Recurring drought, decades of conflict and lack of infrastructure have left the economy in a fragile state.

Despite significant progress, 857,000 people of a population of 7.5 million still live in a situation of acute food crisis and require urgent, livesaving humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, about 960,000 Somali refugees have fled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and Uganda, while 1.1 million people remain displaced in Somalia.

Though it’s not easy to work in Somalia, over the last 40 years we have nurtured partnerships with local Somali civil society organizations to provide emergency relief and development. Through our partners, we are currently able to reach more than 1.6 million people, reaching from Somaliland, to Puntland, to Central and Southern Somalia.

Oxfam’s work in Somalia

Oxfam is bringing support to the Somali people through the following goals:

Promoting active citizenship and gender justice

Oxfam aims to empower women and men to advocate for their rights. We work to strengthen their social organizations, as stable and accountable local institutions are necessary to tackle the continuous conflicts and crisis situations in Somalia.

Providing humanitarian assistance and protection

We aim to reach some 1.6 million people affected by drought and conflict in Lower Shabelle, Mogadishu, Middle/Lower Juba and Gedo regions with safe water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion. We’re also providing livelihood support mainly through cash relief, cash for work and skills training. Throughout, we focus on the rights and needs of women.

Education for All

Due to the absence of government provision of essential education and health services in most parts of the country, NGOs and community/diaspora groups have re-established many such services. Oxfam is supporting educational programs in all three zones of Somalia. We focus on providing sponsorships, quality primary and secondary education, vocational and life skills training for youth, as well as integrating education work into our emergency work with internally displaced people (IDPs) and the most vulnerable groups.

Rebuilding sustainable livelihoods

Building on our humanitarian relief work in Somalia, our livelihoods work helps to build and strengthen the resilience of communities to shocks by ensuring there is adequate linkage between relief and development. We focus on supporting the livestock sector, arable farming, natural resource management, alternative livelihoods and climate change adaptation.

Find out more: Somalia program update, October 2013


Each year, Somali migrants around the world send approximately $1.3 billion home to family and friends in Somalia. These flows represent a significant share of Somalia’s economy and help to reduce Somalia’s reliance on assistance from foreign governments and international organizations.

Continued support from the Somali diaspora is essential for Somalia to successfully emerge from its protracted humanitarian emergency and political crisis and build the foundations for its long-term development.