Norwegian Church Aid in Somalia

  • Been here since: 1993 (Also supported in 1983-1986)
  • Money spent in 2018: 53.8 million NOK

Economic Empowerment

Somalia is one of our Economic Empowerment programme intervention areas. In 2016, we assisted 2,316 people, including women and vulnerable youth and reached 1.5 million people through the media.

Gender-Based Violence and Reproductive Health

In 2016, we reached more than 11,000 people directly and 1.2 million people through the media.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

121,796 people got access to a safe drinking water and sanitation and hygiene services in 2016.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The protracted conflict in Somalia and the subsequent dire humanitarian challenges makes it imperative for Norwegian Church Aid to adopt an integrated approach while responding to Humanitarian needs in sectors WASH, Economic Empowerment, Education and protection against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Somalia Emergency Response

Goats for development in Somalia

Somalia is the only country in Africa in which the population has a common language and religion and who are ethnically and culturally homogeneous.

Somaliland, in the north of Somalia, declared full independence in 1991, while Puntland became semi- autonomous in 1998. Yet, the over two decades of conflict, violence, and natural disasters have triggered repeated waves of displacement and humanitarian disasters including droughts, cyclones, and floods.

Read about our 2011-2014 results in Somalia

Our programmes

​In all our programme interventions, we work closely with communities and local government institutions to build their capacities and mobilise them to take charge and be active agents of change. Given the contextual challenges in the country, we implement beneficiary and community led monitoring for regular assessments of project progress. Based on “Do no Harm” principles, we use community-managed beneficiary targeting for harmonious relations within communities. ​

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

​We have an inclusive and participatory approach for the provision of water, sanitation, and hygiene services to the right-holders (Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), host communities and minority groups). Access to water is improved through construction and rehabilitation of strategic water sources like piped boreholes, shallow wells, and household water treatment. Sanitation needs are met through Community Led Total Sanitation approaches in rural areas, while construction/rehabilitation of latrines is undertaken in IDP camps, and transit centres. In addition to campaigns advocating better hygiene practices, we work with our local partners, communities and governmental actors on the management of WASH services to enhance sustainable access for all.  ​

Economic Empowerment 

​Our central goal is to secure entrepreneurial opportunities and sustainable employment for right-holders, given the staggering economic challenges. Our programme interventions are based on four strategies: vocational skills training, business skills training, value chain development and easing market access. The vocational skills trainings, implemented in collaboration with the private sector, target vulnerable youth at risk of joining armed militia. For business skills training, we specifically target women to help establish small enterprises and access to capital. We assist the agro-pastoral communities in Gedo and Puntland, riverine farmers in Gedo and fishing communities in coastal areas of Puntland for value chain development so that beneficiaries have greater control of their products from the time of production to selling in the markets.

Education for Sustainable Development

​Somalia has one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates for primary school‐aged children, with a disproportionate number of out-of-school girls. Our education interventions provide protection for school-aged children by providing access to quality primary and secondary education, and improve retention of children, particularly for girls. We build adequate infrastructure for schools and rehabilitation of classrooms, in addition to teacher trainings for delivering quality education. We allocate considerable resources to raise communities’ and parents’ awareness on right of children to education that has helped improve retention of children in schools. We build the capacity of Community Education Committees (CECs) and local authorities through training and provision of necessary technical support for effective management of schools. ​

Protection against Gender Based Violence (GBV)

​Conflict and prevalent gender-related harmful practices constitute serious challenges for development. We employ a number of mobilisation and capacity building methods, for instance community dialogue, theological reflections, trainings and media campaigns advocating positive gender norms targeted at community leaders and members, religious leaders, local officials and government. Our engagement with the religious leaders has proved effective in advocating for the abandonment of harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C), early/child and forced marriage, and to usher positive gender norms through securing communities’ commitment for change. We offer protection to gender based violence survivors through medical and psychosocial support and livelihood and vocational trainings, building inter-programme synergies with education, WASH, and health. We offer courses in tailoring and provide business start-up kits at the end of the course to help establish small scale tailoring trades; and cash grants for gender based violence survivors, which has brought about increased self-reliance amongst the survivors. Additionally, we work closely with the duty-bearers to improve and implement laws and policies to eliminate gender based violence. Experience sharing among country office programmes has been fundamental towards enhancing capacities as well as building knowledge related to gender based violence programming for maximum results. ​

​Emergency preparedness and response

​Due to conflict, Somalia faces internal displacements and is prone to natural disasters such as drought, cyclones, and floods. Along with our partners, we provide emergency assistance in form of WASH facilities, protection from gender based violence in emergencies, food and non-food items, and cash transfers. We have had an uninterrupted presence in the country since the 90’s and subsequently built strong partnerships with local and international stakeholders for emergency response. We work closely with ACT Somalia, in addition to relevant national clusters in the region, the Somali Federal Government, and international humanitarian actors. ​

Where we work

In Somalia, we work in Gedo, Banadir, Lower Shabelle regions and the Puntland state.

Who we work with

​We have been operational in Somalia since 1993 and work closely with faith-based and civil society organisations (FBOS, CSOs) to ensure quality delivery of interventions that promote local ownership and sustainability of programmes. 

Important documents


  • Action for Social Economic Progress (ASEP)
  • BaniAdam Relief and Development Organisation (BRDO)
  • Centre for Research and Integrated Development (CERID)
  • Dialog Forening (DF)
  • Nomadic Assistance for Peace and Development (NAPAD)
  • Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC)
  • Social-Life and Agriculture Development Organization (SADO)
  • Garowe Vocational Training Center (GVTC)
  • KAALO- Relief and Development Agency
  • Elman Peace and Human Rights Center