Somalia (MNN) — At least 13 people have been killed in
fierce street battles in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, after violent clashes
broke out between armed insurgents and government forces, who are backed by
Ethiopian troops. This is only causing even more trouble for a country that's
been plagued with disasters in the last few months.
World Vision's Rien Paulsen says they've been working there
since 1992. Paulsen says the latest violence coupled with the drought and the most recent flooding has caused widespread need.
"More than one million people were affected by the
drought. Then very quickly after that we had some 500,000 people directly
affected by the flooding. So, the numbers are large, but the good news in all
of this is we have opportunities to provide assistance," says Paulsen.
According to Paulsen, World Vision was forced to leave the
country temporarily in December when the transitional government came into
power. Will this renewed violence impact there work? Paulsen says, "It
really is difficult, if not impossible to speculate on what's going to happen. I would say though that we were able to
reestablish access fairly quickly after we had to leave. We've been able to respond
to people's needs right now."
They share God's love as they're helping.
The needs are great, but World Vision isn't able to help
those in need without your financial assistance. Paulsen says your financial
support helps them provide, "Medical care, we provide basic medicines. Our
key focus now is really is on helping people
re-establishing their livelihoods. And, a lot of the people we're supporting
are farmers by background."
Paulsen says they also need prayers because working in this
area is dangerous. World Vision has 400 staff members in Somalia, 340 are
While problems abound, Paulsen says, "We're committed
to Somalia. The needs are great. World Vision's mission — we're motivated by
our faith to respond to need wherever it exists. And, Somalia is certainly a
priority country for us."