“We left our home after a severe drought destroyed our farm and caused us to lose all of our livestock.”

Hodan Hassan, who shares this story, is one of hundreds of thousands of people in Somalia who have been displaced from their homes by the current drought—the most severe the country has seen in four decades.

As a result of the changing climate, poor rainfall means growing food and raising livestock are extremely difficult. When agriculture is their primary source of income, many families faced with drought are forced to leave home in search of food and other necessities.

Community nutrition workers assess Suheyb during a follow-up visit. Photo: Development and Peace/Caritas Canada.

From October 2021 to February 2022, 572,700 people in Somalia became internally displaced. In all, 7.7 million people will need humanitarian assistance this year, according to the United Nations.

For Hodan and her husband, who now live in Belet-Hawa with their three children, not having enough food meant their 14-month-old child Suheyb became severely malnourished. With her husband the only one working, their family resources are limited: “he brings home a maximum of three to five dollars a day to the family, based on what he gets from selling charcoal.”

Hodan learned about proper nutrition for infants and young children when she attended a sensitization meeting in her village put on by local partner, Trócaire Somalia. Hodan knew that her child was sick, and she had tried traditional treatments that were not working, even as she was hesitant to become part of the program.

Community nutrition workers assess Suheyb during a follow-up visit. Photo: Development and Peace/Caritas Canada.

Community nutrition workers performed a home visit where they screened Suheyb and his siblings for malnutrition. They found that Suheyb needed medication, as well as immediate nutritional supplements. Two weeks after being enrolled in an outpatient program that provided for these needs, Suheyb’s weight was healthier.

“I am very happy to see my child’s health improve. I will continue to give him his therapeutic food regularly and feed him more nutritious food so that he doesn’t get sick again,” shares Hodan, who also learned about healthy nutrition through the project.

The humanitarian need in Somalia is great and funding is extremely limited. PWS&D is responding with local partner Trócaire Somalia through Canadian Foodgrains Bank to provide an additional $150,000 to support infant and child health through home screenings, outpatient programs, stabilization centres and training programs. You can support this necessary work by donating to PWS&D.

 

 

*This project receives support from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWS&D is a member of the Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. This project is being undertaken with generous support from the Government of Canada.