Somalia Emergency Response

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has extensive experience from long-term development aid and emergency relief work in Somalia. Following the humanitarian crisis caused by the collapse of the central government in 1991, NCA commenced its operations in Somalia in 1993. Two decades of conflict and worsening cycles of drought have left millions of Somalis extremely vulnerable to subsequent risks of acute humanitarian problems.

January 2017
Installation of photovoltaic plant operating a water tank. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Somalia
Installation of photovoltaic plant operating a water tank. Photo: Norwegian Church Aid, Somalia

Goals for NCA’s Somalia Emergency Response

Anchored in a contextually appropriate conflict sensitive design, NCA’s emergency response adheres to humanitarian principles, ensuring provision of emergency relief in an impartial manner and with an emphasis on Linking Relief Rehabilitation and Revelopment (LRRD) principles.

  • Bringing assistance to people most in need across conflict lines.
  • Advocate for humanitarian access and protection of civilian population.

Scope of NCA’s Somalia Emergency Response

  • Emergency preparedness and risk mitigation
  • Recovery and Rehabilitation
  • Capacity building and Accountability
  • Advocacy

What We Do

In addition to the political and security turmoil since the early 1990s, the humanitarian situation in the country has further worsened by regularly recurring natural disasters i.e. to drought and floods. NCA’s expertise and main delivery in humanitarian response operations is the provision of WASH services and livelihoods, often combined with other sector responses such as distribution of food and non-food items and provision of shelter.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

Emergency WASH programmes are NCA’s earliest interventions in Somalia since 1993. The project responds to the needs of the population by ensuring access to safe and sustainable water, appropriate sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion among the target population. Detailed needs assessment has been carried out for Kutunwarey and Abdiaziz, which have varied needs in relation to WASH operation. This needs assessment has played a critical role in effectively targeting communities and address their needs in the scale up of NCA’s emergency WASH operations. NCA’s emergency WASH programming has integrated gender and conflict sensitive design to curb GBV instances in IDP camps and in host-communities.

Men and women from IDP settlements enjoy a new water point with clean and safe water in Zone K Mogadishu. Photo: Bani’adam Organization
Men and women from IDP settlements enjoy a new water point with clean and safe water in Zone K Mogadishu. Photo: Bani’adam Organization

Livelihood and trade

In Somalia, NCA’s livelihood programme provides timely life saving and critical support to millions affected by environmental and conflict crises. The programme has evolved from providing immediate humanitarian assistance to early recovery of population in crisis and transitioning to long-term development through rehabilitation of livelihood assets.

Where We Work

NCA’s geographical focus for its emergency response in Somalia is in Gedo, Puntland, Banadir and Lower Shabelle. NCA’s ACT sister agencies respond to emergencies in other areas as per the ACT Somalia Forum Preparedness and Response Plan. NCA became active in Puntland following the 2004 tsunami and has maintained presence through interventions supporting alternative livelihoods to piracy, food security, WASH, peace building and education. NCA works with partners in Banadir and the Shabelles (since 2008) and we collaborate in WASH and livelihood in emergency activities, implementing projects in Afgooye, Darkenley, Hamarweyne, Wadajir, Hodan and Zona K.

How We Work

NCA and its local partners continue to coordinate and create synergies in our work through active participation and collaboration with ACT Somalia Forum members, working in target locations. NCA’s Somalia country office has strong links to governmental and international agencies through various platforms such as ACT Somalia Forum (ASF). Norwegian Church Aid is an active member of the ACT Alliance which has a coordination mechanism that facilitates collaboration with five other international organisations in Somalia (forum members) for the purpose of mobilising resources and sharing information to support Somalian population. NCA collaborates with, and coordinates through the UN Cluster mechanisms in Nairobi and at field level.

The following table provides details of NCA's emergency response interventions in Somalia:

YearType of DisasterProgramInterventionsFamiliesAssisted IndividualsAreasValueDonor
2011-2014 Famine, tropical cyclone, and drought WASH, Livelihood and trade Emergency provision of safe water and livelihood support for drought affected households 117,040 585,200 (247,143 men and 348,057 females) Gedo,Eyl and Dangorayo Districts in Puntland USD 5,664,492 ACT Alliance, Unicef, NMFA
2015 Floods WASH Floods and conflict displacement 18,898 94,488 Gedo USD 94,000 NMFA
2015 Drought Livelihood Livelihood and trade 1,116 5,580 Gedo USD 58,868 WFP
2016 Drought WASH Drought response to Puntland IDPs and host communities 2,400 12,000 Puntland NOK 1,500,000 NMFA


In 2015, the projects for WASH and livelihoods in emergencies reached 100,068 rights-holders (55,316 female and 44,152 male) and a total of 685,268 beneficiaries from 2011-2015.

  • Under the El Niño response to Garbaharey, Dollow and Bardera districts, 531 hygiene kits were distributed to flood affected households. The rest of the kits were distributed to 1,819 conflict displaced families upon attack by Al Shabaab on the Amisom base in El Adde, Garbaharey district.
  • The livelihood project engaged rights-holders and supported 600 households with food vouchers that helped increase food security and improve the nutrition status of households in the area.
  • In early 2016, the Puntland authorities declared a state of emergency as a result of a persistent drought. NCA responded to this emergency b reaching a total 12,000 people (2,400 men, 3,600 female, 3,000 girls and 3,000 boys) with WASH services.

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