ARC Somalia

Head Office: Mogadishu

Where ARC Works: ARC is operational in Mogadishu, Dhobley, Kismayo, Lower Juba, and Banadir.

People We Serve: More than 420,000 displaced Somalis and affected host community members; women and youth

Operational Since: 2011

ARC's program in Somalia is quite different from our other programs around the world. We're doing similar work: providing lifesaving relief (health care, shelter, clean water, and more) to families who've been forced to flee their homes. And we'll work to give young people access to new opportunities. But the fuel that fires the program is much different.

What's different? We are uniting and mobilizing communities outside of Somalia to provide desperately needed help in Somalia. Essentially, the efforts, creativity, hardwork and support of people and communities around the world are being leveraged to impact our efforts in Somalia via the I AM A STAR campaign.

The City of Minneapolis, Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Internally Displaced Somali Advisory Council, UCare and ARC are the first partners in this effort.

The Somali diaspora is critical to the success of this program. For decades they've seen their home country suffer through war and one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world. They haven't been able to make a systematic impact. Now, they'll be able to engage their communities and those outside their community to bring lifesaving relief and development to Somalia.

What ARC is doing in Somalia:
  • Health Education
  • Primary Health Care
  • Maternal Health Care
  • Support to Existing Medical Institutions
  • Livelihoods Programming/
    Economic Recovery
  • Gender-based Violence Protection: Prevention & Response
  • Safe spaces for children
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services
How ARC Somalia Started:

A council of high energy, reputable individuals - 5 women and 6 men - from the Somali community in the U.S. worked hard to get this program off the ground.

Two members of the council traveled with ARC staff to Somalia in 2010 on an assessment mission to learn how displaced Somalis were living and what they needed.

They've organized dozens of small group and townhall meetings to solicit feedback and encouragement for the program.


ARC-supported facilities helped ensure access to primary healthcare for over 200,000 people in 2013, 50,000 of whom received lifesaving clinical care.

ARC’s reached more than 130,000 people with hygiene messages in 2013 while constructing 938 household latrines and 350 hand washing stands benefitting thousands of people.

ARC’s livelihoods programming in Somalia has touched the lives of more than 10,500 people through cash-for-work programs, vocational training, innovative value chain interventions and the formulation of a microfinance model adapted to suit local social and religious rules.    

ARC Somalia factsheet

Related Resources

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Building a Playground
Using only recycled materials, we were able to build a playground for the 5,000 kids living at Kiziba refugee camp in Rwanda.
On Famine
Daniel Wordsworth - American Refugee Committee President - talks about the situation in Somalia and how all of us can make a difference and help save lives.
Returning to Somalia
Nimco Ahmed shares her recent trip back Mogadishu her first time back to Somalia in 24 years
South Sudan
Rebuilding Health Care in South Sudan
Deb Ingersoll runs ARC’s Cash for Work Program in Haiti. She’s interviewed at ARC Headquarters.
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Simona Palenga, ARC Field Coordinator in Haiti, is interviewed at ARC HQ.
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Senior Director of Program Quality Monte Achenbach, is interviewed from the field in Haiti.
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ARC volunteer Dr. John Bordwell talks about the health situation of Congolese refugees in Rwanda.
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Somalia: Photos
photographs from Somalia
South Sudan: Photos
images from our efforts in southern Sudan
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