United Arab Emirate donates food to 5000 Somalis.

A young boy carries away a box of food from a food distribution center in Afgoye, Somalia, on August 4th. The U.A.E Red Crescent gave out food aid as part of a program they are conducting during the month of Ramadan. Over 5,000 IDPs were given food during the NGO's trip to Afgoye, which was aided in part my AMISOM forces. AU UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES.

Sunday 5, ARBISKA, Somalia – The sleepy Somalia farming township of Arbiska along the busy Mogadishu-Afgoye main road suddenly woke up to life on Sunday when heavily guarded trucks carrying 1.5 tons of food aid rolled into the town as a huge crowd of beneficiaries waited in long queues at an open field to receive the food aid donated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Red Crescent organization.

African Union peacekeepers from Uganda with the help of Somalia National Army (SNA) had a hard time controlling the mammoth crowd. After a thorough security screening, the 5000 beneficiaries were given a green ration card and each of them received 30 kilogram bag containing rice, sugar, wheat flour, cooking oil and spaghetti.

Head of UAE Aid in Somalia Abdulhalim Suleiman said that they have distributed over 700 tons of food to some 23,500 Somalis since the onset of the Holy month of Ramadan. He said the food is a donation from His Majesty the King of the United Arab Emirate H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE king owns a citrus farm in the agricultural town of Afgoye, 30 km west of the Somali capital Mogadishu.

“This donation is from the Red Crescent Society of the United Arab Emirates under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Said Abdulhalim Suleimnan, the head of UAE Aid to Somalia.

“This Ramadan we have distributed over 23,500 Ramadan packages… The distributions took place around Mogadishu and today we have gone beyond Mogadishu and we are in Afgoye. Our target today is to reach 5,000 Somali families. This is a donation to the Somali people. Peace be upon you all,” Suleiman added, speaking in Arabic.

WOLRD’S MOST POPULOUS IDP CAMP

 Two woman help another through a hedge of cactii at a food distribution center in Afgoye, Somalia, on August 4. The U.A.E Red Crescent gave out food aid as part of a program they are conducting during the month of Ramadan. Over 5,000 IDPs were given food during the NGO's trip to Afgoye, which was aided in part my AMISOM forces. AU UN IST PHOTO / TOBIN JONES.

The food distribution in Arbiska town attracted people of all walks of life in Arbiska town. Elderly women and men as well as children. Even the physically handicapped were not left behind.

Dahira Mohamed Abdi, a 29 year old disabled mother of 5 children on a wheelchair was among those who received the food aid. She said that their maize plantation has not yielded much harvest and that they were barely surviving depending on handouts from friends and family. She thanked the UAE the relief food.

“We came here because we have no food. We heard that the United Arab Emirates are distributing food. Thank God, they gave us food. We are very grateful. We haven’t received any food for a long time. We live here without any relief food. We are poor and we cannot afford anything. We don’t have houses or shelter. May Allah reward those who helped us. Thank you so much,” She said while clutching to a heavy box containing the food aid ration she received.

Located 13 km west of the capital Mogadishu, Arbiska is a small farming village that is along the busy Mogadishu-Afgoye corridor that at some point housed the worlds’ most populous Internally Displaced Camps (IDP’s) with over half a million people who fled the Mogadishu conflict living in squalid camps stretching for a few kilometers.

As a result of the newfound relative peace in Mogadishu, the IDP camps are deserted as majority of the people have returned back to their homes and businesses in Mogadishu following improved security as a result of the subsequent Al-Shabaab retreat from the Somali sea-side city on August 6, 2011.

Credit: Guled Mohamed

  • John Kirui

    A really touching article Mr. Gulled. Congratulations to UAE for the unwavering support to the Somali people. It is a good show that should be replicated by other great nations. To share with those in need is a nobble call to the society. Thumbs up.