Iran to send 2nd aid convoy to Somalia
Somali refugees walk to a reception center in Baley settlement near the Ifo extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 27, 2011.
Iran says it plans to dispatch a second humanitarian aid convoy to Somalia to help the starving people in the crisis-hit East African country.
Head of Iran's Red Crescent Society (IRCS) Abolhassan Faqih announced the news on Wednesday, saying the aid cargo, including food and sanitation materials, would be sent to Somalia in a week, IRNA reported.
"The first ship of Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran's humanitarian aid, which included 60 tons of food and medical supplies to help the impoverished people of Somalia, was sent to the country's capital [of Mogadishu] in Farvardin (21 March-20 April) and has been distributed," Faqih said.
The Iranian official noted that the IRCS has contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross and other similar relief organizations in other countries, and that the group cooperates and shares expertise with foreign agencies.
More than 1.5 million Somalis have been internally displaced by a tug of war among the armed factions in the African country, which has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of the country's former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children's Fund has suspended airlifting food to Somalia's drought-affected regions due to “logistical” problems.
This comes as more than a dozen children died of hunger at Hwadag's refugee camp in the northern district of Mogadishu earlier this week, reports say.
Millions of people are in dire need of emergency aid due to the prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa, hit by the worst drought in 60 years.