Somaliland: Against genital mutilation
In the Republic of Somaliland, 98 percent of women and girls are affected by genital mutilation. The goal is to reduce the number of circumcisions of girls and young women through education.Learn more
In Somalia we currently have 5 projects that reach some 37,400 children. We began our work here during the devastating drought on the Horn of Africa in 2011. We work with local partners who are intimately familiar with the situation and the problems faced by people in this country.
Somalia is one of the least developed countries in the world. The bloody civil war, which has raged since 1988, impedes any positive development. Roughly 70 percent of the population lives from agriculture, mostly as nomads or semi-nomadic people. Climate change is causing ever-increasing periods of drought. In order for families to survive, nearly half of the children have to work. Only 17 percent of all children attend school. Violence against girls and women is widespread. The genital mutilation of girls remains a common practice.
Our involvement in Somalia began in 2011 with shipments of emergency aid to the population of this drought-stricken country. Now our work includes preventative drought measures, activities to promote education, campaigns against female genital mutilation, and self-help groups.
Two-thirds of the Somali population live from agriculture, mostly as nomads and semi-nomadic people. The catastrophic droughts, which occur with increasing regularity, kill off the herds of cattle that families depend upon for food, causing people to go hungry. During the last drought from October 2010 to April 2012, some 258,000 people died.
Girls and boys suffer particularly from this situation. One out of three children is malnourished. Nowhere else in the world do so many children die before their first birthday. Due to the traditional lifestyle and lack of educational opportunities, one out of every two children has to work. Nearly half of all girls are forced to submit to the internationally denounced practice of genital mutilation.
Even after the last severe drought, supplies of food for over one million people have still not been permanently secured. We coordinated our emergency aid at the time with partners in Kenya. We supplied refugees and internally displaced persons with food, water, cooking utensils, and plastic tarps to build emergency shelters. In our children's centres, which have proven to be effective in a number of disasters, girls and boys receive protection, food, instruction, and opportunities to play.
The needs of Somali girls and boys are so great, and the cooperation with our local partners has worked so well, that we have subsequently launched more long-term development programmes. For example, we work with the population to collectively develop prevention measures in preparation for the next drought.
Another area of focus of our work is combating female genital mutilation. Working hand-in-hand with our partners, we conduct educational campaigns to put a halt to this harmful tradition.
Together with additional partner organisations, we are now beginning to introduce our successful self-help programme for women in Somaliland.
Source: World Factbook