AmeriCares Emergency Aid Shipment Headed for Somalia

Aug 02, 2011, 15:53 ET from AmeriCares

Medicines and supplies to aid 15,000 malnourished children and adults

STAMFORD, Conn., Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AmeriCares first emergency shipment for the famine in Somalia is on its way to Mogadishu where thousands of starving children and adults are arriving daily in search of food, clean water and shelter. The shipment, which departed from AmeriCares Amsterdam warehouse today, contains enough basic medicines and supplies to treat 15,000 malnourished patients at risk of dying from preventable diseases. The medical aid will be used in health care clinics and by mobile medical teams treating the swelling refugee population in and around the capital city, which is estimated at around 100,000 and growing every day.

AmeriCares is coordinating the distribution of this lifesaving aid through a Mogadishu-based partner that has worked in Somalia for nearly 20 years and operates 21 health care clinics in the southern and south central regions of the country. A second medical aid shipment is planned for the coming weeks.

"One out of every three people in Somalia is suffering from acute malnutrition, which weakens their immune systems and dramatically increases their risk of contracting disease," said AmeriCares SVP of Global Programs Christoph Gorder. "With tens of thousands of people crowded into squalid, unsanitary conditions, disease can spread like wildfire. By providing antibiotics that fight infections and other basic medicines and supplies, AmeriCares will save countless lives."

The United Nations recently declared a famine in parts of Somalia, where 70 percent of the population is in crisis due to one of the worst droughts in decades and an escalating political conflict. AmeriCares has established an Africa Disaster Relief Fund to help direct critical resources to Somalia and the surrounding region.

AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty in Africa and around the world for nearly 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. AmeriCares has provided $11.5 million in aid to Somalia since 1988, including more than $3 million in medicines, nutritional supplements, and vitamins during the last major drought and food crisis in 2008 and 2009.

For more information, or to donate, go to or call 1(800) 486-HELP.

About AmeriCares

AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $10 billion in humanitarian aid to 147 countries.  

Donna Porstner (203) 658-9579

Leslie Gianelli (203) 658-9692

SOURCE AmeriCares