Vodacom and its customers raise R500 000 for Somalia; helps Red Cross feed 10,000 children a day
But urges all South Africans to not become complacent, as this crisis will require a long-term solution
Vodacom has announced a wrap of the Relief for Somalia Fund. The R500 000 raised through Vodacom customer contributions and through Vodacom itself has gone towards the South African Red Cross Society (SARCS), who will use the funds to offer relief for those suffering in Somalia.
However, the crisis in Somalia is far from over and Vodacom urges South Africans to continue to assist and support the various organisations that are spearheading relief programmes in the area.
At the beginning of September, Vodacom created a mobile donations platform to enable its customer base in South Africa to help raise funds for Somalia. It also pledged to match the donations made by its customers and to waive all costs associated with text-based giving.
"We commend our customers for being so conscientious and willing to help those suffering in Somalia, it is really heart-warming to see such generosity and it really will make a difference to the lives of many people in Somalia," says Mthobi Tyamzashe, Executive Director for CSI at Vodacom.
Vodacom customers donated R100 000 and Vodacom itself donated R400 000 towards the fund.
In response to the worsening situation, the Red Cross has considerably stepped up its activities in the central and southern parts of the country to help an additional 1 million people by the end of the year. Part of its activities is the support for therapeutic feeding centres run by the Somali Red Crescent. The centres offer treatment for children under five and other vulnerable people such as pregnant and lactating mothers. Over 10,000 children are currently being treated for severe acute malnutrition
While Vodacom was delighted with the extent of response from South Africans, it still urges other corporates and organisations to support those affected.
"While food distribution is needed to relieve immediate suffering, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement is also focused on providing the affected population in the Horn with the means to sustain their own livelihoods. We welcome the opportunity to enter into dialogue with all concerned humanitarians, including the media, civil society and corporates such as Vodacom, and more importantly to acknowledge their support in ensuring that we as a Movement are investing in long-term adaptations and sustainability of vulnerable, pastoralist populations," said Winnie Ndebele, Acting Secretary General of SARCS.
This is the first famine declared by the United Nations this century.
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