Solar lamp distribution for the IDPs in Bonkai village, Baidoa District. A community supported by NRC under the BRCiS funding. All photos are copyrighted (e-mail to ask about use)
Read caption NRC distributing solar lamps to internally displaced people in Bonkai village, Baidoa district. The community is supported by NRC under BRCiS funding. Photo: NRC/BRCiS/Marco Gualazzini/Constrasto

NRC in Somalia

Somalia is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. As a result of severe drought and food shortages, millions of people are affected by displacement.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2020.


Humanitarian overview

Somalia continues to suffer from multiple shocks leading to humanitarian needs. The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains fragile due to the impact of the prolonged 2016-17 drought, poor 2018 Deyr rains, unusually hot and dry conditions during the 2019 Jilaal season, erratic and abnormal 2019 Gu' rains and above average 2019 Deyr rainfall that led to flooding and displacement in the riverine areas.

In 2020, the country had to struggle with the new threat of Covid-19, contain seasonal floods which affected 1.2 million people, including 436,000 people who were displaced, and the worst Desert Locust upsurge in decades, thus creating a "triple threat". The mass destruction of food crops by locusts may in the long run result in severe acute malnutrition among children.

As a result of the shocks, 6.3 million people are acutely food insecure. One in 10 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished.

Over 2.6 million Somalis are now internally displaced, with 80 per cent living in urban areas, where they continue to face serious risks of evictions, marginalisation and exclusion.

People we helped in Somalia in 2020

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme

NRC's operation

The drought situation in Somalia has deteriorated rapidly and intensified much earlier than seen over the last decade. Life-saving assistance is urgently needed to halt further internal displacement.

Our emergency teams are on the ground, responding to the ever-increasing needs. We target those forced to flee through our activities, from building shelters to tackling agricultural challenges, to enabling them to acquire new skills that can increase their resilience to shocks in the future.

NRC Camp managementCamp management

We work to strengthen existing settlements. Our teams:

  • map settlements and plan training to improve settlement layout
  • conduct Capacity Building Training for settlement leaders to improve access to information and accountability to people affected by displacement
  • map existing resources and infrastructure in settlements to identify gaps
  • construct community centres for community meetings

NRC EducationEducation

We want all displaced Somali children and youth, as well as those in the communities that host them, to go to school. Our education teams:

  • provide classes for children who have missed out on education to catch up with their peers, to ensure their transition into the formal school system
  • engage with young people through our youth education programme, which helps young adults find opportunities to create their own businesses and cooperatives
  • train teachers
  • construct and rehabilitate classrooms, in coordination with our shelter teams

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

Many displaced people in Somalia are denied basic rights like land and tenure. Our teams:

  • help Somali refugees to return safely
  • raise awareness about the rights of displaced people among local authorities and communities
  • provide information and legal counselling on housing, land and property rights to displaced Somalis and Somali refugees who have returned to the country
  • run an emergency hotline and call centre to provide immediate legal advice
  • assist displaced Somalis to secure land tenure

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

Violent conflict, poverty and drought have increased food insecurity in Somalia. Our teams:

  • make cash transfers to families so they can purchase food and household goods
  • raise awareness of and give training on good nutrition practices
  • support communities’ environmental conservation activities, like providing solar energy for irrigation
  • provide livelihood training to empower farmers and other community members with new skills (for instance, farmers are trained to tackle diseases that can damage their crops)

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

We provide temporary, transitional and permanent shelters to internally displaced people in Somalia. Our teams:

  • construct temporary, transitional and permanent shelters
  • distribute household items like solar lamps
  • construct and rehabilitate classrooms

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

Our WASH teams:

  • build household and community latrines
  • install and rehabilitate water systems for drinking water
  • promote sanitation and hygiene awareness
  • train communities in how to use and maintain hygiene facilities and waste management
BRCiS Consortium

brcis consortiumBRCiS is a humanitarian Consortium that takes a holistic approach to supporting Somali communities in developing their capacity to resist and absorb minor shocks without undermining their ability to move out of poverty.  Read more at


NRC Somalia is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • Somalia Humanitarian Fond (SHF)
  • Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation (Norad)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • UN-Habitat
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • European Union Trust Fund
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
  • European Union Development Corporation (DEVCO)
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF)
  • World Bank
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • King Salman Relief
  • German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)

About NRC in Somalia

International staff
Areas of operation
Mogadishu (Country Office), Kismayu, Dollow, Dhoble, Baidoa, Hargeisa, Erigavo, Bossaso, Galkayo, Garowe and Burao
Budget 2019
USD 29 million
National staff


Country Director

Mohamed Abdi


+252 612733888