The DRC Somalia Programme is the largest of the six country programmes in the Horn of Africa and Yemen region.

DRC is among the INGOs with the largest presence in Somalia, with country-wide programmes implemented through six main sub offices in Somaliland and Puntland in the north and in Hiraan Region, Gedo Region, Bay Region and Banadir Region in South and Central Somalia. Because we are there, DRC is able to respond rapidly and flexibly to recurrent crises and the needs of Somalis who are affected by humanitarian crises.

DRC supports refugees, migrants, internally displaced populations and other persons affected by crises in both urban and rural settings. DRC implements activities in Somalia in the following sectors: WASH, Shelter and Non Food Items (NFIs); Protection; Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL).

In Protection, the key programme components include Gender Based Violence (GBV) protection and response, child protection, mixed migration programming and provision of assistance to IDPs and refugee voluntary returns.

In WASH, key areas include provision of water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene awareness and promotion. Shelter assistance focuses on construction of emergency, semi-permanent and permanent shelters and sanitation facilities.

FSL focuses on the building and rehabilitation of communal assets through cash for assets, vocational skills training and small micro business targeting women headed households. In addition, DRC supports farmers with agricultural inputs and training in the use of drought tolerance crops.

South Central Somalia

DRC’s programmes in South Central are concentrated in Banadir (Mogadishu and the neighbouring accessible districts), Hiraan, Bay, Galgaduud, Gedo, Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle regions. In these regions, DRC provides life-saving assistance, supports improvement of livelihoods, provides clean drinking water, supports improved sanitation facilities, builds and rehabilitates infrastructure, and works with local communities to build their local capacities and strengthen local governance. DRC also focuses on Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention and response, and child protection activities.

Programme activities in Banadir, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Banadir are mainly related to reintegration of returnees, food security, including cash for work, cash grants, water provision, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and protection work. In Bay Region, DRC is implementing food security and livelihoods, WASH, resilience and protection projects.

In Hiraan, DRC works with local communities to support the reintegration of returnees from other areas of Somalia, as well as food security and livelihoods, protection and WASH projects. In Galgaduud, programme activities focus on WASH, cash programming and protection work.

DRC’s Gedo programme addresses critical needs for shelter, food security and livelihoods, as well as WASH education and Protection. In Luuq, DRC is managing a way station, which assists refugee returnees from Kenya and Ethiopia. Other activities in Luuq include reintegration assistance and peaceful coexistence projects targeting returnees and local communities. In addition, DRC’s expanding Community Driven Rehabilitation and Safety programme (CDRS) is also being implemented here.

In Dhobley, DRC works with IDPs and the host community and provides support to returnees arriving from Dadaab in Kenya through SCOPE registration and provision of Voucher for Food activities.

In Baidoa, DRC supports IDPs, the host community and agro-pastoralists.  Activities include supporting the reintegration of returnees from other areas of Somalia, as well as food security and livelihood, protection and WASH assistance and peaceful coexistence projects targeting returnees and local communities, as well as emergency response for displaced persons.


DRC Somaliland operates through four offices in Somaliland: Hargeisa, Lasanod, Berbera and Elafwyn.

In Somaliland, DRC works on emergency response and long-term recovery and development projects, which include livelihood development, infrastructure, agricultural development, capacity building of strengthening legal support, and support to survivors of gender based violence (GBV).

Since March 2015, DRC has taken a lead role in the emergency response for the new arrivals fleeing the conflict in Yemen. DRC is managing the reception centre in Berbera by conducting pre-registration of new arrivals on behalf of UNHCR and the Somaliland government, and providing meals to the new arrivals and Core Relief Items (CRIs) to vulnerable returnees.  DRC is also providing cash relief and NFIs to refugees and drought affected communities, as well as supporting households in Awdal to return to their villages of origin by providing them with food rations and other required support.DRC also works to assist migrants by implementing protection interventions that address the entire cycle of migration – from before departure, while in transit, and after returning to country of origin. Interventions for migrants include distribution of Non-Food Item (NFI) kits, water, biscuits and legal aid support and awareness raising sessions on the dangers of migration.

DRC in Somaliland advocates for the rights of Gender Based Violence (GBV) survivors, providing psychosocial, legal, health and material support through its partner organisations.


The vast majority of DRC activities in the semi-autonomous territory of Puntland are targeted towards humanitarian assistance in support of displaced populations. DRC adopts an integrated approach by providing life-saving assistance, supporting protection, food security and livelihoods and WASH activities, and constructing and rehabilitating infrastructure for internally displaced persons (IDPs), conflict-and drought affected populations and the urban poor.

In addition, DRC’s assistance include the provision of cash and voucher relief and shelter kits, vocational skills trainings, Small Medium Enterprise (SME) support, provision of agricultural inputs, as well as the construction and rehabilitation of water infrastructure, schools, and other community assets. In Bossaso, DRC is currently providing returnees from Yemen with essential food and non-food items using DRC own funds, as well as a local integration package for returnees from Yemen who are voluntarily willing to stay in Bossaso using funding from ECHO

DRC in collaboration with the Ministry of Information (MOI) has also facilitated several capacity building workshops for Government institutions in Puntland on the rights of returnees and migrants in Bossaso and Garowe. DRC is also supporting returnees and IDPs in Galkayo and Gardo through establishment of settlements and providing shelter and hygiene facilities.

DRC’s sub-offices in Puntland are in Gardo, Bossaso, Garowe, and North Galkyo.

Other Projects, Partnerships and Consortia

The Diaspora Programme Diaspora Project Support (DiPS) is a Danida funded project aiming to strengthen the role of diaspora as development agents. Within DiPS, Somali diaspora organisations in Denmark in cooperation with a local partner can apply for funding to implement relief, rehabilitation and development projects in their countries of origin. Activities vary but most often fall under the categories of community infrastructure and services, education, WASH, income generation and food security. 

In addition to the funding mechanism, DiPS offers extensive capacity building activities in order to improve the diaspora organisations' capacities with regards to project design, management and long term sustainability. Lastly, the project also seeks to build evidence-based knowledge of the comparative value of diaspora engagement in development. Within Somalia, activities are currently being implemented in parts of South Central Somalia and Puntland.

DRC implements the Community Driven Recovery and Development/Safety (CDRD/S) programme in several regions in Somalia; CDRD is an approach focused on building local governance capacities and supporting local recovery and development in rural communities (see also

For the last two years, DRC Somalia has also been implementing a resilience programme through a Resilience Consortium (SomReP) of seven international organizations, in different regions in the country which enhances household resilience to drought and other related risks. It does this through training, building of community infrastructure and government institutional structures and provision of start-up capital to women’s groups to enable them to build marketable businesses, and also through training and equipping animal health workers. See more on

DRC is also a member of the Somalia Return Consortium (SRC) whose aim is to facilitate voluntary and safe return of IDPs and refugees to their areas of origin in Somalia.

To improve accountability and dialogue with beneficiaries, DRC has been managing an innovative SMS project in Somalia since 2011. The SMS feedback system allows for communication with recipients of aid in difficult accessible areas. DRC is exploring ways of further expanding use of this tool to enhance accountability, transparency and dialogue in the region.