A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in April 2020

4 May 2020

A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in April 2020


COVID-19 RESPONSE | IOM donates life-saving supplies

IOM is working in close coordination with the Ministry of Health, WHO, the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate and other relevant stakeholders to support COVID-19 response efforts in Somalia. Among its activities, IOM donated personal protective equipment and life-saving supplies to the De Martino Hospital, the referral hospital for treating COVID-19 patients in Somalia, as well as to the Director of Airports and the Civil Aviation in Mogadishu. [For more:  De Martino donation:  bit.ly/35k6pxo and airport donation:  bit.ly/3b0G4Ws]



HUMANITARIAN | FAO provides ‘Cash+’ help to vulnerable farmers, pastoralists and fisher folks in rural areas

Funded by USAID, FAO's Cash+ programme provides for quick impact humanitarian response and recovery activities, while also aiding longer-term efforts in social protection and resilience programmes. Through the programme, FAO provided $5.5 million in cash transfers in Somalia from the start of the year to April, reaching more than 42,000 households, and agricultural inputs, with the latter reaching 6,000 households.

Cash+ assistance combines cash transfers with inputs - like farming tools, seeds, supplementary animal feed or fishing equipment - and/or technical training and activities for vulnerable communities to protect and restore their livelihoods. Currently, FAO cash transfers in Somalia are predominantly performed through an innovative mobile money transfer system that allows the UN agency to continue supporting in a safe way the affected populations during the COVID-19 response. 



COVID-19 RESPONSE | OCHA and partners launch COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

OCHA coordinated the finalization and launch of the Somalia COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP). The plan aims to address the immediate humanitarian and socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 in Somalia. It seeks $501 million and focuses on the ‘nexus’ between humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work.



HEALTH | UNFPA launches major report on health and lives of Somalis

UNFPA supported the production of a new study by the federal government, entitled “The Somalia Health and Demographic Survey Report 2020,” which offers the country’s decision-makers and stakeholders vital information on the health and lives of Somali women of childbearing age and children. 

UNFPA assisted with technical and financial support for the report, which provides information on housing and household characteristics, health, education, marriage, fertility, birth spacing, employment, water and sanitation, health expenditure, chronic diseases, and children’s and women’s nutrition. It also offers information on married women’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS and attitudes towards people living with HIV, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, female circumcision, and adult and maternal mortality. 



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNDP and OPM establish website to provide simple, engaging content

UNDP and the Office of the Prime Minister launched a national COVID-19 website to provide simple, engaging content in Somali. The website provides a 'one-stop shop' for the latest government advice, the best public information videos, radio public service announcements and other materials, as well as hosting the COVID-19 Somali film competition.



ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | UNIDO-backed enterprise units open for “business” in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa 

Over the past few months, Somalia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), the Somali Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), both at federal and state levels, and UNIDO have been working to kickstart the first three Somalia Enterprise Development Units (EDUs) in the cities of Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa. The EDUs are hosted by the SCCI and are a key milestone initiative supported by the ‘Agro-technology development for economic growth in South and Central Somalia’ project, implemented by UNIDO, in coordination with the MoCI, and funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. 

Between March and April, the three EDUs have already delivered a first round of Enterprise Development Trainings to 87 business people and potential entrepreneurs, and started to support the local private sector community with dedicated one-on-one business counselling support services necessary to start-up an enterprise, improve business operations, support technology tie-ups and investment promotion. In the coming weeks the programme will also be deploying two credit facilities to EDU-supported clients for business loans up to $100,000. 

