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CRS in Somalia

The 2011 drought and subsequent famine, compounded with political instability, clan fighting and a recent military offensive, have had a crippling effect on the Somali humanitarian situation. According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Somalia Crisis Overview September 2014, about 3.2 million Somalis require life-saving or livelihood support. An estimated 635,000 displaced people in settlements need support to meet basic minimum standards. Internally displaced people (IDPs) live in dire circumstances with limited or no access to water, sanitation and health facilities; lack basic household items; and are at increased risk of human rights violations, particularly sexual and gender based violence.

Malnutrition rates also remain among the highest in the world, with an estimated 218,000 children under the age of five acutely malnourished.


People Served: 545,675

Population: 10,616,380 (July 2015 est.)

Size: 246,201 sq mi; slightly smaller than Texas

CRS' History in Somalia

CRS has provided critical development and humanitarian support in Somalia for many years. CRS first established an office in Mogadishu in October 1964 to administer school feeding programs. For 30 years CRS maintained its office in Somalia, working with partners to develop and sustain projects related to health and nutrition, agriculture, education, and water and sanitation. In 1994, after the outbreak of a civil war, CRS closed its office in Mogadishu.  

CRS returned to Somalia in 2011 in response to the drought and famine that impacted East Africa that year. Today, CRS continues to respond to the urgent needs of the Somali people through meeting their immediate needs (food and water); providing essential services (health, nutrition and protection); creating and rehabilitating critical infrastructure (latrines and wells); and restoring productive assets and purchasing power (via vouchers) to build their resilience and promote long-term, sustainable solutions.