An Israeli humanitarian group has sent a delegation to the border of Kenya and
Somalia to aid tens of thousands of locals displaced by the worst drought to
have hit the Horn of Africa in over 60 years.
IsraAID, in partnership
with Operation Blessing International, said on Thursday it had dispatched four
Israeli aid workers to a town near the border between the two countries earlier
in the week.
“Words cannot describe the situation here. I have never seen
anything like it,” said Dana Manor, an experienced aid worker who was in Sri
Lanka after the 2004 tsunami and in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. “We visited
the camps and the overwhelming refugee influx is putting a stress on the
existing infrastructure, people are constantly requesting food, tents
[shelters], access to the schools, and water.”
Mickey Alon, a
professional relief worker and IsraAID team member who just returned from
another IsraAID mission in South Sudan, said he was overwhelmed.
a girl that had been raped three months ago. She is extremely traumatized, but
she cannot go to school because the other kids beat her for getting
She is socially bound and does not go out of her tent.”
team is looking into the possibility of building a school for children at the
refugee camp, the majority of which receive little to no formal education.
IsraAID Director Shachar Zehavi said safety measures were in place to protect
the Israeli team from harm’s way.
The head of the Israeli humanitarian
group, which is supported by the UJA Federations of Greater Toronto, Vancouver,
Montreal and Winnipeg, and UIA Canada, said he wasn’t sure how long the
delegation would stay in the drought-stricken area.
“Every day is
different and developing so we don’t know but our goal is to stay there on a
long term basis,” he said.
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