The BBC World Service has launched radio broadcasts for inhabitants of the Horn of Africa affected by famine and drought.
Gurmad (meaning “rescue”) is a daily, 15-minute program from BBC Somali meant to spread advice, practical information and news bulletins to displaced residents and those who have stayed home.
The target audience consists primarily of refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen, Mogadishu and Somalia. BBC Somali was chosen for the news outlet as most groups affected are Somali-speakers.
Topics of information include access to food aid and health services, safety while traveling and advice concerning nutrition, water, sanitation and legal matters.
“We have been covering the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa since it started to unfold, and our reporters were overwhelmed with questions and suggestions on relief aid – or lack of it,” stated Editor of BBC Somali Yusuf Garaad Omar in a press release. “We hope that timely, up-to-date information, provided by experts, about issues these people are facing every day, will help them survive this crisis.”
Broadcasts are available via shortwave and BBC FM relays across the Horn of Africa, as well as rebroadcasts through partner stations Star FM (Kenya), Shabelle FM (Mogadishu, Somalia) and private Somali network SBC.