Jesuit Refugee Service Calls for Action for Somali Crisis
Tags: Africa, Jesuit Refugee Service, Somolia
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Eastern Africa Director Jesuit Father Frido Pflueger said the recent emergency meeting of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to discuss ways of alleviating the suffering of more than 11 million people in the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in 60 years was a positive sign, but that “these statements and assessments will be meaningless if not translated into concrete action on the ground.”
The FAO called on states to contribute 300 million dollars for emergency relief over the next three months and a further 1.6 billion dollars over the next 12 months.
“For now, immediate action needs to be taken to make sure those suffering get access to food from where they are. Ethiopia and Kenya have been very generous in hosting hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees but they are clearly overstrained and need support in dealing with their own drought-affected population,” said Fr. Pflueger.
JRS recently announced plans to step up ongoing work for Somalis in Ethiopia and Kenya and set up new services in Dollo Ado, southeastern Ethiopia where 75,000 Somali refugees have arrived since January.
“Efforts to build peace in Somalia have to be stepped up. In the interim, JRS is focusing on mid-term measures, such as specific services that cater for the psychological or educational needs of refugees who unlikely to be able to return home in the near future,” said Pflueger. [www.jrs.net]