The project has involved the participation of businesswomen and prospective women entrepreneurs, particularly in their role as community agents of change in their local communities and key drivers for Somalia's economic development.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNHCR steps up support for COVID-19 response

UNHCR scaled up its support for Somalia's COVID-19 response through a number of activities. These included: reaching more than 150,000 refugees and IDP households with sensitization campaigns; supporting more than 10 hospitals and health care centers with medical products; installing 48 sanitation and hygiene facilities in hospitals, health care centers and reception areas; distributing soap and other hygiene products to close to 20,000 households from the refugee and host communities, providing close to 5,000 households with lifesaving cash assistance and advocating for a moratorium on forced evictions.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNICEF invests in awareness-raising to mitigate virus’ spread

UNICEF ran six different radio spots with key messages on hand washing, physical distancing and other prevention measures, and symptoms of COVID-19 across Somalia. By airing content through 26 radio stations in Puntland, Somaliland and the South Central Zone, an estimated population of 8 million people was reached with the messages. 

The radio campaign was complemented by producing billboards with the same messages in bigger cities (incl. Mogadishu, Baidoa, Garowe, Galkayo and Bossaso); disseminating the messages through banners, posters, and flyers as well as social mobilizers and vehicles with mounted loudspeakers; and sharing information through social media platforms.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNMAS reaches hundreds of beneficiaries with awareness messages

To improve local communities’ awareness about COVID-19 and preventive measures, UNMAS community-based liaison officers delivered messages to hundreds of beneficiaries on best practices, which were prepared in coordination with WHO. These include messaging on practices such as hand washing and social distancing within communities as well as remote locations. The public health awareness messages are normally part of UNMAS' community outreach activities to raise awareness about explosive hazards in Somalia and are now being used to spread COVID-19 related safety messages.



NUTRITION | WFP ensures continuity of nutritional aid for vulnerable groups

Ensuring the continuity of its nutrition assistance to half a million pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and persons living with TB and HIV in Somalia is a priority for WFP amid the COVID-19 response. Alongside its partners on the ground, WFP organized the distribution of specialised nutritious food for two months, in a staggered manner to reduce crowding at health and nutrition centres. 

The process has involved mothers carrying out nutrition screening for themselves and their children at home, thanks to their training on the use of mid-upper arm circumference tape - a technique used to help identify malnutrition. Also, community health workers have been mobilized for one-on-one counselling, observing physical distancing and other basic protective measures including personal hygiene, use of mask, low/no touch approach.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNOPS helps procure essential medical equipment and supplies

UNOPS is working with a range of UN and government partners to support response efforts in the country. Among other forms of support, UNOPS is supporting the UN Population Fund with the procurement of essential medical equipment for Banadir Hospital to strengthen the provision of health care of people in need of hospitalization during the COVID-19 pandemic.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNSOS carries out mitigation measures to prevent virus' spread

UNSOS’ passenger flights are currently suspended, but vital cargo flights and medical evacuations are continuing through the use of various robust mitigation measures. As part of its efforts to support the COVID-19 response, UNSOS has been carrying out daily disinfection of its passenger terminal and staff gate in the Mogadishu airport area, as well as the sanitization of aircraft after each passenger or medical evacuation flight and the same for cargo aircraft on a regular basis. 



LAND DISPUTES | UN-Habitat Land conflict research report validated to assist local government in solving land disputes

A final report on land conflict - carried out in seven districts of Hirshabelle state and two districts in Galmadung state, and commissioned by UN-Habitat - was validated and endorsed by the respective local officials at a joint virtual meeting.

The main aim of the research was to assess the state of land administration, conflict and dispute resolution mechanisms that could provide a good framework in coming up with policies regarding land dispute resolution. It will also support local governments in stabilization activities related to land conflict, as most of the conflicts and violence in Somalia can be attributed to the absence of a legal framework governing land administration systems and management of natural resources. 

The research was consultative. It involved people from the community through focus group discussions, local government, land management committees, local and international NGOs lawyers, public notaries and land brokers.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNSOM supports briefing by Somalia’s Prime Minister

The United Nations facilitate a briefing by the Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire, to more than 25 international partners. At the virtual meeting, the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet updated on Somalia’s #COVID-19 response; the partners pledged their solidarity and willingness to support their efforts.