11 August 2011
The South African government has committed R8-million to helping people starving in Somalia. R4-million of this will go to disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers, which has already run a temporary clinic in Mogadishu and is preparing for its next trip to the drought-ravaged country.
Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman said the government had responded to the humanitarian crisis confronting Somalia by raising R8-million for its famine relief programme.
Fransman was speaking on Tuesday at Johannesburg’s OR International Airport, where he welcomed a group of Gift of the Givers volunteers who were able to assist over 5 000 Somalis when they set up a temporary clinic in Mogadishu last week.
In acknowledging the work that Gift of the Givers had done both in Somalia and across the world, Fransman said the government will donate R4-million of the R8-million to the organization.
The balance would be donated to other organizations undertaking relief programmes in Somalia.
‘Play your Part’ for Somalia
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in partnership with the International Marketing Council of South Africa, has teamed up with Gift of the Givers to launch the Somalia Relief Campaign, which aims to galvanise South Africans to make donations for relief efforts in the East African country.
According to Fransman, the mass mobilisation campaign will be delivered through multi-channel platforms consisting of print and radio adverts requesting South Africans to “Play their Part” in assisting the people of Somalia by making donations to them through Gift of the Givers.
“We hereby call upon all the people of South Africa across all the sectors – business, civil society, and even ordinary citizens – to support this initiative,” Fransman said.
Imtiaz Sooliman of Gift of the Givers said they planned to return to Somalia as soon as they had reloaded supplies.
“Free planes, tons of food, medicines and cash in millions given. Gift of the Givers prepares delivery of 1 000 tons of aid to Somalia with immediate effect,” Sooliman said on the Gift of the Givers website.
Sooliman said the organisation was in dire need of food items like rice, maize, sugar, salt, oil, beans, canned items, water, dates, dishes, pot sets and toys for the kids in Somalia.
Anyone wanting to donate to the Gift of the Givers for their next mission to Somalia can call 0800 786 911 or visit www.giftofthegivers.org.