HI has been working in Somaliland to promote the rights of people with disabilities and improve their political participation in the November 2017 elections. The organisation ensures that vulnerable people including people with disabilities are included in the emergency response to the famine in West Africa.
HI Somaliland | © C. Smets-Luna / HI
HI is working to improve the participation and representation of people with disabilities in local political life. In order to achieve this, the organisation trains disabled people's organisation to become key actors in this fight and to provide civic education sessions for people with disabilities and their families. It provides both technical (management, governance, administration, training in civic education etc.) and financial support. It also raises the awareness of the general public and local actors regarding how to better take into account people with disabilities in the electoral process.
The organisation also promotes the inclusion of the most vulnerable people including people with disabilities in the programmes deployed by humanitarian organisations to respond to the famine in West Africa. It trains community volunteers in supporting malnourished children, in particular in stimulative physical therapy. It detects the barriers to inclusion and raises humanitarian organisations' awareness of this issue and identifies children with disabilities, or suffering from undernutrition or developmental delay.
Somaliland, a territory located to the north of Somalia which shares a border with Djibouti, proclaimed its independence in 1991 after a particularly bloody civil war against the regime of the Somalian dictator, Siad Barre. Since then, Somaliland has operated as a democratic state but is not recognised by the international community. The capital is Hargeisa. As it is not recognised by the UN, Somaliland has no access to development funds to improve the population's health and welfare.
55% of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic. The situation in Somaliland is considered to be generally stable, although the security situation in the country remains fragile due to poor State control, the ineffective application of legislation, and the proliferation of light weapons. In 2016, HI was active in all regions of Somaliland.