Safiyo and her son Ali at a  medical centre supported by Action Against Hunger

Hope back: Safiyo’s story

Safiyo Haji Abdi of Somalia was grateful for the financial support her family received after her malnourished son received help from Action Against Hunger through the Humanitarian Coalition, with support from the Government of Canada.

Safiyo, her husband and their eight children were among the millions in Somalia who faced the challenge of a long-term drought that led to extreme hunger, displacement and inequity throughout that country.

The drought killed their 15 goats--their primary source of income--and forced the family to leave their home in Goof Gaduud in the south-west part of the country for the city of Baidoa, 40 kilometres away and home to over 500 camps for internally displaced people. The trip was made more challenging since she was pregnant with her ninth child.

Although the camp provided them with temporary shelter, their living conditions were far from ideal. Her husband was able to earn a bit of income from casual work, but it wasn't much. Some days he came home with only the equivalent of $2, while other days he returned with nothing. It meant the family often was only able to eat once a day.

Added to their challenges was that Ali, Safiyo's eight-month-old child, became ill with fever, cough and loss of appetite.  

Concerned about her son's deteriorating condition, Safiyo sought help from a medical centre in the camp supported by Action Against Hunger. At the centre, which treats children, Safiyo learned that Ali was severely malnourished and had a respiratory infection.

Fortunately, Ali recovered after receiving comprehensive medical care, including medication and nutritional supplements. Safiyo also received education about infant and young child feeding practices and hygiene.

Ali was just one of 179 children treated by the centre between September and October 2023--treatment that resulted in a transformation in their health and well-being.

Together with its members, the Humanitarian Coalition raised more than $5 million in June 2023 for people like Safiyo affected by drought, climate change, conflict and hunger in East Africa--donations that were matched by the Government of Canada for a total of over $10 million in aid.