September 27, 2011
SVG Consul opens Somalia Relief Concert

Dr Christopher Stange, Hon. Consul for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to Northern Ireland and Public Relations Officer for the African-Caribbean Support Organisation of Northern Ireland (ACSONI), officially opened the relief concert in Aid of Somalia, on September 9, at the Ohyeah Music Centre, Belfast.{{more}}

The event mobilised the African and Caribbean Diaspora in Northern Ireland, courtesy of ACSONI and the SVG Consulate in Northern Ireland.

Rains have failed for successive years, leaving large parts of the Horn and East Africa region facing the world’s worst food crisis in over 60 years, with Somalia being the worst affected. The United Nations (UN) has officially declared six regions officially famine zones in Somalia, leaving four million Somalis – more than half of the population – in crisis in the drought-stricken country. The UN estimates 750,000 people are now at risk of death in the next four months, if there is not an adequate response.

Dr Stange commented: “Colonialism has divided Somalia for over 150 years without a functioning government since 1991. Today is about helping our brothers and sisters, many whom have already lost virtually everything. May I thank everyone, especially the Caribbean & African Community and its partners, that have rallied here tonight to raise these desperately needed funds to help those with life-saving food and water.”

Other guest speakers included Alfred Abolarin, ACSONI’s Manager and Conall McDevitt MLA – Chairperson of the All Party Group on International Development at the Northern Ireland Parliament.

Music was provided by reggae artist Rassie Ai, Rydimz Platoon Reggae Band, Donna Namukaska Band, Wilson Magwere band and Ashiah and Beyond Natural. All funds raised will go directly to the relief efforts in Somalia.