Despite the many challenges, Somalis are forging a promising path forward. USAID supports Somalia's aspirations for durable stability, democracy, and prosperity. USAID works to prevent and counter violent extremism and to build resilience to mitigate chronic humanitarian needs. Furthermore, USAID commits to target socially marginalized Somalis in a defined geographic focal zone and work toward shared humanitarian and development objectives in key sectors including governance, stabilization, education, economic growth, and resilience.
Somalia continues to face long-standing challenges in effectively engaging its citizens in inclusive, peaceful, and democratic political processes. While the Somali state has achieved important gains in re-establishing authority in areas once controlled by al-Shabaab, the revival of the state has often been followed by upticks in inter-communal conflict, driven by unresolved grievances suppressed under al-Shabaab rule.
USAID works with the federal, state, and local government to create stable communities and promote effective and accountable governance across Somalia. We enhance government outreach, increase citizen participation in political and electoral processes, improve capacity of key government institutions to be responsive to citizens’ needs, and expand women’s participation and leadership in democratic processes. At the local level, we work closely with local authorities in communities newly liberated from al-Shabaab to advance inter-communal reconciliation, promote more legitimate and effective governance institutions, and strengthen conflict mitigation processes, in order to provide a more credible alternative to al-Shabaab rule. At state and federal level, USAID promotes political reconciliation by facilitating dialogue around power-sharing between federal and state governments to ensure long-term stability.
USAID works with the private sector and government to strengthen livelihoods and create sustainable solutions which help displaced and vulnerable people integrate into local communities and economies. This support aims to increase the ability and resources of Somali communities to withstand recurrent shocks and ultimately to reduce reliance on humanitarian assistance.
Improvements to markets and trade not only benefit the local economy, but also improves stability in the region. USAID’s economic growth programs strengthen and diversify livelihoods and accelerate economic development for marginalized groups in the targeted areas of Somalia by increasing individual, household, business, community, and system-wide resilience through rural and urban livelihood diversification and promoting inclusive economic market systems.
Three decades of conflict nearly destroyed Somalia’s health and education systems, which are characterized by poor quality, insufficient access, and inadequate resources. As a result, nearly 85 percent of children are not enrolled in school. USAID has partnered with federal and state-level education ministries to establish quality education standards and expand access to education for 150,000 out-of-school children and youth. In the health sector, USAID is improving maternal health by supporting midwife training and increasing women's access to services.
The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Somalia. The humanitarian portfolio includes life-saving assistance for people affected by conflict, severe food insecurity, and the devastating effects of recurrent droughts and flooding. USAID delivers food assistance, healthcare, livelihood support, nutrition services, safe spaces for women and girls, child protection services and reunification assistance, and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. USAID is addressing acute malnutrition needs, implementing cash-for-work projects, providing in-kind and market-based food assistance, rehabilitating water infrastructure, and transporting water supplies.