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Cholera in Mogadishu: Oxfam Airlifts 47 Tonnes of Supplies

Aid group boosts its effort across Somalia as crisis deepens.

International agency Oxfam is airlifting 47 tonnes of vital water supply and hygiene materials to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, as the aid community scales up its effort to bring relief to the drought-stricken country. The first flight will leave Nairobi Thursday morning (local time), with two more to follow on Friday, and is part of Oxfam’s efforts to control the outbreak of cholera and reduce public health risks in highly-populated camps. In total three flights will ferry the aid.

The airlift will include water tanks and pipes to set up water points across the capital city, as well as soap bars and12,000 jerry cans for people to store and carry water. There is sufficient aid to reach over 120,000 people.

Oxfam partner organization Hijra, which operates in Mogadishu and the outskirts of the capital, has seen an increase in cholera cases. Hijra staff report that cases affecting women and children are on the rise. The organisation has started a cholera prevention programme reaching 20,000 people in three camps. The work includes distributing oral rehydration salts and soap as well as a public information campaign on ways to reduce risk of infection.

“Clean water and soap are vital to help prevent a public health crisis, as people weakened by hunger are particularly at risk of disease. With the recent cholera outbreak in Mogadishu, this assistance will save lives. Despite the many challenges of operating in Somalia, Oxfam has years of experience working with partners there to reach people in need,” said Adan Kabelo, Associate Country Director for Oxfam in Somalia.

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Oxfam partners operate across the country, and are running the largest public health program in Somalia, providing clean water to 250,000 displaced Somalis in camps outside Mogadishu. Oxfam’s partner agencies also operate one of the largest therapeutic feeding programs for children and mothers, feeding 3,000 severely malnourished children every week.

Across the country, 3.7 million people—nearly half of the Somali population—are now in crisis, two-thirds of whom reside in the south. Oxfam aims to scale-up its programs to reach 1.4 million people within the next few months.

Oxfam has been working in Somalia for over 20 years. The agency, which operates in partnership with local aid organisations, has so far helped over 850,000 in South Somalia, including Mogadishu.
To donate to Oxfam’s Horn of Africa response visit www.oxfam.org.nz or call 0800 400 666.


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A briefing note on the Horn of Africa food crisis can be found at http://oxf.am/4gm

Oxfam has been working in Somalia for over 20 years. The agency, which operates in partnership with local aid organisations, has so far helped over 850,000 in South Somalia, including Mogadishu.
To donate to Oxfam’s Horn of Africa response visit www.oxfam.org.nz or call 0800 400 666.


ENDS

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