Prague Daily Monitor
Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Czech humanitarian group People in Need was caring for perhaps 19,000 people from Somalia at the Ethiopian-Somali border for ten months, coordinator of the Ethiopian projects Jan Faltus told CTK yesterday.
Faltus said the People in Need had been in charge of such a big refugee camp for the first time in its history.
The Somalis were driven from their homes by the worst draught in the past 60 years, military operations and a subsequent famine.
Faltus said since August 2011 the People in Need had provided a complex help, ranging from the deliveries of food and water and basic equipment to some rudimentary education in the difficult desert conditions.
"Never before did we make such a complete administration of such a large refugee camp. It is a unique operation, the biggest of its type since the People in Need was established," Faltus said.
Access to the remote desert and security posed the biggest problems, Faltus said.
"During military operations, our people could not go outside. It was also very difficult to understand the clan system of society," Faltus said.
The help by the People in Need in Ethiopia would have been possible without the collection SOS Somalia, to which Czechs contributed 15.8 million crowns.
The immediate help was made possible by the humanitarian fund of the Club of the Friends of the People in Need that donated two million crowns. Various donors including the Czech Foreign Ministry and the German NGO Welthungerhilfe also contributed to the project.
Thanks to this, the People in Need materialised six food distribution projects.
The People in Need can now ensure food for schoolchildren. Mobile ambulance cars will keep going to the camp and educational programmes of hygiene basics will be held there, Faltus said.