Red Cross helps reconnect families from Somalia

Topics: Africa, Finding Family
October 10, 2012

Red Cross helps reconnect families from Somalia

People in Canada who have been unable to contact relatives as a result of armed conflict, natural disasters and other incidents may feel like all hope is lost, but with the Restoring Family Links program, the Canadian Red Cross can help reunite families that have been separated.

The tracing service offered by the Red Cross can provide valuable peace of mind for migrants and refugees. By collecting as much personal information as possible, the Canadian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) can begin to locate the whereabouts of a family member who is missing or detained.

The plight of Somalia

In Somalia, the humanitarian crisis stemming from decades of conflict, as well as a drought that began in 2010, have made conditions in the country difficult.

During the course of 2011, the ICRC assisted nearly 2.5 million people in Somalia by distributing food, improving access to clean water, sanitation and basic healthcare services, as well as treating residents injured by weapons with medical supplies and wound-dressing services.

Yet one of the most important services provided by the Red Cross was in the realm of family reunification. More than 16,700 Red Cross Messages were distributed during 2011, while approximately 254 people were located following requests from family members. From August until the end of the year, nearly 38,000 telephone calls were made to relatives in Somalia from outside countries. Of that staggering amount, more than 4,700 were made by minors.

The impact of the Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross has made a significant impact in Somalia. In July 2011, it committed $1 million to relief initiatives for Somalia and Kenya, including programs to provide school meals for children, to improve boreholes, distribute food and transport water via trucking services.

While these vital efforts have improved the quality of life in Somalia, the needs of vulnerable citizens, as well as the tremendous strain of family separation due to the country's history of violence and unrest, remain pronounced.

Making a difference

The Canadian Red Cross strives to bring families together that have been impacted by emergency situations both internationally and domestically. This invaluable service is made possible through the support of generous Canadian donors just like you.

To show your support for the Family Reunification program and to enable millions of vulnerable men, women, children and infants to reconnect worldwide, please click here to make a donation today or visit your local Red Cross office to learn more!