SOMALIA: DISABLED PEOPLE AND COVID-19 UPDATE
Somalia’s Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) grieves the loss of five Somali citizens who were individuals with disabilities in Mogadishu Somalia. With a great loss, the individuals (3 Male and 2 Female) who died from typical COVID-19 symptoms in Mogadishu from 16 March-25 April 2020 they were among the most vulnerable groups of the community in Somalia who could not have access to better healthcare services during this COVID-19 crisis due to their disability status. PWDs face disability-based discrimination, which is exacerbated in situations of crisis, and when it intersects with other factors, such as poverty, gender or age. SODEN is deeply concerned about the continued deterioration of the psychosocial and socio-economic wellbeing of Somalis with disabilities.
Somalia, a country of more than three decades of conflicts and anarchy with state-building and recovery efforts, is among the countries that is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other nations around the globe, this COVID-19 has affected the already poor health system and jeopardized the economics of the Somali people. PWDs are among the most vulnerable and poor people in Somalia who adopt typical coping strategies in time of crisis and with this COVID-19 epidemic, the life of every citizen with disability matters. Regardless of wealth, religion, culture, ethnicity, race, political affiliate, or disability, the virus is a threat to everyone. SODEN appeals to the private sectors, government, international development partners to assist the poor and vulnerable groups of the population, in particular, PWDs during this difficult time.
In conclusion, Muslims in Somalia like any other Muslims around the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan with this COVID-19 pandemic. As shopping remains crucial during the period of the month and families stock up on food that includes snacks, fruits, and juices required for the daily iftar to break the fast at sunset, PWDs remain the neediest members of the communities. SODEN, as a representative organization of the people living with disabilities (PWDs) in Somalia, is appealing to all with any kind of support and assistance to the PWDs during these difficult times.
Mohamed Farah – Chairperson
Mogadishu port Rd, Hamarjajab, Mogadishu-Somalia