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The scale of human suffering currently engulfing drought-stricken Somalia is almost indescribable.Drought and hunger are slow-motion calamities that, with adequate planning and sufficient resources, can be averted.Humanitarian organizations like mine have always operated with limited human and financial resources, and have been expected to do more with less.Local actors are best positioned to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized members of any community.Worse, there is little dedicated support available for helping local organizations grow and mature.In Somalia, for example, the Somali Red Crescent Society has established dozens of mobile health clinics capable of serving some of the country's most vulnerable populations.Best of all, when such emergencies abate, local capacity remains. Thanks to funding and training offered by my organization and others, the Somali Red Crescent will provide, on a continuing basis, maternal and child health support, vaccination programs, outpatient clinics and other forms of community-based health care. This is just one example of the positive role that local humanitarian actors can play when fully empowered.
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