Gift of the Givers’ aid flight delayed

2011-08-05 00:00

LOCALLY based aid organisation Gift of Givers suspended its third humanitarian flight that was due to have left yesterday for Somalia because of what it called “logistic” challenges.

The medical co-ordinator for Gift of the Givers, Dr Yakub Essack, said it had to abandon this flight because of major delays in delivering the food supplement, which is manufactured in Malawi, to Kenya.

“A flight that usually takes us six to seven hours took us 24 hours,” Essack said. The flight will leave tomorrow.

Essack told The Witness the situation is grave and that the organisation’s medical team is working tirelessly.

The team consists of 18 medical practitioners and treats more than 500 patients a day.

“The flight that’s leaving on Saturday will take additional medication and mainly nutritious supplements, canned foods and tents for shelter,” Essack added. He said the team has converted a building into a night-shift clinic for critically ill patients.

Essack said the government is supportive of the aid mission, and Gift of Givers is still waiting to see what kind of funding and material assistance they will provide.

An International Relations and Co-operation Department spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, told The Witness that the government has partnered with the Gift of the Givers and launched a campaign mobilising ordinary citizens and private sector to donate funds for relief.

He said the department has raised R4 million.

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If you want to assist call the Gift of the Givers at 0800 786 911.

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