Somalia is currently facing the worst drought in 40 years as 40% of the population are face acute food insecurity.
The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) office in Somalia is providing reproductive health services through two centres in the Middle Shabelle Region, southeastern Somalia.
Qatar’s News Agency (QNA) reported that the health centres provide services to at least 40,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in Somalia’s cities of Baidoa and Balaad.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a mother dies every two hours in Somalia due to pregnancy complications. It also said that eight Somali children below the age of five die every hour as a result of chronic malnourishment.
More displacements have been taking place as people search for food and water as the country grapples with a worsening drought.
QRCS provides the health services through the Baidoa Health Center and Balaad Reproductive Health Center, which were selected following a field assessment.
Work at the Baidoa Health Center started in December last year.
The 418,325 QAR project aims to reduce mortality and morbidity rates in the southeastern region and its neighbouring districts.
The charity organisation, in collaboration with Somalia’s Ministry of Health (MOH), seeks to achieve its goal by providing medical staff, supplies, and services for free.
Some of the services provided by the health centres include maternal and pediatric care. Minor surgeries are also conducted at the facilities, which follow-up with patients who have chronic diseases.
In October last year, QRCS announced another 547,584 QAR project to provide medical services for hundreds of low-income patients in Somalia. This came after Qatar Charity inaugurated a new health centre in Somalia in August.
The centre aimed to help more than 20,000 people in need of medical assistance.
Worst drought in 40 years
Somalia has been living under a worsening drought that has also impacted the rest of the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia and Kenya as there is an absence of rainfall.
Reuters reported last month that Somalia is facing the worst drought in 40 years.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), Somalia is facing the risk of famine, 500,000 people are facing emergency levels of hunger in Kenya, and 7.2 million people in drought-affected areas in Ethiopia barely have food.
The WFP warned that the situation in Somalia could worsen if there is no rainfall or a lack of adequate humanitarian support. It said that some six million people in Somalia, 40% of the population, are currently facing acute food insecurity.
The drought has forced some families to leave their homes in search of food and water in other parts of the country. The UNICEF said in February that 300 families have been displaced by drought since December last year.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also said conflict and insecurity has forced 54,000 people to leave their homes in 2021 alone. More than 2.9 million people are internally displaced.
The OCHA stated that at least 1.4 million children in Somalia under the age of five are at risk of acute malnourishment, including 329,500 who are believed to be severely malnourished.
The 2022 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan aims to gather $1.5 billion to assist 5.5 million of the most vulnerable people in Somalia. To date, $66.7 million have been allocated, making up only 4.6% of the required funding.