Right now, we are facing a shortage of individuals or families who can mentor and guide Somalian refugees as they settle in this new environment.
Extreme famine has resulted in 2 million displaces individuals and 6.4 million people facing starvation. The millions of people are in dire need of emergency humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, humanitarian agencies are faced with serious challenges in accessing these populations due to insecurity, restrictions imposed by parties to continuing conflict, and targeted attacks on aid workers.
The government also banned most nongovernmental organizations and all UN agencies.
There is virtually no infrastructure in many parts of the country due to the ongoing civil war. This affects the ability of a community to access clean water. With only 34% of individuals having access to sanitation services, many individuals are subject to unsanitary living conditions and the spread of preventable diseases.
According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy of a Somalia individual is 53 years, and the average expectancy of an individual to live a healthy life is only 45 years. This is due to a lack of access to health care services and adequate sanitation. Most adults die of preventable and treatable infectious disease. Upon birth, only 9% of women are attended to by a healthcare professional in any definition. Maternal, neonatal and nutritional deaths account for approximately 18,000 deaths across both genders every year.
Aside from deplorable and dire living conditions, hundreds of civilians are killed in indiscriminate attacks by the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab. Military operations against Al-Shabab, at times in violation of the laws of war, result in deaths, injuries and the displacement of civilians across the country. For example, a bomb-laden truck in central Mogadishu killed at least 358 people. This resulted in the deadliest single attack in the country’s history.
The government and militia forces have also recruited and used children in military operations. Al-Shabab increasingly focused on schools to indoctrinate children. Military courts have also prosecuted and sentenced children to heavy penalties in trials that do not meet international juvenile justice standards.
After facing dire living conditions, limited assistance, exploitations, abuses, indiscriminate killings, forced evictions, and sexual violence, they need your help.
Here in Calgary, we are looking for highly compassionate and dedicated individuals who are willing to help these people navigate life in Calgary. If you have the time to spend only a few hours with these families every week, we need your help.
To volunteer or for more information contact: Beata Lutaba at firstname.lastname@example.org | 403. 290.5752
Photo Credit: S. Gulec