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Our Work

Stronger markets improve family incomes and build stability
Elaine Eliah/DAI

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

Transparent, accountable government and civil society are vital to cementing Somalia’s long-term stability. USAID and the international community are supporting the implementation of Somalia’s transitional roadmap, including the constitution-making process and preparations for national elections. 

  • USAID is helping to establish local governance institutions and building their capacity to reach out to constituents and civil society.
  • USAID is directly supporting civil society’s active engagement in peace, reconciliation and reconstruction, with particular support for women and under-represented groups.

Economic Growth and Trade

In Somalia, assistance to improve markets and trade not only benefits the local economy, but also improves stability in the region.  Unemployment or underemployment not only depletes families’ assets, but also sows discontent, making youths—especially young men—more vulnerable to indoctrination of violent extremist organizations. 

Creating economic opportunities can help derail these efforts.

  • USAID works to build vocational skills, improve access to financial services and open up new prospects for entrepreneurs.
  • The youth livelihood program seeks to reduce insecurity by providing skills training and employment opportunities to high-risk youth through local community-based partners.


Somalia’s basic social services have been decimated due to civil unrest and years of underinvestment. USAID assists regional authorities and local communities by providing education services that mitigate conflict and improving the capacity of governance institutions to deliver quality and equitable services. USAID is expanding access to secondary education, and contributing to a more stable future by:

  • Training new teachers and school administrators, especially women
  • Developing curricula
  • Providing books and school supplies

At the same time, vocational training and economic opportunity empower youth.

Global Health

The leading cause of death in food crises isn’t starvation; it’s preventable disease. Measles, diarrhea and respiratory infections like pneumonia can devastate malnourished children, whose weakened immune systems can’t fight back. 

USAID works with partners to provide emergency health services in Somali communities, including immunizations for children, pre- and post-natal care for women, and treatment of communicable diseases. 

  • We work to prevent and treat malnutrition among children and provide vital nutrients to pregnant and lactating women. 
  • We have supported emergency programs to train community health workers, healthcare providers, and community members on nutrition and disease prevention.
  • In addition, we support the surveillance of and rapid response to disease outbreaks, such as cholera.

We also support the Somali Joint Health and Nutrition Program (JHNP), a multi-donor fund managed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) that strengthens health systems and service delivery across Somalia. Learn more: Somali Joint Health and Nutrition Program

Working in Crisis and Conflict

In 2011 and 2012, the worst drought that East Africa has seen in 60 years led to famine in southern Somalia, uprooting thousands of families and putting millions at severe risk.

  • USAID’s early warning systems used satellite imagery and weather mapping to predict this crisis in 2010.
  • USAID also provided high-energy foods that helped revive thousands of severely malnourished children.
  • USAID emergency relief—including food, health, nutrition, water and sanitation services, and protection—helped millions of Somalis affected by repeated drought, flood and conflict.

USAID also monitors conditions, identifies needs and facilitates coordination and information sharing among international relief organizations to increase aid effectiveness.

Emergency programs must be complemented by long-term efforts to build stability and break the cycle of crisis. USAID is promoting stability through quick-impact, tangible programs that foster good governance and economic opportunity and reduce the appeal of extremism. 

Through small-scale rehabilitation of clinics, markets, local government buildings and irrigation canals, this transparent and flexible initiative takes advantage of windows of opportunities to create collaborative partnerships among the government, private sector and civil society.

The programs bring together communities, civil society representatives and Somali political leaders to collaborate on building a sustainable, peaceful society and raise public awareness through extensive public consultations, workshops and stakeholder dialogue on peace building and state reconstruction.

Interim South West Administration





Supporting education in Somali schools:  A New Start for Burtinle High School.

Last updated: November 10, 2015

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