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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Somalia: A Job Well Done, But Also Only Partly Done


The United Nations has officially declared the famine in Somalia to be over. For our part, we are reflecting on our food distributions in ‘Zone K’ refugee camp in Mogadishu with gratitude toward how smooth the process was, and humility when we consider how many more people need food acutely.

Since the crisis hit we have been able to distribute flour, oil, sugar, maize, and rice to hundreds and hundreds of families on multiple occasions. Each distribution was designed to provide a family with enough food for two months. We purchased the food locally. We feel confident that our donors’ generosity was maximized as we got the best price for the food purchased by accepting multiple bids from different suppliers. We collaborated with elders in the camps who were able to direct us to the most needy families. The distributions were calm; a spirit of gratitude and community respect prevailed. All in all, our aid plan in Zone K was executed as well as we could have possibly hoped.

But the reality is that despite yesterday’s job well done and the declarations of the UN, people are still pouring into these refugee camps. The reality is that 13 million people have been affected by this drought—a nearly unimaginable figure. The need has outstripped the aid. This sobers us and presses us to continue doing what we can to help.

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