Rosmah launches humanitarian mission to Somalia

PUTRAJAYA: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the prime minister, yesterday launched a mission to bring food, clothing and medicines to famine-hit Somalia.

The Humanitarian Mission to Somalia is organised by the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti), of which Rosmah is president, and the Putera 1Malaysia Club.

The organisers have collected RM1.95 million in donations in just two days, Rosmah said, adding that Bakti gave RM200,000 and the rest came from the Mah Seng Group, Maybank, Tabung Haji, Seni Jaya and CIMB Bank.

“AirAsia and MAS have agreed to help transport the relief supplies to Somalia.

I hope other entities will also come forward with assistance,” she said at the launch of the mission at Seri Perdana, here.

Also present were Putera 1Malaysia Club president Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and president of the State of Udubland of Somalia, Ibrahim Abdullahi Addo.

Rosmah said the mission was estimated to cost US$2.1 million (about RM6 million).

She quoted reports as saying that famine had struck 3.7 million people in Somalia and that 2.8 million more faced the risk of death unless they received food soon.

“It is most saddening that the worst affected are children, who lack nutritious food, as well as women and the elderly.

“It is even more heart-wrenching to learn that the circumference of wrists are measured to determine who among the children should be given aid first due to the shortage of supply,” she said.

Rosmah said members of the Putera 1Malaysia Club and an observer team would leave for Somalia first to report back on the security situation and, if it was safe, a team of Bakti members would also go there.

The seven-member observer team, led by former Malaysian ambassador to Libya Mohd Zulkephli Mohd Nor, left for Somalia earlier yesterday, she added.

Rosmah said a 60-member group comprising 40 medical specialists, journalists and volunteers, led by Abdul Azeez, would leave for Somalia on Sunday. — Bernama

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