Food Crisis Hits Horn of Africa

 
$55,262
$19,738
Raised
Remaining
Aug 22, 2011

Visiting Mogadishu's Overcrowded Hospitals

Somali mother. Photo by Cassandra Nelson
Somali mother. Photo by Cassandra Nelson

I've spent the last few days with Mercy Corps' emergency team in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, where drought, famine and disease are taking a devastating toll. In more than a decade of responding to many natural and man-made disasters with Mercy Corps, the situation in Mogadishu is truly the worst humanitarian crisis I've ever seen.

Hospitals are overcrowded. Displacement camps are filled with thousands of people. Families have walked for days to find a way to keep their malnourished children alive, and now the hospital is full of mothers sitting with their malnourished babies on scraps of cardboard because there are no beds or chairs to be found.

It's hard to look at such scenes, but it's important to show the world what's happening in Somalia. Thursday night I appeared on CBS Evening News to talk about what I saw and the courageous mothers I met – click here to watch it.

The segment includes my footage from a hospital we visited, where I met Halima, the mother of seven-month-old Abdulrahman. Halima's family lost all their cows and goats to the drought, and so they recently came to Mogadishu in search of food.

Little Abdulrahman is weak and much too small for his age. He's suffering from severe acute malnutrition and watery diarrhea, a symptom of cholera. Halima and her eldest daughter have been at the hospital for several days getting treatment for the baby boy.

When I returned a day later, I found Halima still holding tight to Abdulrahman.

"He is getting better," she told me with determination in her voice. "He will survive."

I believe her. It may be hard to fathom that such strength can exist during famine, but I've seen it in countless women like Halima. They are determined to save their children.

Our staff is working hard to get aid to families in Mogadishu as quickly as possible. Because of you and your generous donation, I know we can help people in Somalia survive this famine. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Cassandra Nelson
Mercy Corps

P.S. Click here to learn more about Mercy Corps' response to the dire situation.
Overcrowded hospital in Mogadishu. Photo by Nelson
Overcrowded hospital in Mogadishu. Photo by Nelson

Links:

Comments:

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?
Support another project run by Mercy Corps that needs your help, such as:

Organization

Mercy Corps

Portland, OR, United States
http://www.mercycorps.org

Project Leader

Carlene Deits

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?