News / Africa

Aid Agencies Face Conflict, Shortages in Mogadishu

Multimedia

More than 300,000 Somalis are seeking refuge from drought and famine in the capital Mogadishu.  But, because of security problems, many aid agencies have been unable to get help to these vulnerable people.

Hungry and weak, refugees from the drought-stricken areas of south-central Somalia arrive in the capital, Mogadishu.

They will set up their camps anywhere they can find space.  But there are no facilities here, and the city has few resources to provide assistance for the displaced.

This 26-year-old man, who declined to give his name, arrived at the Badbaado camp from the Bakool region.  That area was one of the first to fall into famine.  He was hoping to get help in Mogadishu, but so far, he says, he has received very little.

"There's no food, we are given dry food but it's not enough, we were given one plastic bag. We use that one plastic bag and we sleep on the floor," he said.

While aid agencies are lining up to help, the lack of security is making it too difficult for them to distribute food.

This footage, obtained by VOA, shows looters ransacking a World Food Program delivery of dry food at Badbaado camp this month.  At least five people were killed in the incident, and the U.N. agency has not been back to the camp since.

WFP spokesperson Susannah Nicol says delivering food is not a simple task.

"It's not a case of just dumping food, you can't just dump, you have to target the people who need it," said Nicol.  "It's a very challenging environment [and] the security situation is by no means safe.   So you have to try and ensure as best you can and in the safest manner for people who are actually getting the food, as well as those who need it, to be able to have control systems and to be reaching people through your partners in an organized fashion."

At this feeding center, Badbaado camp's residents receive a simple bowl of rice each day.

Much of the food is being provided by local organizations as well as Islamic aid groups.  Because of their religious affiliation, they have more access than western groups.

Doctor Iftiqar Mohammed is the Director of Islamic Relief in Somalia.  He says western aid agencies should work more closely with those who are actually on the ground.

"[From] my point of view, the coordination is very good at Nairobi level, but here it is lacking," said Mohammed.  "Even though there is coordination mechanism, due to security concerns, it is, you know.  And lack of monitoring - say one partner says we are implementing in this area, what is the mechanism to see whether it is the reality?"

Hundreds of camps have sprung up across the capital in the last few months, even in the ruins of an Italian Cathedral.

Many of the children are sick, and the families have had no contact with any aid agencies.

Hawa arrived here 20 days ago with her five children. They have had little food.  Her youngest child is dying of measles.

"For the sake of God, we're just waiting for assistance from you, the international community," said Hawa.  "There's no other place we're expecting help from."

As conditions at the camp continue to worsen, the displaced people of Mogadishu can only pray that help is on the way.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid