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ICRC Airlifts Aid to Somali Flood Victims


As the heavy rains and floods continue in the Horn of Africa, so do humanitarian efforts to help those who’ve been displaced.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is part of those efforts and is conducting air drops over hard hit areas of Somalia.

Nicole Engelbrecht is a spokesperson for the ICRC. From Nairobi, she spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about relief efforts in Somalia.

“Today we started an airlift operation and we’re distributing tarpaulins to more than 300,000 people in the worst affected areas. And we also started delivering water, drinking water, because it sounds ironic, but in spite of the floods, the people in Somalia don’t have access to drinking water. So, we started that last week to about 45,000 people in one of the worst affected towns, which is called Beletweyne in southern Somalia.”

She says other hard hit areas include juba, Gedo and Hiiraan regions, as well as the middle and lower Shabelle Valley.

The ICRC seeks permission from the local authorities in Somalia before conducting the airlifts.

Weather experts say the rains are expected to continue into December. Engelbrecht says, “We’re hoping of course that won’t be the case, because if that is the case this is likely to become a catastrophe.”

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