Since 1994 Diakonia has through capacity building of civil society organizations in Somalia, particularly women’s local NGOs, and through promoting awareness, understanding and respect for human rights among the population supported the democratization process in Somalia.
Collapsed federal government
Somalia has an estimated population of 9 million (2009). In 1991, the Somali Civil War broke out which resulted in the collapse of the federal government. The northwestern entity Somaliland declared its independence in 1991 but is yet to be recognized as an independent state by the international community.
In 1998, the north-eastern districts declared themselves Puntland State of Somalia with a transitional charter indicating that Puntland shall remain a state of federal Somalia. The Central South has remained in a state of flux.
In 2010 there was a scattered political landscape with a marginalized Transnational Federal Government (TFG), which tried to claim authority with the help of Ethiopian armed forces, and armed opposition groups such as Hizbul Islam and AL-Shabaab fighting for domination.
Drought and famine in 2011
The 2011 drought resulted in famine and further suffering for the already vulnerable people in Somalia, particularly in the southern parts of the country.
Due to the violence and lack of security, international organizations had severe difficulties in providing humanitarian assistance.
Diakonia however, working through local partner organizations, was able to provide help to internally displaced people in the northern and central parts of Somalia.
Civil society organisations plays an important role
Since the collapse of government structures in Somalia the civil society organisations have become the engines for socio-economic development and agents for peace building and reconciliation in their own communities.
Strengthening civil society
Diakonia and its partner organizations have strengthened the civil society organizations by supporting the establishment of local women’s centers and local institutions of higher learning.