Baby at an Islamic Relief food distribution in Somalia

Tens of thousands of vulnerable Somalis are to gain greater food security, thanks to a major Islamic Relief project that is tackling the root causes of hunger.

Almost 260,000 people are thought to have died during the famine that struck Somalia from 2010 to 2012. Caused by severe drought and worsened by conflict within the country, conditions have since improved but Somalis still suffer one of the highest rates of child malnutrition and mortality on the planet.

Building resilience to food crises

Islamic Relief is improving food security in the Somaliland and Puntland regions – where rural communities are beset by the effects of climate change – by helping vulnerable communities to build resilience to future food crises. In a major project, which is due to complete in 2015, we are focusing on long-term solutions including access to water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as livelihoods.

Working with communities and local public bodies, we will construct and improve sources of safe water – including two boreholes, two shallow wells, and four berkads (water reservoirs) – and train local people to take care of them. Around 54,000 people will gain reliable access to safe water. In addition, one hundred of the poorest households will be provided with new latrines.

We will help local people to keep their livestock healthy, providing services such as 10,000 vaccination and health treatments, as well as training individuals to provide these services within the community once the project has finished. Around 1,000 families will receive seeds and tools to maximise their subsistence farming. The project will also show communities how to increase their income from livestock and land.

Around 66,000 people are expected to achieve greater food security as a result of the project.

In a separate scheme, we are also providing life-saving food assistance for 2,000 of the most vulnerable families.