Dois meses depois da declaração de fome no Chifre da África, o Programa Mundial de Alimentação (PAM), responsável pela distribuição de alimentos nos campos de refugiados, onde atualmente vivem milhares de pessoas, continua seus esforços para acabar com a fome. A Coordenadora de Comunicações da Organização das Nações Unidas falou com exclusividade para a Deutsche Welle.

Emília Casella
Desde primeiro de julho, quando a fome foi declarada na Somalia,  milhares de pessoas continuam a chegar todos os dias aos campos de refugiados instalados na região. As crianças são as maiores vítimas da seca e as que precisam de maiores cuidados. Emília Casella, Coordenadora de Comunicação do Programa Mundial de Alimentos, explica o que acontece quando as famílias chegam aos campos.
“Por exemplo, quando uma família chega ao campo de refugiados de Dadaab, ela é registrada pela Agência das Nações Unidas para os Refugiados. Depois disso, a família recebe alimentos para três semanas, assim como biscoitos com alto valor nutritivo que podem ser comidos na hora”.

Então por três semanas as famílias tem o que comer?

“Sim. E se elas precisarem de mais comida ou se o processo de registro demorar demais eles recebem uma nova porção de alimentos”.

Então as famílias podem ficar nos campos por mais de três semanas?
“Por causa do grande número de refugiados que chegam a Dadaab, como nós vimos as notícias de que 1.300 pessoas estavam chegando todos os dias, e isso continua acontecendo, existe uma grande pressão sobre o sistema de registros. Juntos, os campos de Dadaab formam o maior campo de refugiados hoje no mundo. Então, quando as famílias são oficialmente registradas, elas ganham um cartão para retirar alimentos todos os meses”.

 

O desafio é conseguir alimentos para os próximos seis meses. O Brasil fez sua parte, doou milho e feijão. O transporte foi pago pelos Estados Unidos, no valor de US$14,5 milhões. Os alimentos brasileiros devem chegar em setembro ao Chifre da África
Apesar de todos os esforços, os conflitos entre as milícias e o governo fizeram com que os alimentos deixassem de chegar a algumas áreas da região do Chifre da África.
“Em algumas dessas áreas, algumas organizações humanitárias foram banidas. Nós mesmos do Programa Mundial de Alimentos tivemos que sair do Sul da Somália em janeiro do ano passado por causa de ameaças contra nossos colaboradores. Sem falar nas taxas não-oficiais que quiseram nos impor e também que não empregássemos mulheres na nossa organização. Tudo isso, junto com a insegurança na região tornou nosso trabalho quase impossível. Desde 2008, o Programa Mundial de Alimentos teve 14 agentes mortos na Somália que, provavelmente é o lugar mais perigoso do mundo para se trabalhar”.

Não há previsão para que os trabalhos humanitários terminem no Corno da África. Contudo, Casella aponta para uma situação positiva nesse cenário de fome e falta de esperança no futuro.

“Nós estamos trabalhando em programas de irrigação, programa para um melhor aproveitamento dos recursos naturais. Assim, os agricultores podem se recuperar do choque da seca prolongada. Nós já estávamos desenvolvendo estes projetos antes que a fome fosse declarada. Fizemos isso na Etiópia, em partes do Quênia e Uganda e bem sabemos que nessas áreas a fome não foi declarada. Infelizmente, em algumas partes da Somália, nós não pudemos trabalhar junto com os agricultores do mesmo modo, de forma a ajuda-los a melhorar as técnicas e aumentar a produtividade. E por causa disso, a situação na Somália piorou”.

