In Somalia the end of July marked the start of Ramadan – the holiest month for the country’s Muslims. During this month there will be fasting every day, as Somalis make the sacrifice to neither eat nor drink during the daylight hours.
However, as the country continues to endure a food crisis, many of its most vulnerable residents are left wondering if they will have enough food for Iftar, which is the traditional breaking of the fast in the evening.
“We wish very much to return to our village in Afgooye for Ramadan,” said Rahma Ahmed, a displaced mother from Ceelasha. “We don’t want to be here during the holy month.”
Due to recent conflict in the Afgooye Corridor outside Mogadishu, many Somalis who lived there fled to Mogadishu for safety.
“At home we would have food and friends for Iftar. Here we have nothing, and must depend on assistance from others,” Rahma said. “In Ceelasha we were lucky – with extra planning we could share food under a tent. Now we have neither a tent, nor food to share.”
During the holy month of Ramadan, Oxfam partner HIJRA has been working with partners to make a special distribution to displaced families of welfare items – clothing, soaps and other basic essentials. Other agencies in the area are tasked with food distributions.
Additional programs implemented through Oxfam’s partnership with HIJRA include clean water/sanitation, and direct cash relief. Other Oxfam supported programs in Somalia include livelihoods, agricultural support, and a therapeutic feeding program.