April 12, 2024

ADRA Steps In after Drought in Somalia Left Thousands without Food to Survive

ADRA Switzerland and Swiss Solidarity have partnered to assist people in dire need

Adventistische Pressdienst
A villager talks to an ADRA employee in Somalia. [Photo: © ADRA Somalia]

From December 2022 to March 2024, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Switzerland and the Swiss emergency aid fund “Glückstette,” together with other ADRA country offices, implemented an emergency food security project in Puntland, Somalia, which was extended twice.

The Puntland region is located in the Horn of Africa and declared itself an autonomous state during the Somali civil war. A dramatic drought has left thousands of people dependent on outside aid to survive. Almost 50 percent of Somalia's population, around 7.7 million people, are in need of humanitarian aid or protection, according to ADRA Switzerland.

Survival for Families

A family receives about 80 francs (around US$87) per month transferred to a mobile phone. “With this electronic money, the family can buy food at the local markets as well as the basic necessities of life. With this amount, a family of six people can survive for a month. In this way, we are also supporting the economy within the country and thus securing further livelihoods,” ADRA Switzerland reported.

During the implementation of the project, ADRA Somalia worked with the relevant government agencies and other aid organizations serving in the region to support the affected ethnic groups. The overall goal of the project was to save lives and alleviate human suffering caused by the drought. In particular, pastoral communities and displaced people in rural and peri-urban areas were taken into account in this project. Most of them have lost their entire livestock holdings due to the drought and thus also their livelihood, ADRA says. In all three phases of the project, 14,400 people in need were helped.

ADRA Somalia has been operating in the country since 1992. The aid organization is part of the worldwide ADRA International network, which consists of 118 independent country offices and about 7,500 full-time employees.

Founded in 1956 and supported by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ADRA Somalia carries out emergency relief and development measures in various operational areas. The work of ADRA Somalia is based on a concept that recognizes the self-determination of ethnic groups so that they take responsibility for their own development. ADRA Somalia's actions have turned people from simply recipients of relief supplies to key partners in formulating and implementing strategies that address their needs and thus bring about sustainable positive change in their lives through development and aid initiatives.

ADRA Somalia is working with partners to create an appropriate environment for livelihoods and economic development, renewable energy, education, improved access and availability of water, sanitation and hygiene, and emergency management for the populations.

ADRA has seven offices in Somalia, one in each state and in the capital, Mogadishu. ADRA Somalia is committed to partnership-based development that leverages the skills of men and women and offers equal opportunities to all people regardless of origin, ethnicity, gender, and religion.

The original version of this story was posted on Adventistische Pressedienst.