You might have thought the seemingly endless conflict for control of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, would mean it is a place best avoided if you can help it.
But for tens of thousands of Somalis hit by drought and now the threat of widespread famine, that danger is eclipsed by a glimmer of hope – an escape from the hunger.
“With this drought we were hungry at home – no water no food; so we decided to leave the village and head to a camp,” said mother-of-five Safia Ali Noor, who caught a lift on the back of a truck for the more than 200km- (125 mile-) journey to Mogadishu.
One of several camps for internally displaced people in Mogadishu, it lies just 400m from the front line in the conflict between pro-government forces and the Islamist, al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, al-Shabab.
Bullets sometimes hit the camp during cross-fire.
It is protected by soldiers from the transition government – whose uniforms are as diverse as their ages.
One 13 year old held his AK47 assault rifle tightly as he sat in the back of a 4×4.
At the camp’s therapeutic feeding centre you get a picture of just how deep the crisis is.
Twenty years of war followed by prolonged drought have taken their toll.
In the rubble of a once grand but now destroyed home, women queue up cradling their babies.
Well over 1,000 children have been registered as malnourished in this camp in just nine days.
Aid agencies are trying to rescue them, offering the peanut-based Plumpy’nut therapeutic food as well as medicine and vaccines.
“We really need to have enough supplies to provide for these children,” said Rozanne Chorlton, Somalia representative for the UN children’s agency.
“We need vaccinations and supplementary food; we need clean water and sanitation facilities. Of course fundamentally we need food,” she said.
“Many children are getting here too late; many are being referred to the hospital stabilisation centre but those children are already in a very, very bad condition.”
If ever there was a better example of the need for peace and the example set by the UN International Day of Peace this is it!! Here at Springboard’s Peace Day Campaign we will be seeing what we can do to somehow help with this crisis and urge you to do what you can for your fellow human beings.