Local donations begin for Somali famine

Victoria's branch of Red Cross helping Somali families

  • Jul. 29, 2011 1:00 p.m.

When the United Nations declared famine in Somalia, the Victoria branch of the Canadian Red Cross began receiving calls from people asking to make individual donations.

On July 20, the UN declared a famine in two regions of southern Somalia, following the worst drought in decades.

The organization declares famine when malnutrition rates among children exceed 30 per cent, more than two people per 10,000 die daily, and people are unable to access food and other necessities.

At the time of the declaration of famine, the UN reported acute malnutrition in the regions to exceed 30 per cent, with death of children under five years old exceeding six per 10,000 in some areas.

While no local groups have come forward to organize a Red Cross-sponsored fundraising event to support relief efforts, people can donate online any time at www.redcross.ca and specify which campaign they’d like to support.

Anyone seeking Red Cross sponsorship for an event can contact 250-382-2043.

nnorth@saanichnews.com