4. Think beyond the immediate crisis to the long-term.
5. Bear in mind the expertise of local organizations.
6. Find out how prospective grantees operate.
7. Be accountable to those you are trying to help.
8. Communicate your work widely, and use it as an educational tool.
Responding to the Crisis in Somalia
Last Updated April 25, 2007
The current period of political instability and signs of renewed insurgency by Islamists in Somalia follows close on the heels of flooding in the south and center of the country, which affected around 300,000 people. Prior to the December 2006 floods, Somalia experienced the worst drought in a decade. Per Reuter's AlertNet, Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and most violent countries and is currently experiencing a complex emergency with 400,000 internally displaced people (UNHCR 2006), 395,000 refugees (UNHCR, end 2005), 2 million people in need of emergency health care (WHO 2006), and 1.7 million people in need of food aid (WFP 2006). AlertNet provides detailed updates on this emergency on its website
Charitable organizations interested in supporting relief efforts in Somalia may find the following resources, networks and organizations useful. This information is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult the Disclaimer for a full explanation of the purposes and limitations of this information.
InterAction: The largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. The link above will take you to a list of members that are accepting contributions for assistance that they or their affiliates are providing to affected populations. InterAction members have agreed to abide by a set of standards to ensure accountability to donors.
Intermediary Grantmaking Organizations: Intermediaries are generally public charities that offer fee based-services designed to meet the needs of grantmakers and individuals who wish to give outside the country in which they are based but prefer not to take on the responsibilities of doing so directly. This section is organized by issue area and geographic focus.
Government and Multilateral agencies
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): The U.S. Government's foreign assistance agency site features general updates on the ongoing crisis, current maps and specifics of U.S. government assistance in Somalia and summaries of international aid and disaster-relief activities there. Read general information on how to help those affected by a disaster overseas.
United Nations ReliefWeb: A project of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, this web site serves as a clearing house for NGOs, multilateral and government agencies that are assisting with or conducting humanitarian relief operations in Somalia.
Disaster Grantmaking: A Practical Guide for Foundations and Corporations: A joint product of the Council on Foundations and the European Foundation Centre, this free publication suggests eight principles, listed on the left, plus practical tips for grantmakers to consider when responding to emergency situations. Download the PDF.
Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations: Prepared by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Exempt and Government Entities division. Although this publication does not focus on international grantmaking it extends advice on how to give through existing U.S. charitable organizations, how to set up a new charitable organization and the requirements for documentation. Download it here (in PDF).