Adeso Awarded Most Effective Initiative of the Year by International Somali Awards

Villagers build a rock dam near Awasane village in Puntland, Somalia. Photo credit: Karel Prinsloo.


Nairobi, March 24th, 2016 - In recognition of 25 years of working in Somalia to help build stronger and more resilient communities, Adeso was named Most Effective Initiative of the Year at the International Somali Awards ceremony that took place in London, United Kingdom last night.

“We are truly honoured and proud to have been awarded this prize. When I first founded Adeso – then Horn Relief – in 1991, I could only dream that one day we would get to where we are now,” says Fatima Jibrell, the organization’s Somali-American founder.

Last year alone, Adeso empowered over 125,000 people in Somalia through unconditional cash transfers, a method of aid delivery they pioneered in the country as early as 2003.  

“Our approach has always been the same; we start by talking to communities to understand not only what their needs are, but also their strengths, so that we can build on them and help them stand on their own two feet,” adds Jibrell. “We’ve always known that our approach works, but it’s nice to see that others agree.”

While progress has been made in Somalia, the needs remain huge. More than 10 million people across the Horn of Africa region are in urgent need of assistance, and nearly half (4.7 million) live in Somalia. Children and families in Somalia and Somaliland are currently struggling to cope with a severe drought following two consecutive failed rainy seasons. Water resources have been depleted, devastating crops and livestock, and destroying livelihoods.

Community water sources such as shallow wells, underground reservoirs, and water dams have dried up, and families are struggling to secure enough water for their daily needs. Existing boreholes are overstretched, and the price of buying water from local sellers has more than doubled. For most families, this means that water has become unaffordable, forcing them to accumulate debts that might take years to repay.

Note to editors

Adeso is an African-founded and led organization headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The organization supports communities both at times crisis – such as the current drought in Somalia – with urgent humanitarian assistance, but also works on long term resilience and development activities to support communities to be self-reliant. 

To arrange an interview with Fatima Jibrell or Adeso’s Executive Director, Degan Ali, please contact:

In Nairobi, Anne-Marie on, +254 727 305 525

In the UK, Kevina Mugwe,, +44 7745 034395

Click here to download the press release