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The world must not tire of aiding Somalia

Thursday, July 19, 2012

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Governments, individuals and aid organisations must bridge the gap of Dh2b required in funds

While it may seem that sometimes — no matter what we do — the suffering never ends, the world cannot give up trying to help the sick and starving in Somalia, and other countries, who are battling political instability and natural disasters.

Although the famine in the east African country was declared over in February, dire conditions remain, with the threat of a new drought and continued conflict.

United Nations humanitarian officials, who operate in what is reported as one of the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers, have said that while mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have improved dramatically, they remain among the highest in the world. It is estimated that a fifth of all children under five are acutely malnourished.

Aid workers estimate there is a shortage of about Dh2 billion in the aid that is required. Governments, individuals and aid organisations must step in to bridge this gap.

They will also be serving their own interests by giving the people of Somalia hope of a chance at a better future. Religious fundamentalists, who have been at the heart of the continuing conflict in the country, have thrived because of the poverty. The lawlessness has also resulted in the emergence of the pirate groups that have made the sea lanes around the horn of Africa unsafe.

This can truly be a case of helping ourselves, by helping others.


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