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Somalis Need Food, Water, Shelter, Medicine - Says CARE

Relief operations are underway in Somalia where last week’s tsunami killed hundreds of people and left tens of thousands others homeless. The international aid organization CARE is working closely with the UN World Food Program to help the survivors.

Daw Mohamed is CARE’s food security coordinator for Somalia. From Nairobi, he told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua that before the tsunami, Somalia was already in a difficult situation. He says, “before this disaster, tsunami disaster, (there were) a couple of other disasters before this one. There was about a year drought and then just in November there was a flood, which affected especially the nomadic communities.”

He says there was a “triple effect” on those who already had a fragile livelihood. He says this must be put into “context of a country that had been in war over 14 years you can imagine the impact or the effect of any shock like a tsunami on these communities.”

Besides food, the other immediate needs for Somalis are water, shelter and medicine. Even basic household utensils are needed because so much was washed away by the powerful wave. Mr. Mohamed says relief operations are hampered by the lack of a functioning government within the country and a lack of infrastructure.