Our work in Somalia

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Our work in Somalia

Concern Worldwide began working in Somalia in 1986, responding to emergencies caused by drought, flooding, conflict and food shortages. We continue to respond to emergencies as they arise and we also run long-term resilience-building programmes focused on nutrition, health, education, WASH and livelihoods.

Deepening food crisis

A combination of climate change, irregular rainfall patterns, and conflict have contributed to the deteriorating food crisis in Somalia. The majority of the country is stressed in terms of food security, and a lack of rainfall has resulted in deaths of livestock, extinguished water sources and the absence of milk – the staple for nutrition. It is estimated that 6.2 million people, more than half the country’s population, are in need of urgent food assistance.

Our emergency response

Our experienced team on the ground in Somalia and Somaliland has an emergency response underway providing cash transfers, clean water and treating children who are malnourished.

Since the beginning of January, we have provided cash transfers to over 14,000 families so they can buy the food they urgently need. This cash transfer is being done using mobile money transfers, with sim-cards being distributed to families who don’t have telephone numbers.The Somali Cash Consortium, of which Concern is a member will shortly be publishing a report on the spending patterns of households who have received cash transfers.

We are also providing emergency water supplies to those in urgent need. In Baidoa we’re providing water to over 16,000 individuals and supply water to two hospitals. We’re trucking water to 10 villages in Somaliland and have expanded water trucking from 15 to 47 locations in Gedo.

We are continuing to expand our emergency response through outpatient therapeutic and supplementary feeding programmes at six nutrition clinics.

A young girl drinks water trucked into Somaliland by Concern Worldwide.

In 2011, east Africa had two consecutive below-average rainfalls, resulting in one of the worst droughts in 60 years. This led to a declaration of famine in six regions of Somalia, which affected around 4.8 million people. At the height of the emergency, around 750,000 people were thought to be at imminent risk of starvation in Somalia.

With support from our donors, DFID, ECHO and Irish Aid, we continue to work with our partners to alleviate suffering, build resilience and avoid the scale of devastation reached in 2011.

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Development work

We also carry out longer-term development work which focuses on building resilience of communities through improving livelihoods opportunities and income, water facilities, nutrition, primary education.

Access to water

We are currently providing clean water and sanitation services to those people most in need. This helps prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

Tackling malnutrition

An estimated 363,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished and it is one of the leading causes of child deaths in Somalia. We are working hard to tackle malnutrition, delivering lifesaving nutritional programmes in four regions of south-central Somalia. This includes identifying and treating malnutrition, providing nutrient supplements and de-worming medication, and malaria testing.

A young boy watches animals drink water trucked into a drought stricken area of Somaliland by Concern Worldwide.

Improving education

Much of our work in education has focused on improving school facilities, including rehabilitating classrooms, latrines and playgrounds. More than 13,400 children – 43% of which were girls – have been educated through these efforts. We are providing training courses and ongoing mentoring support for teachers and Community Education Committees, and providing teaching aid and recreational materials. We support both formal primary schools as well as Emergency Education Centres, which are safe, child-friendly learning environments for children from displaced families who would otherwise be unable to access the formal school system.

Enhancing livelihoods

If people can earn a living, they are in a better position to lift themselves out of poverty. This is what we try to do. We do this by training farmers on water conservation techniques and improved farming methods in rural areas, as well as establishing and building capacity of women’s Self Help Groups, and creating vocational training opportunities for urban youth.

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