A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in January 2024
Youth | UNFPA launches Somali Youth Fellowship
UNFPA introduced the Somali Youth (SoYo) Fellowship Programme, with the aim of equipping young Somali individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become leaders in various fields, ultimately contributing to the development of their nation.
The 12-month fellowship programme is dedicated to supporting the priorities of the Somali Government. It provides an opportunity for individuals to receive training and guidance in order to make a positive impact on Somali society; and it emphasises areas such as entrepreneurship, healthcare and social justice.
It was officially launched with a ceremony that introduced the first group of SoYo Fellows. Speaking at the event, the head of UNFPA in Somalia, Niyi Ojuolape, noted the UN agency's commitment to enhancing the potential of young people and supporting the country's development.
Nutrition | UNICEF supports children with severe acute malnutrition
Somali partner organisations treating children for severe acute malnutrition at the Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu have consistently expressed concern about the limited bed capacity in the stabilisation centre, making it difficult to admit all the children in need. Usually, the children who are admitted have significant weight loss accompanied by a medical complication, such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, or measles.
In order to bridge this gap, UNICEF collaborated with Concern Worldwide to construct an expansion to the stabilisation unit, with financial support from ECHO. The unit has been expanded by an additional 40 beds, increasing its capacity.
The expansion aims to guarantee consistent and high-quality treatment and care for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Somalia. According to UNICEF, this effort aligns with the broader objective of enhancing access and fairness in nutrition services for the early identification and treatment of wasting by 2025.
Poverty | UNDP supports poverty index computation
UNDP led the second phase of computing the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in collaboration with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The MPI functions as an analytical tool to identify vulnerable populations, unveil areas of deprivation, and facilitate targeted resource allocation and policy design.
In Somalia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics are collaborating to develop a national MPI. UNDP and OPHI provide in-person training on the computation and analysis of the MPI to support this initiative.
According to UNDP, the project aligns with global trends in establishing multidimensional poverty measures, promoting effective resource allocation, policy improvement, and comprehensive monitoring of poverty reduction strategies.
Humanitarian | OCHA launches 2024 Humanitarian needs and response plane
In coordination with the Somalia Disaster Management Agency, OCHA launched the 2024 Somalia Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan (HNRP).
According to the plan, the projected number of individuals requiring assistance in 2024 has seen a significant decrease to 6.9 million, marking a 17 per cent reduction from the previous year's figure of 8.25 million.
Inter-sectoral needs have been reduced, with no district classified as 'catastrophic' compared to 11 in 2023.
The HNRP will require $1.6 billion, a reduction of almost 40 per cent in funding requirements compared to 2023.
Food Security | FAO programme to help break cycle of food crises
Somalia's frequent climate shocks, such as droughts and floods, leave many rural communities vulnerable to food insecurity and displacement.
Recognising the need for a comprehensive approach, FAO launched the Long-Term Cash and Livelihood Assistance Programme, funded by USAID. The programme focuses on preventing further displacements by providing immediate relief and establishing a link between emergency interventions and long-term development strategies.
According to FAO, by combining long-term cash assistance with support measures like the formation of village savings and loans association groups, nutrition sensitisation, and livelihood diversification training, the programme aims to empower vulnerable households, ensuring better preparation for unexpected shocks and fostering sustainable income generation.
Urban development | UN-Habitat supports sustainable waste management initiative
UN-Habitat conducted a series of initiatives to promote and create a working and sustainable waste management system in the coastal city of Berbera.
Throughout the month, the UN agency arranged a series of trainings in waste management for 200 municipal officials and other personnel in the city.
UN-Habitat's contribution of two 12,000-litre trucks increased the city's sewage collection capacity by five times. Also, leachate pipes used for drainage in the ‘Fukuoka method’ – a natural farming method – were also successfully installed, marking a significant milestone in the progress of the construction project, according to the UN agency.
Education | UN envoy encourages graduates to work together to solve problems
Marking the International Day of Education at a graduation ceremony in Mogadishu, a group of graduate students were encouraged to collaborate to find solutions to national, regional and global problems.
“Congratulations! You've already achieved a lot; we wish you all the very best. Please stay here solving Somalia's problems. But not just Somalia's problems, the problems of the region, the problems of the globe,” the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, said at the graduation ceremony.
The top UN official was addressing graduate students at the University for Peace’s (UPEACE) third graduation ceremony in the Somali capital. They were made up of 73 graduating students were made up of 14 women and 59 men from Somalia, India, Nigeria and elsewhere. They were receiving postgraduate degrees in a range of areas, including peace, governance, development, environment, international law, human rights and more.
In her remarks, Ms. Laing also highlighted the interlinkages between education and development, and emphasised the importance of a resourceful higher education sector for a country's success in the world economy.
Security | Top UN official visits Somalia
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, Atul Khare, visited Somalia to highlight the role of UNSOS and its support for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Somali security forces in meetings with Somali and African Union officials. He expressed optimism for Somalia's future and emphasized the need for UNSOS to build capacity and provide operational support to security forces.
UNSOS has been actively supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in enhancing the capabilities of the Somali National Army, Somali Police Force, and civilians in critical fields. More than 500 Somali nationals have received training in various fields from UNSOS.
UNSOS also administers the Somalia Trust Fund which is centred on providing non-lethal logistical support to Somali Security Forces engaged in joint operations with ATMIS troops. However, resource shortfalls in the Trust Fund have hindered this scaling up – while in Mogadishu, Mr. Khare called upon all UN Member States to contribute to the Trust Fund to ensure future security measures are in place.