Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Urgent prayers needed for the women and children of Somalia

The following article is taken from Fides News Agency, and it highlights the plight of Somali women and children, especially those living in refugee camps. As if all the suffering they already have to go through (war, famine, crippling poverty etc.) was not enough, Somali women, including young girls, are in danger of being sexually abused. This horrible crime seems to be particularly prevalent at the moment, as the article below will make clear. Please offer fervent prayers for the people of Somalia, and particularly for the protection and safety of Somali women and children. Pray too that the teaching of Christ and His Church may permeate Somalia, teaching a reverence and respect for women and a hatred of sin. To read the article from its original source click here.

"Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - More than a million people still live scattered in Somalis refugee camps, among them women and children who live every day at great risk of violence of all kinds. Forced to flee and abandon their homes due to the armed conflict and drought, they are now facing further trauma of living under threats of violence. A statement by the NGO Amnesty International says that many women live in canvas and plastic tents which do not give any kind of security. Some of the victims are young, among them a 14-year-old girl was recently raped in a camp in Mogadishu while she was recovering from a seizure. Few of these abuses and violence are reported to the police, who still do not start legal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators. According to local sources, the inability or lack of willingness on behalf of Somali authorities to investigate these crimes and bring to justice the perpetrators leaves survivors of sexual violence even more isolated, and contributes to a climate of impunity. According to the Organization of the United Nations, at least 1,700 cases of violence in refugee camps in Somalia were recorded in 2012, of which at least 70% committed by armed men dressed in Government uniforms. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 02/09/2013)"

In more positive news, FAO Somalia ( Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) reports that despite the persistence of acute malnutrition in Somalia, the numbers of Somalis in 'extreme food crisis' has dropped from 4 million in 2011, to 870 000 today, thanks be to God! Various factors, including more than average rainfall and sustained humanitarian efforts have contributed to the decrease in the numbers of those in 'extreme food crisis'. However, more than 2 million Somalis, a third of the population, remain in a 'fragile food security' situation. Pray for an end to hunger and famine in Somalia, and pray that humanitarian efforts may continue unhindered to help the people of Somalia. But pray especially for an end to conflict and violence so that Somalis can return to the fields and grow the food they so desperately need. Click here to read the FAO Somalia article.

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