The BBC World Service has launched special radio broadcasts on its Somalia service aimed at helping those affected by the famine in the Horn of Africa.
According to a release, the daily 15 minute programmes, called Gurmad (Rescue), feature news bulletins offering practical information and expert advice “to help people to make informed decisions that may help them survive the famine”.
The editor of BBC Somali, Yusuf Garaad Omar, said while the broadcaster has been covering the humanitarian crisis its reporters have been “overwhelmed” with questions on relief aid.
“So we decided to devote a special programme to address these issues, and as a majority of those affected are Somali-speakers, it was also obvious that BBC Somali is the right channel to reach these people.
“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. We will do our best to maintain the supply of such knowledge to all those who are in need of it.”
It pleases me to no end to know that someone at the BBC World Service acknowledges that shortwave radio is still the most effective way to reach those who live in the most rural and impoverished parts of our globe.