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Zaman International funding brings relief to communities in Somalia, Palestine

Relief projects funded by Zaman International to provide safe drinking water in Somalia and psychosocial support in Palestine have helped nearly 20,000 people, according to progress reports issued by International Medical Corps.

Zaman last year provided International Medical Corps with $16,000 to rehabilitate four wells used for drinking water by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Kismayo, Somalia, and nearly $2,500 to support its mental health and psychosocial support emergency response program in Gaza. According to International Medical Corps’ status reports on these initiatives, roughly 4,000 individuals (some 600 households) have gained consistent access to safe water from the Kismayo wells. With the support of Zaman International and other donors, nearly 17,000 children and adults in Gaza have benefited from post-violence counseling and family-centered interventions.

Severe flooding in 2014 caused thousands of IDPs in Kismayo to seek refuge in IDP camps, after which some 60% of IDP households lacked access to safe water. Existing nearby wells were not always serviceable or adequately protected, and more reliable water sources were a two- or three-hour return trip on foot, discouraging women and girls from fetching water for fear of their safety. Zaman’s $16,000 donation allowed International Medical Corps to rehabilitate shallow wells in four IDP camps and to train community representatives from the camps to maintain, manage, and ensure responsible use of them. International Medical Corps reported that the rehabilitation has reduced the two-hour wait to use the wells to just 10 minutes and greatly reduced the risk of water contamination and injury to children from falls.

In summer 2014, nearly two months of heavy aerial and navy bombardment throughout Gaza killed 2,310 Palestinians and injured another 11,000, constituting the deadliest hostilities in Gaza since 1967. Exposure to violence and loss of homes, livelihoods, material belongings and community and social support networks left the Gazan population at acute risk of mental health challenges, which International Medical Corps addressed through a comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support emergency response program.

With funding from Zaman and other donors, International Medical Corps trained 115 child care workers and community volunteers in Gaza in psychological first aid for children and classroom-based interventions using healing activities such as drawing and playing. Following UNICEF Guidelines for Child-Friendly Spaces, it implemented age-appropriate recreational activities for nearly 9,000 children and conducted workshops for nearly 8,000 parents on stress management, self-care, child-supportive parenting, and peer-to-peer support. International Medical Corps also distributed non-food item kits to more than 5,000 households participating in the mother/father support sessions and implemented programming to safeguard the physical and mental well-being of staff on the ground.

Since 2007, Zaman International has given more than $200,000 to support International Medical Corps’ humanitarian relief programs in Somalia & Somaliland, Lebanon, Kenya, Pakistan, Haiti, and Gaza. These projects have benefitted more than 325,000 people.

“Zaman is incredibly pleased with the outcome of its most recent collaborations with International Medical Corps in Somalia and Palestine,” said CEO Najah Bazzy. “We are honored to continue our longtime partnership with International Medical Corps and we share its commitment to bringing afflicted communities from relief to self-reliance. International Medical Corps’ experience, cultivation of diverse partnerships, and resolve to recruit and train staff within the communities they serve are among the many reasons they are successful and a great choice for investing our donors’ designated aid dollars.”

For more information on Zaman’s international activities, visit www.zamaninternational.org.