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Update from Mogadishu

Somalia, September 8, 2011

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Mercy Corps staff  </span>
    As of Sept. 7, we're trucking clean water to three tent camps in Mogadishu, reaching more than 13,000 people every day. Photo: Mercy Corps staff
  • 
  <span class="field-credit">
    Mercy Corps staff  </span>
    As of Sept. 7, we're trucking clean water to three tent camps in Mogadishu, reaching more than 13,000 people every day. Photo: Mercy Corps staff

I just returned from Mogadishu, where we're trucking clean water to three tent camps in Mogadishu, reaching more than 13,000 people every day.

We're also working to distribute food vouchers to 1,000 families to buy meat to supplement handouts of grain, and household items such as blankets and cookware to another 2,000 families. Many of these families have received nothing since they arrived in Mogadishu in search of relief from the drought.

We've also formed and trained 30 people to serve on a safety committee in one of the camps where there's been widespread reports of sexual attacks on women and girls. These healthcare providers, community elders and others -- half of whom are women -- have been trained on ways to maximize safety and report crimes.

There are more than 225 distinct displaced-persons camps in Mogadishu, according to the UN. The majority of these families live in deplorable conditions with severely reduced access to security, food, water, shelter and other essential items.

Despite the huge presence of international actors, most of the displaced people in Mogadishu remain badly in need of support in food, water and shelter. Cholera has been confirmed in some camps.

In the coming days, we'll scale up current operations to reach additional beneficiaries in the camps where we're working, and begin hygiene and sanitation awareness campaigns to stem the spread of disease.