AAH-I began operations in Somalia in 1997 initially working in Puntland where it supported a health system strengthening project in the Bari region in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Since 2016, AAH Somalia programme has been implementing projects in Elwak, Hargeisa and Mogadishu targeting refugees, asylum seekers, poor host community members, children, women and girls and young unemployed people. Through locally-based initiatives, project has been working to promote social cohesion, access to quality education, access to good sanitation and improve household incomes. The aim is to support communities to be self-reliant in their context.


Current Projects

This project seeks to increase social self reliance and socio econmomic well being of refugees and refugee hosting communities (including those with special needs such as women, youth, and people with disability) of 500 households of asylum seekers/refugees (approximately 3,000 Individuals) and 150 households (approximately 600 individuals) from the host community members in Somaliland.

The intervention will promote social self-reliance and livelihoods by diversifying livelihood opportunities, protecting assets, and promoting local population receptivity towards refugees (peaceful coexistence).

Key project activities include:

  • Women-led income generating groups receive skills and asset building inputs to enable them to sustainably diversify their sources of income
  • Under-skilled youth have access to training and asset building inputs for diversified livelihoods.

AAH-I is one of UNHCR’s logistics partners in Mogadishu. Our work involves supporting warehouse management services. From our warehouse items such as bedding, cooking equipment, soap, shelter materials such as plastic tarpaulins or sheeting are repackaged for distribution to people who need these items to survive and live in emergency situations.

In Hargeisa, the programme supports distribution of core relief items to refugees.

The goal of the project is improved food security for women and children and increased income of rural households in areas with predominantly female-headed households through a multi sectoral approach. The project is contributing to household poverty reduction and improved maternal and newborn health in Elwak District, Gedo region, targetting 75,000 people in Elwak and Ausqurun.

Key project activities include:

  • Identifying and strengthening community development structures and facilitating community dialogue and action meetings in order to build capacity for good governance.
  • Improving food security and livelihoods by equipping women with skills in good agricultural practices, safe milk handling and value addition and basic business skills.
  • Improving sanitation and hygiene through rehabilitation of shallow wells and training community members to participate in Community Led Total Sanitation to reduce open free defecation.

With funding support from UNHCR, AAH-I runs the Peaceful Coexistence Centre (PCC) in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

The PCC is primarily a hub for promoting social cohesion between refugees, Somali returnees, internally displaced people and asylum seekers. The approach of the PCC is partnership with other NGO and government stakeholders to provide social and legal support to these individuals.

Some of the activities to promote social cohesion that take place at the PCC include

  • Language, computer and vocational skills training
  • Legal counselling by Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Somaliland (CBRRS)
  • Community leadership strengthening through election of refugee representatives’ community leadership
  • Good governance awareness session awareness, sensitization campaigns, assessed and
  • Training in business skills and financial literacy for improved livelihoods
  • Academic support through the Centre’s library resource materials

According to data from UNICEF, over one third of the world’s refugee children are missing out on primary education. AAH-I is contributing to the bridging of this gap by supporting inclusive and equitable quality education in Somalia.

AAH-I is running the Yemeni Community School in Mogadishu. The school was built in 1978 by the Somali government but was destroyed during the civil war. In September 2016, with the support of UNHCR, we rehabilitated the school so that urban refugees from Yemen to access basic primary education through cash-based interventions for quality education.

As at December 2017, at least 1,500 Yemeni refugee and host community children had been enrolled. Learning and teaching materials are supplied to the school and teachers receive reference materials to aid lesson delivery. 5 of the existing toilets in the school were renovated to make them girl-friendly and to improve school retention. A hand-washing section has been installed. A school-feeding program also is in place to support class attendance.

Facilitating education for the Yemeni refugees seeks to provide structure and stability for children who have been traumatized by war. The school is a starting point for creating a skilled workforce in Somalia that can compete in the global economy.