Somalia has been affected by war, insecurity, famine, drought, floods, epidemics and locust invasions relentlessly over the past thirty years.
According to the UNHCR, 3 million people are now internally displaced and almost one million have already fled the country.
Such a dramatic refugee crisis has been further worsened by climate change and the severe drought it caused in the country: people have more and more difficulties in finding water, they cannot grow their crops anymore and their livestock dies.
On March 14th, AVSI launched a new project aimed at addressing this dire situation: it is the second edition of a full-fledged humanitarian intervention started in 2020 thanks to the funds of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
While including new activities on a wider area, it will focus on two main actions: food security and WASH, which means Water, Hygiene and Sanitation, in collaboration with local partners, local institutions and the UN humanitarian network.
To boost food production and increase access to food, AVSI will provide farmers with the necessary training, donkeys and carts for transportation, and anti-pesticides to help livestock owners.
Furthermore, together with its Somali partner WASDA (Wajir South Development Association), AVSI will to build new wells and sanitation systems, while also purifying communal water sources.
Awareness campaigns will be conducted among the population, to improve their knowledge on hygiene and anti-COVID practices.
Bearing in mind the difficulties of coexistence, the project addresses the need of all the main communities living in the area: internally displaced people (IDPs), people who fled the country and are now coming back, and the host communities. This guarantees an equitable access to resources, reducing the tensions that arose with the worsening of the climate change consequences in the area.
In addition, AVSI is working to improve the condition of Somali women and young girls, by carrying out trainings against gender-based violence, distributing solar torches to increase their safety at night, and building separated toilets, so that they do not have to take long, potentially dangerous walks.
Ultimately, the core objective of this action in Somalia is to increase human empowerment, self-awareness and dignity among the people AVSI and its partners are working with.
This is the reason why even emergency response actions, like this, always rest on a development-oriented approach that ensures sustainability in the long term, with activities aimed at creating or expanding the sources of livelihood.