Somalia is currently an area of armed conflict, an identifier that sadly has not changed for years. The country struggles with both internal issues that divide the nation, such as competing clans and separatist states, as well as external factors like the presence of violent extremist organizations (VEO) and meddling regional powers that compete for power and influence in the Horn of Africa. On a daily basis, the federal government of Somalia fights for legitimacy and to provide safety and security for the Somali people: necessities if Somalia is to become a stable and secure nation. Of all the roadblocks to progress, the presence of al Shabaab is the most destructive. For this reason, the US has partnered with the Somali military and African Union forces to help stop those at the root of the conflict. Much of the instability and fighting centers around the nation’s capital, Mogadishu, and in the southern part of the country along the Somali-Kenyan border.
It is in this southern area that a Special Operations team identified a dire need that, if fulfilled, will improve the health and daily lives of displaced people across the region. In the area surrounding Kismayo, there are thousands of displaced people forced to leave their homes as a result of drought, famine, and war. These people – the true victims of Somalia’s struggles – live in squalor and are exposed to the elements in every sense. One consequence of this existence is mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever and malaria. It is these illnesses that often tip the scale in a delicate balancing act that is life in Somalia. It was this serious issue and its deadly consequences that led a US Special Operations team to identify the need for mosquito nets.
With the provision of mosquito nets, these vulnerable and marginalized people have a better chance of remaining healthy and one day returning home. Avoiding illness while maintaining the ability to work is the only way for people to survive in this harsh environment. Mosquito nets will not only help preserve the health of a population, but also build positive relationships between security forces and the people. This donation will serve as proof that the Government of Somalia cares about its people and is both capable and competent – directly countering al Shabaab’s claims and propaganda.
With your generous support, Somali lives will be saved and the security of the nation will be enhanced, bringing hope to this vulnerable and displaced population.