Palm dates, goat meat, milk powder, biscuits, sugar and tea have been distributed to 5,600 detainees in 26 places of detention in Somalia to help them observe the month of Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide, who typically fast during the day. It’s a month to remember the less privileged in the society and extend acts of kindness to them. For the ICRC the gesture is symbolic and is meant to ensure detainees are not forgotten during this important period in the Islamic calendar.

“Like the rest of the Horn of Africa, Somalia has been hard-hit by the drought putting the country on the verge of a possible famine. In these circumstances, the few food items distributed are even more important as they contribute to improve the ordinary diet of the detainees. Detaining authorities are also appreciative of this additional support as they face numerous challenges in running these detention places in a country largely affected by conflict and violence,” said Dalila Romdhane, who is supervising ICRC detention activities in Somalia.

ICRC officials distributing food in one of the detention facilities. © ICRC/Anisa Dahir

A detainee in one of the prisons said, “We receive food from the ICRC in Somalia each year during Ramadan and it helps us observe the fast.”

Visits to places of detention are a fundamental part of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross around the world. Detainees must receive humane and dignified treatment throughout their time in detention, and families must at all times be aware of the fate of their relatives and have the chance to be in contact and visit them.

Ramadan this year is observed from approximately May 27 to June 25.



See photos of ICRC visiting detainees in Somalia.

Watch how the ICRC works to achieve dignity in detention.