Church Sends Assistance to Somalia
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“Church Sends Assistance to Somalia,” Ensign, Apr. 1993, 75

Church Sends Assistance to Somalia

The Church continues to send food and clothing to starving people in Somalia and other areas of Africa. To date, assistance has included one million pounds of staple foods sent to eleven refugee camps in Kenya. In addition, more than 250,000 pounds of clothing have been sent as part of the relief, and money has been donated to help develop the agricultural programs in several areas.

“The problem is huge,” explained Isaac Ferguson, director of international welfare and humanitarian service for the Church. “We wanted to make sure that what we did would be effective.”

The Church distributes supplies through InterAid, an organization that focuses primarily on providing supplemental nutrition to children and nursing mothers.

Grain and milk for children up to five years old and for nursing mothers are sent to Somalian refugees in Kenya, as well as further down the eastern coast of Africa to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“The children are brought to the centers every day by their families,” explained Brother Ferguson, who spent some time touring the various refugee camps. “They are given hot cereal—a gruel made up of wheat or cornmeal, vegetable oil, skim milk powder, and a little sugar. The Church is providing all the ingredients for this food.

“It’s amazing to see the difference this nutrition makes,” he continued. “Within a week, the children are happier and more energetic, and within three weeks, they are almost robust, with bright eyes and smiles.”

The money earmarked for development was used to purchase seed, fertilizer, and farm implements and to rehabilitate water sources and build earthen dams for water storage. The money will hopefully strengthen self-sufficiency in the community and help prepare for future food needs.

The Church will continue to monitor conditions in the region and assist in meeting future needs.