President of the Somali Red Crescent Society has expressed gratitude to Iran for Tehran’s significant contribution of humanitarian aid to the famine-stricken African nation, Press TV reports.
“[We are here] to express our appreciation and thanks to the Iranian Red Crescent for the assistance they have provided for the Somali people,” Ahmad Mohammad Hassan told Press TV after a meeting with the president of the Iranian Red Crescent Society in Tehran.
Hassan added that, “They (Iranian Red Crescent) played a major role in controlling hunger and famine. They were among the first ones to come to Somalia to provide this humanitarian assistance such as food, shelter and medical assistance.”
The UN declared famine in Somalia last July owing to the worst drought in decades. Hundreds of thousands of people fled to the refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia and the Somali capital Mogadishu in search of food.
The Iranian Red Crescent Society is now planning to start a new phase of activities in Somalia.
“I think healthcare is the most needed thing there at the moment. It is also important for us to enable people to help themselves and to help create jobs for them. This is one of the general policies of the Islamic Republic,” Abdolhassan Faqih President of the Iranian Red Crescent Society told Press TV.
Iran’s Red Crescent Society currently has a permanent medical center and five makeshift clinics in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, where Iranian physicians provide treatment for the people.
East African countries, including Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, have experienced a crippling drought over the last year, but the crisis turned into famine only in Somalia, where aid groups have reduced access due to persisting violence between government forces and al-Shabab forces.
Somalia has been without a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The Iranian Red Crescent Society has expressed hope that the upcoming elections in Somalia would lead to the establishment of a government, which can provide enough security and make the job easier for all aid organizations in the African country.
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