Gripped by recurring droughts, chronic food shortages, and over 20 years of nearly incessant conflict, Somalia is one of the most challenging environments in the world for humanitarian operations. According to World Food Program, an estimated 300,000 children under age 5 are malnourished, including 48,000 who are severely malnourished and face a high risk of disease and death in Somalia. Additionally, an estimated 832,000 pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers need nutrition assistance.
Malnutrition is driven by a number of factors, including conflict, political instability, displacement, climate change, as well as limited access to healthcare and clean water, food insecurity, and poor hygiene and sanitation practices. Poor environmental conditions, limited access to water, and unsafe sanitation exacerbate the impact of food insecurity and drive increased levels of malnutrition and epidemics.
Food assistance: Cash and in-kind
In order to reach the most vulnerable more so in times of emergency, RASEDO work on providing food assistance either in cash and in-kind. Food assistance involves a complex understanding of people’s long-term nutritional needs and of the diverse approaches required to meet them. Food assistance thus becomes part of a policy mix that advances social wellbeing in general. In line with the sustainable development goals, we consider the quality as well as the quantity of food, with the emphasis on its nutritious character and seasonality. Crucially, food assistance enlists beneficiaries as actors: it gives them a voice, and, wherever possible, a choice in what food they receive and how they receive it.
Supporting small-scale farmers and the fishing industry
Due to the decades of civil strife and political upheaval, the state of Somalia was brought to its knees. With very few of its systems left functional, successive governments have found it difficult to govern the country. Lack of proper and up-to-date systems, funds, and capacity have compounded the situation further. Somalia has one of the longest coastlines in Africa but its fisheries sector is one of the least- developed with an average annual GDP of 1%. Fishing is mostly on a small-scale level with implements comprising simple nets, lines, and small boats. There is also no data on the fishing operations of the small-scale fleet throughout the Somali coast.
Investment in small-scale farming is a proven success in many countries in producing enough to feed a growing population and reduce poverty. RASEDO work to make small farmers and fishermen more productive by helping local producers with sustainable techniques, by supporting them to work together in cooperatives and producer organizations, and advocating the governments for the investment they need.