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Surviving severe drought in Somalia

The East African drought in 2011 exacted a terrible human cost. In central and southern Somalia, where it was compounded by the effects of 20 years of civil war, the situation reached catastrophic levels. With only a small number of humanitarian organisations on the ground, hundreds of thousands of people in the region faced life-threatening food and water shortages starting in July 2011.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the few charities that have been active in all provinces of central and southern Somalia and thus able to distribute aid on a large scale. As a founding member of the ICRC Corporate Support Group, the Swiss Re Foundation made a special donation of CHF 100 000 to assist the ICRC’s relief efforts in Somalia. The donation went toward ICRC’s expansion of its therapeutic feeding programmes and food distribution to help local communities endure the drought.

International Committee of the Red Cross


The ICRC, established in 1863, works worldwide to provide humanitarian help for people affected by conflict and armed violence and to promote the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Natural Hazards

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