A child dies of hunger every six minutes in Somalia as the Horn of Africa battles its worst famine in history.
The UAE has been among the most prominent respondents to the crisis, going a long way to gather and dispatch donations even as Somali militants and warlords make it distressingly difficult to convey the aid to their famished countrymen.
In a renewed effort to intensify its fund-raising campaign for the devastated Somalis, the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has launched a three-day telethon that shall feature on national TV to bring to attention the harrowing plight of the famine-hit region.
Suqyahum- Quenching their thirst
Announcing the initiative in a public statement on Tuesday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Public and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC), stated that the 90-minute telethon is being conducted under the directives of the President, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Aptly titled ?Suqyahum?, which translates as ?Quenching their thirst?, the program will air daily till Friday on Abu Dhabi TV between 9.30 to 11pm, which will communicate with various media entities to provide coverage to the event.
The program will feature prominent actors and singers besides RCA officials, clerics and humanitarian experts in order to bring attention to the pressing need for action for the humanitarian crisis that has already claimed the lives of 29,000 children.
Sharjah telethon raised Dhs. 30 mn
This event comes after a similar one-day long telethon jointly conducted by the Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah charity which raised an appreciable Dhs. 30 million in merely four-and-a-half-hours, highlighting the immense potential of such events in reaching out to the public.
The donations from the RCA telethon shall be shipped off to Somalia along with 400,000 tonnes of relief supplies which include food, medicine, clothing and blankets. Currently, the RCA is operating 159 relief camps In Somalia.
Pressing need for help
The UN has estimated that at least $2.5 billion in relief aid will be required to help alleviate the sufferings of some 165 million people that have been afflicted with the famine and drought. However, it had, as of the beginning of August, only been able to salvage about half of that amount in donations from its member nations, signifying the immense dearth of support for the crisis.
There are several channels through which one may reach out to the hunger-stricken victims in the Horn of Africa.
To donate to the Sharjah Charity Association for the Relief of Somalia and the Horn of Africa:
– Dubai Islamic Bank 001520508480601
– Sharjah Islamic Bank 0030466666006
To donate to the Mohammed bin Rashid Charity:
– Dubai Islamic Bank 6066666
For Etisalat subscribers:
– Send SMS to 6212 for a total of AED 20
– Send SMS to 6215 for a total of AED 100
Sources: WAM, UAE Interact, Boocameonline