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

13 Apr 2020

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


COVID-19 RESPONSE | WHO supports health authorities with early detection, case finding and rapid response

In support of Somalia's health authorities, WHO began establishing 1,250 active surveillance sites with more than 1,500 health workers and community volunteers for case finding, contact tracing and testing for limiting wide-spread community transmission of COVID-129. WHO has established one testing facility in Mogadishu, while two others will be operational in Hargesia and Gaorwe with the capacity to test 300-400 samples a day in each of these testing facilities.



AGRICULTURE | FAO listens to beneficiaries

In 2019, FAO received a monthly average of 7,858 phone calls to its Call Centre, with beneficiaries of its work – farmers, fishermen and pastoralists, among others – calling to ask questions, report mistakes or issues and provide feedback. The FAO Call Centre staff are trained in a range of areas, including gender sensitivity and on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, and the interaction helps FAO prepare its programmes so that they are able to provide support in the best manner possible. FAO is also in close contact with beneficiaries via SMS, with some 45,100 alerts and information messages, along with 2,396 face-to-face interviews, sent and conducted with beneficiaries in the first three months of 2020.




COVID-19 RESPONSE | IOM disseminates awareness campaigns for internally displaced persons

Targeting locations with internally displaced persons, IOM scaled up its operations and organized community mobilization and information sessions on COVID-19. The UN agency disseminated key messages to more than 12,000 individuals on transmission modes, outbreak prevention, myths and health practices.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | OCHA reinforces criticality of humanitarian aid amid pandemic response

OCHA worked with UN agencies and partners to consolidate the humanitarian components of the integrated Country Preparedness and Response Plan (CPRP) to address the humanitarian consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan focuses on maintaining critical programmes and activities within the 2020 Somalia Humanitarian Response Plan, while scaling up specific COVID-19-related interventions. The CPRP will complement the Federal Government’s national preparedness plan that was announced in March and other national mechanisms.



YOUTH | UN-Habitat supports youth representation in state parliament

A milestone was achieved in South West State with 43 youth, aged between 25 and 36, elected to its Parliament – accounting for 45 per cent of the representative body’s 95 seats. An initiative of UN-Habitat and UNFPA – the Youth Political Empowerment Project, which focuses on enhancing the capacities of youth to meaningfully engage in peacebuilding and governance – had been established in the Federal Member State in 2018, supported by the UN Peacebuilding Fund and implemented with federal and state youth authorities and representatives. The initiative established safe spaces for youth to speak out and create tangible mechanisms for their direct participation in the development of policies and programmes at the local level.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNDP supports efforts of sheiks and madrassas teachers to raise awareness

UNDP is working with Somalia’s most respected sheiks to broadcast messages countrywide on how to stay safe from COVID-19, how to identify symptoms and what to do if feeling ill. UNDP is also helping to mobilise thousands of madrassas teacher to encourage COVID-safe behaviour in communities and distribute essential supplies, including soap and water for the most vulnerable.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNFPA supports ‘youth caravans’

UNFPA began working with Somalia’s Y-PEER youth peer education network to carry out youth caravans around the country to sensitize members of the public on how they can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, with a particular focus on social distancing and increasing hygiene practices. Normally, the youth caravans are used to raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of gender-based violence.



CULTURE AND ARTS | UNESCO helped develop Somali teachers’ guide for culture and arts

Working with national partners, UNESCO developed a Teacher’s Guide for Culture and Arts, available in Somali and English, and based on the premise that including culture and art into learning environments contributes to balancing the intellectual, emotional and psychological development of individuals and societies. The guide was developed through a joint project with the European Union for Somalia.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNHCR working with authorities to help high-risk populations

With the well-being of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities as its main priority amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR worked with government ministries and NGO partners to target high-risk populations across the country. As part of its initial response, a number of preventative measures have been put in place in refugee neighbourhoods and IDP settlements, with these including tent donations, sensitization campaigns, and material support such as soap and hand washing stations.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNOPS supports roll-out of Somali police’s community outreach campaign

UNOPS is supporting efforts by community police across Mogadishu to hit the streets with critical information on COVID-19 symptoms and prevention measures, aimed at helping stop the spread of the virus locally. Officers from 23 police stations and headquarters in the Benadir region began delivering flyers, postcards and posters to communities in the city and surrounding area, and will continue to do so throughout the coming months. With UNOPS’ support, along with that of UNDP and UNSOM, the Somali Police Force and Federal Member States’ Police Forces are reaching Somalia’s most vulnerable communities – conducting foot patrols in mosques, schools, markets, and camps for internally displaced persons.



ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | UNIDO supports employability of some 150 Somali youth thru MoLSA Rehabilitation project

UNIDO supported the rehabilitation of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs compound in Mogadishu, as part of an activity under the Youth Employment Somalia – Joint Programme (YES-JP). The rehabilitation project was more than just a regular job for a contracted company as it engaged 150 young Somalis, of which 66 were young unemployed or under-employed people that had received construction trades trainings from UNIDO and other parts of the UN family. Similar engagement of young Somalis is planned for premises of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UN envoy: world body stands "shoulder to shoulder" with Somalis

In a statement, the UN envoy to Somalia and head of UNSOM, James Swan, said, “The UN family in Somalia stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Somalia during this testing time. We will continue to support all efforts to address the immediate health and long-term socio-economic impact of COVID-19. We must all unite to prevent the spread of the virus. We need to pay particular attention to the most vulnerable in our communities, including internally displaced people, the infirm and the elderly.”



COVID-19 RESPONSE | UNSOS helps raise awareness to fight pandemic in local communities

UNSOS helped raise public awareness on how to fight the COVID-19 pandemic among local communities in Baidoa, Belet Weyne and Kismayo. The UNSOS-supported campaign included radio programming and public service announcements, complemented by social media messages and the production of information, communication and education materials, which focused on the best practices for the management and prevention of new infections. (To listen to the radio programming: bit.ly/2QoOgIe and bit.ly/2Wm7eDj)



EXPLOSIVE HAZARDS | UNMAS provided training in explosive ordnance disposal to Somali police

As part of its efforts to build the capacity of Somali Police Forces to respond the threat of explosive hazards in Somalia, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs), UNMAS provided medical and technical training in explosive ordnance disposal to four teams from the Somali Police Forces from Addado, Kismayo, Baidoa and Mogadishu.



COVID-19 RESPONSE | WFP adjusts operations to ensure safety of personnel, partners and public

As a preventative measure, WFP has adjusted its operations to reduce the possible risk of infection among its personnel, cooperating partners and, the people it serves. Measures include training, in collaboration with WHO, its food monitors and third-party monitoring personnel on basic measures to protect themselves against COVID-19 as they carry out their tasks, as well as the design of posters for display in more than 2,000 sites where WFP distributes life-saving food and cash-based assistance.