A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in January 2021

30 Jan 2021

A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in January 2021


Farming | FAO radio training benefits farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk

A radio training initiative which FAO launched five months ago is going strong, reaching thousands of Somalis with specialized programming to assist them with good farming practices.

Broadcast across eight Somali radio stations, the ongoing programmes are divided into different series with 30 episodes in total.

They offer information on good agricultural practices, livestock, fisheries and nutrition, and target farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk across Somalia.

Radio remains one of the most far-reaching and popular tools of communication across the country, especially due to low literacy levels in rural areas, which means a greater reliance on radio to access information, stay up to date and learn new things.



COVID-19 Response | UN-Habitat builds four water kiosks in Belet Weyne

As part of the COVID19 response, UN-Habitat has recently finalized the construction of four water kiosks at the four urban villages near Belet Weyne: Bundoweyn, Howlwadag, Hawo Tako and Kooshin. 

The project aims to improve access to safe and affordable water for the most vulnerable communities comprised of both internally displaced people and host communities. 

The water kiosks are complemented by a community management plan to ensure the sustainability of this initiative.



Health | IOM supports telemedicine project to enhance healthcare services

IOM is supporting an innovative telemedicine project to strengthen healthcare services in several hospitals and health clinics around Somalia.

Led by the Ministry of Health and Human Services, the project aims to set up the necessary facilities to enable local medical professionals to access a growing body of health knowledge and expertise inside and outside the country.

Knowledge resulting from this project is expected to help revolutionize Somalia’s healthcare system through a systematic transfer of expertise.



Humanitarian | OCHA encourages response to worsening situation in Xudur

The food security situation in the town of Xudur, in South West State’s (SWS) Bakool region, is reportedly deteriorating with the price of food having risen sharply over the past couple of months.

The increase has been attributed to a blockade preventing the entry of commodities into the town. There are concerns that the situation will worsen the pre-existing humanitarian situation.

SWS’s Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has been in contact with the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia and other stakeholders, appealing for humanitarian assistance for vulnerable communities.

The Ministry reported that Xudur and other areas in the Bay and Bakool regions have been affected by both natural and man-made disasters over the years, including droughts, floods, epidemics, pests and conflict.



Renewable energy | UNDP provides solar panels to Somaliland hospitals

Thanks to funding from Japan, UNDP has been able to supply two medical facilities in Somaliland with solar panels that provide a steady supply of free power.

Now deliveries are safer, medicine can be refrigerated all the time and there is light for emergency treatments carried out at night.



Gender-Based Violence | Midwifery students join the fight against harmful practices

UNFPA is sponsoring training for midwifery students at the Mogadishu Midwifery Training Institute, which involves them advocating for and carrying out community sensitization to ensure that interventions for the prevention, mitigation and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) receive priority attention as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on vulnerable communities.



Refugee Protection | UNHCR supports identity cards for refugees

In Somaliland, UNHCR has supported the National Displacement and Refugee Agency with the issuance of identification cards for more than 5,000 refugees living in the capital, Hargeisa.

Cumulatively, 76 per cent of refugees in Hargeisa have benefited from the ongoing process.

Registration and identification are key protection components in combating fraud as well as helping refugees to prove their legal identity.

The process is also used in other protection interventions, such as family reunification, improving refugees’ access to basic assistance, protecting refugees against refoulement, arbitrary arrest and detention.



Education | UNICEF lauds skilled teachers for advancing basic education

On the International Day for Education, observed on 24 January, UNICEF commended dedicated teachers around Somalia for bringing education to life by imparting knowledge and preparing children with the right tools to learn and thrive.

UNICEF said that skilled and motivated teachers are at the forefront of fostering children’s physical and mental wellbeing and ensuring children can learn in a safe and protective environment. It is therefore crucial that they are continuously informed, supported and engaged.

UNICEF is working with the Somali government and other partners to recruit and train teachers, and support them to respond to students’ needs to give them a chance to reach their full potential.

In 2020, more than 5,500 teachers and community education committee members were trained in pedagogical skills, teaching methodologies, classroom management, lesson planning and child development.



Business development | UNIDO supports one-on-one business counselling programme

Funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and through the network of Enterprise Development Units (EDUs) across Somalia, UNIDO commenced a one-on-one business counselling initiative.

The individual counselling programme consists of on-site advice and guidance to start-up or existing enterprises – to improve management skills, diagnose personal business problems or generate business ideas and opportunities.

In the first two weeks of 2021, the EDU in Mogadishu provided counselling to seven enterprises.



Elections | UN and international partners welcome electoral body announcement

The United Nations in Somalia was one of 23 signatories to a joint statement of international partners, which welcomed the nomination of State-level Electoral Implementation Teams for Jubaland and Puntland.

“While overdue, this positive step can help to create conditions for the rapid implementation of the 17 September electoral model in an inclusive and consensual manner,” the partners said in the statement.

In it, they also fully endorsed the proposal to urgently convene a meeting between the Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders in order to resolve the remaining electoral implementation issues in order for credible and inclusive elections to proceed.

They continued, “The partners call for a single agreed electoral process – without parallel or partial alternatives – that will be conducted peacefully with protection of political space and media freedom, guarantees the 30 per cent women’s quota, and results in a credible and inclusive outcome that serves the national interest."



COVID-19 Response | UNSOS continues training for AMISOM military and police

UNSOS has continued to provide training to military and police personnel serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), despite the cancellation of all contact trainings due to COVID-19.
Using specialized platforms, UNSOS’ Field Technology Section has managed to facilitate continuous e-learning in various parts of the country where AMISOM operates, in areas such as business continuity, crisis and emergency management, disaster recovery, supply chain, project management and leadership.



Food Technology | WFP successfully trials hydroponics unit at skills development centre

WFP conducted a successful trial of the hydroponics unit at its skills development centre in Puntland’s capital of Garowe, germinating a batch of barley and sorghum seeds.

Hydroponics technology makes it possible to grow crops and produce fodder using up to 60-80 per cent less water than conventional methods, – with important potential applications for food systems and household livelihoods in Somalia’s often harsh climate.

For this reason, hydroponics is one of the areas in focus at the skills development centre that WFP is setting up in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Climate Change. The aim is to equip vulnerable Somali communities with innovative techniques and training that will make them more resilient against drought and other shocks.



COVID-19 Response | WHO assists health authorities with pandemic response

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO has supported the Somali authorities with their preparedness and response efforts.

Coordination, surveillance, laboratory, case management and the provision of supplies and equipment are among the key areas of focus for the response.

In the month of December, more than 20,000 samples were tested for COVID-19 in laboratories across Somalia. A total of 95 alerts of COVID-19 were investigated, with the support of 73 trained district rapid-response teams.

More than 3,000 community healthcare workers, deployed in 51 priority districts, reached close to two million people with health promotion messages.

To ensure quality of care for COVID-19 patients in peripheral health facilities, 12 oxygen concentrators were donated to health centres in remote areas of Somalia.



Gender-Based Violence | UN Women supports gender-based violence database system in Puntland

UN Women and UNFPA supported the development of a specialized online database on gender-based violence (GBV), which was launched in Puntland’s capital, Garowe.

Developed by the Specialized Prosecutor’s Unit on Gender-Based Violence, part of the Attorney General’s Office, the database will track and record GBV cases.

“The attorney general’s sub-offices in four regions in Puntland will benefit the initial phase of the data base project, and these regions will no longer be using the manual registration methods,” the Deputy Attorney General, Mohamed Hared, said at the launch.