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Working with the world's poorest people to transform their lives

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Our charity work in Somalia

Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, devastated by poverty, high food prices and recurrent droughts. Concern has been working in Somalia since 1986, responding to emergencies caused by drought, flooding and food shortages. 

We also carry out longer-term development work which focuses on improving water facilities, nutrition, primary education and agriculture.

Devastating drought and famine

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.

Featured video

During the east Africa drought of 2011, former Irish president and UN commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson travelled to the area to visit Concern's livelihoods, water and health programmes. 

Emergency response

We responded to the emergency by delivering food, water and sanitation, shelter and food vouchers to more than 380,000 vulnerable people in Somalia. Last year, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, travelled to east Africa and saw the devastating effects of the drought in Somalia firsthand. Watch the video.

Resilient people

Somalia continues to face problems such as widespread displacement of people and a lack of access to food. Millions of people live without clean water, education or healthcare. 

Latest updates

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

We are also working hard to tackle malnutrition, one of the leading causes of child deaths in Somalia. Last year, we implemented nutrition programmes in four regions, delivering life-saving services. This included:

  • Identifying and treating malnutrition
  • Providing nutrient supplements
  • De-worming medication
  • Malaria testing

Improving education

Last year, more than 13,100 children – 41% of which were girls – were educated through our efforts to improve schools. This included new and rehabilitated classrooms, latrines and playgrounds.  We also provided training courses for teachers and prepared teaching aid materials. Together with our charity partner, we set up five education centres for more than 1,000 children living in displacement camps in Mogadishu. These education centres target children who have been denied access to any form of education. We also set these centres up in Ethiopia and made a video about how they work and what they seek to achieve.

Enhancing lives

If people can earn a living, they can lift themselves out of poverty. This is what we try to do. We do this by training farmers on water conservation techniques, improved farming methods and cash-for-work opportunities.

In depth


Your donation will help some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people.