[Dehai-WN] Trust.org: Food Security Situation Deteriorating in Somaliland; International Medical Corps Teams Delivering Emergency Nutrition Relief in Sool & Sanaag Regions

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From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Wed Aug 24 2011 - 17:50:36 EDT

Food Security Situation Deteriorating in Somaliland; International Medical
Corps Teams Delivering Emergency Nutrition Relief in Sool & Sanaag Regions

24 Aug 2011 19:23

Source: member // Jaya Vadlamudi - Senior Communications Officer,
International Medical Corps

August 24, 2011 - Los Angeles, Calif. - With famine already affecting five
zones of southern Somalia, the food security situation in many areas of
Somaliland - the autonomous, generally more stable region to the north - has
now reached critical levels and is rapidly deteriorating. Having worked
since 1991 in the region, International Medical Corps teams on-the-ground
are already reaching severely malnourished people with lifesaving nutrition
interventions in Somaliland as well as within Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
East Africa has experienced two consecutive dry rainy seasons which has
caused extensive crop failure, high livestock mortality and skyrocketing
food prices. Coupled with ongoing conflict in Somalia, a humanitarian crisis
has unfolded in the region, with the UN reporting more than 390,000 children
at risk of starvation.

With support from UNICEF, International Medical Corps is implementing an
emergency nutrition program in the Sool and Sanaag regions of Somaliland to
mitigate the effects of drought and improve the nutritional status of
children under the age of five. Through six Outpatient Therapy (OTP) sites
and four outreach teams covering areas where there are no static OTP sites,
International Medical Corps is reaching severely malnourished children with
nutrition screenings, supplementary feedings of nutrient-dense foods, and
medications. The program also includes health and nutrition education that
emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding and healthy hygiene and
sanitation practices.

International Medical Corps teams have delivered nutrition supplies
including ready-to-use foods and nutrition equipment such as height boards
and weighing scales to local health centers in Somaliland. Trainings were
also conducted for Ministry of Health staff on community mobilization,
nutrition screening, micronutrient supplementation, vaccination and
referrals. In addition, community health workers were trained on management
of acute malnutrition and identification and referral of severe acute
malnutrition; community nutrition workers were trained on community
management of acute malnutrition; and health care providers and volunteers
were trained on provision of nutrition education. As a result, International
Medical Corps-supported sites screened a total 10,356 children for
malnutrition in the region and admitted 630 children with severe acute
malnutrition to the OTP program since its inception in May. International
Medical Corps is also preparing to launch nutrition and
water/sanitation/hygiene programs in Galgaduud region in Somalia.

As thousands of Somalis are fleeing across borders in search of food, water
and other basic necessities, International Medical Corps is also providing a
multi-faceted response throughout East Africa. Near Dolo Ado in the Somali
Region of Ethiopia, more than 118,500 Somalis are seeking shelter and basic
resources in refugee camps.

In Kobe camp, a UNHCR assessment has found death rates have reached alarming
levels among new arrivals with an average of 10 children under the age of
five dying each day.

International Medical Corps, in partnership with the Ethiopian Government's
Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), has scaled up
supplementary feeding services for malnourished people, including the
provision of nutrient-dense therapeutic foods. To date, approximately 5,000
children and pregnant and lactating women have undergone nutritional
screening and were referred to the appropriate level of therapeutic care.

International Medical Corps teams also constructed 136 latrines/washrooms
with 200 more planned and have launched a hygiene campaign to thwart the
spread of communicable disease in the overcrowded camps. Following reports
of suspected cases of measles, measles messaging is being integrated into
community outreach work at Kobe to ensure children exhibiting related
symptoms are referred to local health clinics for further support.

At Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya, a part of the Dadaab Complex which is
today the largest refugee camp in the world, International Medical Corps is
also preparing to implement a health post with nutrition services and a
maternity center.


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