Paul Jeffrey


Photo courtesy of ACT Alliance

woman retrieving water from the well pump

"We are very grateful for your contribution. It will help us a lot in fighting the hunger and poverty affecting our people in Somalia."

Mohamed Ahmed Iriri, Director, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) partner, Kaalmo Relief and Development

In the midst of a hunger emergency that has disrupted nearly every area of life, Somali families have been given a lifeline by Presbyterian support; one made possible in part through gifts from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.

Years of intense drought, coupled with the crisis of an ongoing civil war, have made it nearly impossible for many Somalians to raise the camels, cattle, sheep and goats that are their livelihood. The resulting hunger emergency is cataclysmic: According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 5.4 million people in Somalia are food insecure, and another 2.6 million people are displaced.

Hawo Abdi is just one of the many Somalians who has faced the unthinkable decision to stay and struggle to meet their family’s most basic needs, or leave their homes to journey to a relief camp for help.

Before these crises converged, 29-year-old Abdi and her husband were successful herders near their country’s border with Kenya — but crippling drought made it impossible to sustain their animals, and in turn, the family’s livelihood. After the death of her husband, Abdi set out from her home in El-Wak and embarked on a high-risk, two-day journey to the Tulia-Anin Camp for internally displaced people. “We had nothing to take with us, and we had to beg for water,” Abdi shared.

At the camp, they found refuge, water and food that gifts made through the Giving Catalog helped to provide. 

By providing not only daily sustenance like rice, beans, cooking oil and water, but also a path out of hunger and adversity, Presbyterians are helping empower survivors like Abdi who have weathered the storm of extreme hunger, civil war and  disease, helping to provide them the resources they need to thrive today and tomorrow.

While life is still difficult for Abdi and her children, they are now safe and nourished. “The food aid has improved the living conditions of my family,” she said. “I was able to feed my starving children.”