Droughts and high food prices have had a deadly impact in Somaliland. Malnutrition is rampant. Livestock have died off in the millions. Water is extremely scarce.
As pastoralist families lose their herds and exhaust their traditional coping mechanisms, they have little choice but to move to urban areas, to camps where they live in poverty and place a serious burden on host communities.
Meanwhile, many families have fled to Somaliland to escape conflict in southern Somalia and other surrounding areas. They too live in camps or with relatives and strain the limited resources that exist.
Despite their high level of need, displaced families have limited access to health care or trained health professionals. Vaccination rates are very low and cases of preventable disease are high. In rural areas, water access has traditionally come from large rainwater reservoirs called berkads, but many of these are cracked and damaged, magnifying the impact of the droughts.
Medair first started providing relief in Somaliland in 2008.
Note: Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991. Its independence has not been recognised by the international community.
In Togdheer, Medair works in Burao, the second largest city in Somaliland, where tens of thousands of displaced people live in camps. Child malnutrition remains an ongoing and debilitating problem. Togdheer is also home to many scattered rural communities where Medair provides families with urgently needed relief such as nutrition, water, and health care.
Medair works in Sool’s Caynabo district, where rural pastoralist communities need assistance to recover from the drought, in order to keep families from moving to urban centres to live in camps. Villages in Caynabo are often very remote and hard to reach.
When crisis strikes, health risks multiply. Families suffer from preventable diseases. Children are weakened from malnutrition. Everyone needs health care and nutrition—especially during crisis.
Safe shelter is at the very core of human survival and dignity. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, and clinics help communities recover from crisis and build a better future.