RB ROMA DW 08-31-11 
The interview’s transcription.
***
Which kind of difficulties WFP has been facing on the food distribution in HOA?
I think the first challenge we have face is simply raise enough money to feed 11 million people, more than 11 million people for the coming 6 months. Our program is aiming to feed people in 5 countries of the HOA: Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Gjibuti. So, it’s a large logistic operation to reach more than 11 million people in 5 countries through a vast area and acquiring food from many parts of the world to bring it to one place. So, these are the biggest challenges we’ve been facing so far. Individually, in certain areas the challenge have been the large influx of people. We are helping, for example, in refugee camps on the board with Ethiopia and also near the boarder inside Kenya, there’s a large camp called Dadaab, its a series of camps in Kenya, actually the largest in the world, almost half million of people are living there, are mostly somalis, and we have a large influx of people arriving to that camp everyday, more than a thousand people. It’s a huge challenge, not just for our organization, but also for UNHCR and all of the charities that are working there trying to provide food, water, medical attention to all of the people arriving.
What about the milicias?
The important thing to realize is that’s a huge challenge in Somalia and Somalia is a country that has been for 2 decades now in a lot of security volatility situation. This drought is affecting people all over the HOA in 5 countries, so I think it’s important that people not forget that this is really affection millions of people in a vast area. Specifically in Somalia, in the Southern areas, there has been difficulties for humanitarian organizations to reach people. In some of these areas some humanitarian organizations have been banned, our own organization polled out of Southern Somalia in january of 2010 because the treats against our staff and the demands to pay unofficial taxes and demands that we employe no women in our organization and, combined these treats and the volatility of area made it very difficult to us to work. WFP has lost 14 staff members since 2008. It’s a very dangerous place to work, probably the most dangerous place in the world. So, this is a challenge, but never the last. WFP is in Somalia we are working in the North and the Central areas, in Mogadiscio and we are doing our best to support the humanitarian effort in whatever areas of the country that where people can be reached.
Is WFP responsible on food distribution at refugee camps?
Yes, for the refugee camps, the ones that are in neighbor countries to Somalia we do supply the food, but it is distributed together with charitable organizations, and also the UNHCR which administers refugee camps. So, it’s a combined effort between a lot of different organizations. But WFP is providing the food, bringing tens of thousands of tons of food to the camps and also the local communities near the camps, the citizens who live in the areas, badly affected by the drought, the lost livestocks, the lost their crops, and they need food assistance too.
Which’s the role of partner organizations?
We couldn’t work without our partner organizations. Not only in the HOA but all over the world. WFP works together with 3.000 NGO’s in the 75 countries that we work worldwide.
Our own organization has about 12.000 employes, more than 90% of then in the field. But that’s only 12.000 people and we are feeding more than 9 million people every year in 75 countries. So we have to work with partner organizations. We delivery the food to the locations and then we work together with local non-governmental organizations, community groups, the red cross and the red crescent, and also even governments that work together with us to distribute the food to the populations.
When the work will end?
We can’t stop droughts. There always going to be, if not in the HOA, elsewhere is gonna be drought. What we can stop is famine. It think that famine is a preventable situation and we are working in fact in countries all over the world, including in the HOA, on sustainable solutions so that farmers can protect their crops and their livestock. We are working in programs for irrigation, programs for better use of resources, so farmers can bounce back from these kind of shocks and, in fact, we’ve already been doing programs in Ethiopia, parts of Kenya, parts of Uganda, and you notice that this areas do not have the famine declaration that has been made in Somalia. Unfortunately, in areas of Somalia we’ve not been able to work with farmers the same way to help then to improve the farmer techniques and improve their productivity. And because of that we really feel this has made the situation in Somalia worst. Where we’ve worked together with the Ethiopian government, the Kenyan government, with the Uganda government on programs designed to help their farmers to be ready when a shock of a drought comes and they still badly affected but they have unreached the famine levels that we see in Somalia. So, its very difficult to say that when we are going to end hunger once for all in the world. The natural disasters? We don’t the ability to stop floods, or droughts or earthquakes or wars, at least our own organization. But we can help people to protect themselves from disasters.
When a family get into the refugee camp what happens there?
For example, when a family arrives to Dadaab camp, in Kenya, they will be registered by UNHCR. Before that process, these people will receive three-week ration of food, as well as a special one-day ration of high energy biscuit fortified with vitamins and minerals. These biscuits don’t have to be cook, so they can eat them right away.
So for 3 weeks they have food?
Yes. And if they need more food or if the registration process takes longer than three weeks then they will receive a renewed ration of food again.
So, they can stay for more than 3 weeks?
Because of the huge in-flux of refugees to Dadaab, we’ve seen reports of 1.300 people arriving a day and this is going on now. So this level of in-flux people is a huge pressure on the registration system for any one camp. Dadaab camps together are the largest refugge camp in the world, so registration can take some time. When they are officially registered as refugees they have a ration card and they get the regular monthly distribution.
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