About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 10,000,000 people live in Somalia
73% of the population is illiterate
(Source: U.S. government)
Years of civil unrest has created dire living conditions for Somalia’s 10 Million residents. More than 1.1 Million Somalis are internally displaced, and another 1.1 Million are living as refugees outside the country, according to the UNHCR—many of them forced out of their homes because of violence.
While the danger has also hindered relief organizations abilities to get inside the country to gauge the condition of the people, all agree that the on-going instability has created extreme poverty and malnutrition rampant in the region.
In addition to civil unrest, Somalia is susceptible to extreme weather conditions and natural disasters, including floods and drought, hindering the population’s ability to harvest land for food and to build a strong agricultural industry for income. The impoverished Somali community also suffers from high rates of infant mortality and illiteracy.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic Relief has carried out seasonal food distribution campaigns since 1996. Islamic Relief Somalia opened in 2006 to implement and oversee programs that would alleviate suffering due to continued violence, and that would help internally displaced populations.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Somalia. IRUSA is currently focused on projects that help Somali refugees in neighboring countries:
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
This project enhanced the quality of and access to education for some 1,000 children living in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. The camp is home to more than 450,000 people, mostly from Somalia and mostly children. By supporting the construction of 5 informal school facilities, which include latrines, hand-washing facilities and water tanks, the program created a safe, child-friendly environment conducive to learning. The schools also accommodated the needs of disabled children, and worked to raise awareness and advocate for the integration of all children into formal education.
Islamic Relief helped provide vital aid to survivors of the 2011 drought—considered the worst drought to hit the region in 60 years—on the ground in Somalia (as well as in Kenya and Ethiopia). More than 100,000 people in Somalia received emergency aid through efforts including food distributions; the establishment of boreholes; the construction and rehabilitation of water birkads; the construction of household latrines; access to hygiene and sanitation services, including hygiene education; the distribution of dignity kits for women; garbage collection services to keep the environment clean; the training of teachers to help them continue lessons for children; and health services for livestock.