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Somalia is currently experiencing a major humanitarian crisis. Millions of people are in need of food and nutritional aid, and medical assistance as protracted drought has ravaged the land.

Ombretta Mazzaroni and Saba Khan

Trócaire's Ombretta Mazzaroni and Saba Khan receive an award acknowledging the organisation's health care delivery in Gedo Region for the last two decades. Pictured with the team from the Ministry of Health Jubbaland State, June 2016.

Key Facts

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25 Years

Trócaire has been providing humanitarian and development support in Somalia since 1992.

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People benefitted from Trócaire's programmes in Somalia in the last year

Health & other benefits


Humanitarian Response, Healthcare, Education, Nutrition

Humanitarian Crisis

Somalia has been devastated by ongoing drought events in recent years. Now, half the population (6.2 million people) is experiencing serious food insecurity, with 3.1 million people requiring urgent life-saving assistance.

We are working in partnership with other international NGOs in the country to deliver large-scale nutrition support to malnourished children, and pregnant and nursing women.

Trócaire has a strong, long-established presence in the Gedo region in southern Somalia.

Trócaire is currently implementing scaled up health services in three hospitals, one referral health centre, three health centres and 11 primary health units, targeting women and children in particular.

An average of 19,000 people per month are being treated at our health centres in Somalia.

As of August 2017 Trócaire has begun water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities mainly on water points and hygiene promotion in schools, villages and hospitals. 

Updates from Somalia

Trócaire's Work in Somalia

Trócaire has been providing humanitarian and development support in Somalia since 1992.

Our efforts are focused in Belet Xaawo, Luuq, Dollow, Garbahaarey and Burdhubo in the Gedo region.

Given the difficulties faced simply to secure food, we provide basic supports such as healthcare, nutrition and education to large numbers. Our long-term commitment to Somalia has helped Trócaire become a trusted actor in this volatile country.

We have also been at the forefront of raising awareness in Ireland and abroad about the humanitarian situation in the country, calling for a strong international response.

Our programmes

Trócaire supports the following key programmes in Somalia:

1. Healthcare

The Somali population is more susceptible to chronic illnesses and disease outbreaks due to poor sanitation and hygiene practices, irregular food supply, and inadequate medical facilities. Cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and unskilled home deliveries of babies make Somalia one of the most dangerous places in the world for a woman to give birth.

Targeting over 220,000 women, children and men, we partner with the local district health boards to provide free primary healthcare through three hospitals with three TB treatment centers, eight mother-child health centers, five outreach teams, 12 oral therapeutic sites, four stabilization centers and 50 health posts. 

Services offered include maternal care (antenatal and postnatal) and immunization. Through skilled traditional birth attendants (TBAs), we ensure safe facility-based deliveries as well as birth registration for children.

2. Education

Trócaire supports 15 schools in providing quality primary education to 4060 children. Partnering with community education committees (CECs), we ensure that schools are administered efficiently, teaching and learning materials (books, pencils, chalk and other stationery) are provided, and teachers are trained on curriculum development.

Through our school-feeding program, we also provide daily nutritious meals to encourage children especially from poor backgrounds to enrol in school, concentrate in class and complete their education.

Trócaire also focuses on increasing the enrolment and retention of girls at school by providing Girls’ Clubs, which are extracurricular groups that help girls to support each other to address common issues that might otherwise lead to dropping out.

3. Nutrition

Malnutrition rates remain at critical levels (15.3%) especially among communities in Gedo. One in four mothers are malnourished while over 200,000 children under five years are acutely malnourished. 38,000 of these children are severely malnourished, 80% of who reside in the south central region.

Trócaire is working to reduce malnutrition through by screening and treatment for children under five years and providing curative nutrition supplements. The programme also targets changing behaviours of pregnant and nursing mothers in feeding practices such as breastfeeding and good hygiene.

4. Humanitarian Response

Trócaire has responded to the current drought through emergency life-saving nutrition services, provision of food baskets for affected families, WASH services (water, sanitation and hygiene) and hygiene promotion as well as distribution of non-food items and emergency shelter kits for displaced people in Gedo.

The kit provided to 1,600 families through Irish Aid's support includes items to construct the most basic and decent shelter which can offer protection from extreme weather as well as utensils, blankets, jerrycans and lanterns among other things.



WATCH: Irish Aid sent 75 tonnes of emergency supplies to Dollow in Somalia

WATCH: Former Somalia country programme manager Sally O'Neill talks about Trócaire's history of humanitarian intervention in the country

WATCH: 'Women in Somalia: Inspiring Change' a short film telling the story of two people involved in Trócaire education and health programmes

WATCH: Somalia Education Programme video, highlighting support for schools in the Gedo region

Our Partners in Somalia

  • District Health Boards (DHBs) 
  • Ministry of Health 
  • The Regional Health Officers
  • District Health Officers
  • Ministry of Education
  • Community Health Committees (CHCs)
  • Community Education Committees (CECs)
  • Nomadic Assistance for Peace & Development

Somalia: Country Context

Somalia is one of the poorest countries of the world. It is also a very complex and fragile country, which had no effective government from 1991 until 2012.

Over those 20 years, there was extreme violence and lawlessness in the country, with almost all of its social, economic and political structures breaking down. The new government has brought hope that Somalia will become more stable but the country still faces major challenges.

There has been food insecurity, climate disaster and increased disease in recent years.

Over five million people in Somalia are currently in need of emergency aid. The situation threatens a repeat of 2011, when a famine in the country cost the lives of 250,000 people. At the moment, 320,000 children under age five are acutely malnourished, of which 50,000 are severely malnourished.

Rates of maternal death and infant mortality are among the highest in the world.