Inside an IDP camp: Food Relief

The needs in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camp in Mohammed Morge, just outside of Hargeisa, are extreme. The camp was established due to the drought in Somaliland. Officially the camp has 1600 families. There are 5-7 people per family of which 4-5 of these members are children under the age of 15. Most often the inhabitants are thus elderly, widowed, or children. The camp is growing with more than 100 new families arriving per month. The major needs in the camp are food, clean water, shelter, proper sanitation, and medicine. 

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The camp has a functional committee that has registered themselves as a CBO (Community Based Organization) with the Somaliland government. It is divided in groups of 20 families with leaders that were appointed by the groups themselves. There is a makeshift clinic with a nurse from Southern Somalia volunteering her services. Some small kiosks have been opened, a small vegetable market exists, and there are some places that sell water. Some of the inhabitants who are strong 
enough go to Hargeisa to beg or look for jobs. 

LIFE International (with the help of donors) gave 1500 14kg boxes of MannaPack Rice to the camp. The LIFE International team went to the camp and distributed the 1500 food coupons door-to-door to the inhabitants of the camp. We gave a box for every food coupon received. Although there has been a bit of insecurity caused by the large crowd of people, the day proceeded as planned and the distribution was successfully completed. Some ‘mamas’ cried for joy while many of them were not even able to carry their own boxes. One lady even collapsed due to hunger. 

 Khadija is a 60-year-old Somalilander who has lost her husband a couple of years ago. She has 10 children. “I pray to Allah for help each day. I have nothing and am only begging for my daily bread! This is the first food I have for more than a month,” she said while kissing my hand (as a sign of appreciation). 

Khadija is a 60-year-old Somalilander who has lost her husband a couple of years ago. She has 10 children. “I pray to Allah for help each day. I have nothing and am only begging for my daily bread! This is the first food I have for more than a month,” she said while kissing my hand (as a sign of appreciation). 

 Sulecha Ismael is barely 20-years-old and already a mother of two. Her husband (30 years old) is with her in the camp and jobless. They fled the fighting in Mogadishu and now she moves from house to house, looking for some washing to do. Life is difficult with her two small children. Many  times they have to go to bed hungry. She appreciated the Manna rice very much!

Sulecha Ismael is barely 20-years-old and already a mother of two. Her husband (30 years old) is with her in the camp and jobless. They fled the fighting in Mogadishu and now she moves from house to house, looking for some washing to do. Life is difficult with her two small children. Many 
times they have to go to bed hungry. She appreciated the Manna rice very much!

 Habiba clung to to her box of food as she agreed to talk to us. She never took her hand off the box during the  interview, as if it is her only possession. She is a 70-year-old from a rural area in Somaliland. There are 5 of her children with her in the camp. She also has a child in the hospital. The pain in her face tells the story of her 3 children and husband who have died. She has been in the camp for the last 5 months and this is the first relief food she has received!    

Habiba clung to to her box of food as she agreed to talk to us. She never took her hand off the box during the 
interview, as if it is her only possession. She is a 70-year-old from a rural area in Somaliland. There are 5 of her children with her in the camp. She also has a child in the hospital. The pain in her face tells the story of her 3 children and husband who have died. She has been in the camp for the last 5 months and this is the first relief food she has received!