended, millions in the Horn of Africa are still at risk.
The area experienced good rains last fall – double the average of the past 17 years – but according to the director general of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, “There is still a crisis in Somalia that affects 2.34 million people with high risks of malnutrition and insecurity.”