Thank you for your support of Merlin's Emergency Response to the East Africa Food Crisis. You will read in this and other Updates, that with your support our work is making a difference and we are saving lives.
Sadly, another food crisis is developing in the west of Africa, in the Sahel Region, that spreads across six countries, including Chad, where Merlin has sent an emergency health and nutrition team - if you want to read more and show your support, please go to http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sahel-west-africa-food-crisis-emergency/
Merlin has established strong links with local authorities, communities and the Ministry of Health in the areas of South Central and Puntland, where we work. This has enabled our teams to operate efficiently and effectively in an extremely volatile environment.
Seasonal rains (despite making minor improvements to drought conditions) have impeded relief efforts. Heavy downpours caused delays in the delivery of food, vaccinations and medical supplies, as many roads became impassable. Additionally, stagnant water and localized flooding increased the potential for the spread of waterborne illnesses.
Merlin’s Activities (July ’11 to Jan ’12)
Improving access to health services
Improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malnutrition
Improving water quality and hygiene and sanitation awareness
Strengthening local resilience for faster response to future crises
Insecurity remains the single biggest issue facing Merlin’s response across Somalia, in particular in Galgaduud. In November 2011, Al-Shabaab, the controlling militant group, banned 16 aid agencies, including UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), from southern and central Somalia - the regions where drought and famine conditions are most acute. This led to limited stock and access difficulties leading to a delay in providing nutritional and medical supplies.
Merlin has developed good relationships with the local authorities and communities, and our work is accepted, provided local laws and customs are respected. Merlin is, and will continue to be, open with the authorities and respectful of their culture to ensure that we can continue to operate.
Long term impact
Merlin routinely works with the Ministry of Health through existing health structures to support and strengthen the capacity in-country to deliver quality health services. Merlin’s programs are designed to provide long-term sustainable solutions to health care provision. Therefore, in addition to emergency response activities, Merlin is focused on helping Somalia recover from the crisis by strengthening local capacity in a sustainable way through the rehabilitation of health facilities and water supplies, educating communities in health-seeking behavior, training local staff and building community resilience to cope with future disasters.
Once again, thank you for supporting Merlin's work.
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