Somalia and Gaza will miss Eid celebrations

It is crucial that people in these areas receive the maximum support and help

A woman attends to her malnourished child outside their makeshift shelter at a temporary camp
Image Credit: Reuters | A woman attends to her malnourished child outside their makeshift shelter at a temporary camp in the Hodan district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.

Gulf News | Aug 28, 2011

As millions of Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate the joys of Eid Al Fitr, a couple of areas will miss out on these celebrations. The people in Gaza and the Horn of Africa will not be part of the celebrations — not by choice but by circumstance. Hence, it is important that they receive the maximum support and help that they need.

The facts and figures on the situation in the Horn of Africa are shocking and striking. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that the number of people affected by the food shortages has increased from 10 million to 12.4 million. In addition, children are gravely affected by the situation with about 2.3 million acutely malnourished according to the Unicef.

The situation is in fact bleak, as Unicef says that more than half a million of those children face the risk of death if immediate intervention is not pursued. There is no doubt that the drought seen in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia is the worst that these countries have faced in 60 years. And the prediction is that this situation will not improve any time soon — rather the drought conditions for the next months will take a turn for the worse.

The situation in Gaza is also miserable as Palestinians face daily challenges with their attempts to go on with daily life that is as normal as it could be. But how can this be possible when Israel continues with its iron-fisted rule? Israel conducts on-and-off attacks on Gaza and Palestinians are left to accept living with the minimum of the basic needs that they require. The Eid celebrations will undoubtedly fall very short of being a celebration in full for all Muslims.

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