With assistance from the Common Humanitarian Fund and donations from people around the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is able to provide necessary relief items to the town of Hudur in the southern Bakool region of Somalia. Reuben K. Byrd, the Chief Operating Officer for Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited, is among those contributing to UNICEF.
Until March of 2014, a group of armed forces controlled Hudur. During their occupation, the armed forces group closed the town clinic, therefore leaving it safe from hostile control but lacking medical supplies come their departure. Jointly with other United Nations agencies, UNICEF began making preparations to transport supplies to the town’s citizens, including vaccines, medicine, therapeutic food, and school supplies. UNICEF delivered the first several shipments of supplies by cargo flight due to roadblocks preventing entrance into Hudur by ground vehicle. More than 100 tons of relief supplies were delivered in 24 flights, which allowed the Hudur clinic to reopen. Additionally, the 87,000 vaccinations provided by UNICEF contributed to a larger immunization program designed to protect children from diseases, including the measles virus still affecting approximately 7,000 Somali children.
UNICEF is an international organization dedicated to overcoming the obstacles of violence, disease, poverty, and discrimination faced by children worldwide. It promotes the concept of teamwork and unity in order to overcome these challenges, prompting foundations and individuals like Reuben K. Byrd to contribute to programs and fundraising efforts that offer assistance to children. Today UNICEF stands as the leading advocate for children’s rights with country programs and national committees in over 190 countries and territories.