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

2 Apr 2021

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


COVID-19 Response | UNICEF supports COVID-19 vaccines arrival in Somalia

In mid-March, Somalia received the first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccines. As part of the UN’s support to Somalia, UNICEF assisted the Government in procuring and supplying the vaccines and injection equipment through the COVAX facility.  Somalia was among the first African countries to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccines delivered through the facility, ensuring equitable distribution of the vaccines worldwide.

In the coming weeks and months, UNICEF and partners will work closely to monitor vaccines in the supply chain, ensure that adequate cold chain capacity is in place to accommodate the vaccines, and provide technical assistance to strengthen the cold chain systems. UNICEF will also support Somalia in monitoring the vaccine utilization and accountability through stock management and reporting.

In close partnership with the Government and WHO, UNICEF is also building on years of experience in providing simple, effective, and accurate information to build public knowledge, awareness, and confidence in vaccines. Social mobilizers are being deployed to ensure  that local communities are engaged in the overall vaccination process. They will also reinforce the importance of continuing COVID-19 prevention measures.



Property Registration | UN-Habitat aims at increasing revenue and better service delivery through a property registration drive in Baidoa

Over 21,400 properties were mapped and registered in a recently concluded mapping exercise in Baidoa district, through the Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG) in close coordination with government counterparts and other stakeholders in South West State, Somalia.

The exercise also led to the demarcation of sub-zones boundaries, updating of district administrative maps, roads classification, road naming and road signs installation. Following this exercise, it is projected that Baidoa district will generate an estimated half a million dollars per annum from this untapped revenue stream.

This property registration exercise is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the local government to collect revenue and enhance service delivery.



Displacement | IOM Somalia relocates nearly 7,000 internally displaced persons facing eviction

Nearly 7,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were facing eviction from their homes in Somalia were relocated on Sunday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to Barwaaqo, a new site for IDPs in Baidoa. The IDPs were living on private land across 17 informal settlements in Baidoa city. They joined another 6,116 individuals who moved to Barwaaqo previously in 2019, in coordination with the South West State Government.



Humanitarian | OCHA works with humanitarian partners and authorities to scale up and prioritize immediate lifesaving responses

More than 34 districts across Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Jubaland are facing alarming water scarcity. Since November 2020, over 83,000 persons have been displaced  due to water shortages. According to FEWS NET’s food security outlook, most of Somalia has been experiencing drier and hotter than normal conditions since January. The dry conditions follow a generally below-average Deyr rainfall season in late 2020. Cumulative rainfall during the October to December 2020 Deyr was lower than the historical average in the north and most of the south, with the biggest deficits occurring in parts of Togdheer, Gedo and Lower Juba regions. Furthermore, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is launching a $13.3 million allocation that will be complemented by a $7 million Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) Rapid Response grant.



Access to justice | UNDP and MOJ survey community safety and access to justice services

UNDP and the Ministry of Justice surveyed 84 communities in seven cities to assess how COVID-19 has affected policing, security, and access to justice, including the extent of violence against women and community perceptions of safety and service provision. The results will be used to inform policy and in the development of a new generation of programmes boosting access to justice in Somalia.



Youth with disabilities | UNFPA upholds the dignity of vulnerable women and girls during humanitarian crises

UNFPA is supporting the Dalbile Youth Initiative to promote a startup for youth living with disabilities to produce renewable face masks to be distributed to vulnerable communities, including persons with disabilities and internally displaced persons in Mogadishu.



COVID-19 Response | UNHCR steps up COVID-19 response by donating essential supplies and personal protective equipment 

Amid a new wave of coronavirus infections, UNHCR donated essential supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. The donation consisted of three large medical tents, 50,000 face shields and 10,000 pairs of gloves. UNHCR also stepped up its COVID response in other regions by donating more than 32,000 additional PPEs to health ministries and local hospitals across Baidoa, Dhobley, Dollow, Hargeisa, Galkayo. They included surgical gowns, aprons, masks, gloves, face shields and sanitizers.



Livestock | FAO provides livestock treatment and distributes supplies through Cash+ programme

FAO, through the implementing partner Agency for Humanity Initiative Organization (AHIO), provided livestock treatment/deworming and distributed supplementary feed blocks and plastic containers (known locally as Mazzicans and used by pastoralists for milk storage and hygienic transfer of milk) to households in five districts in Somaliland (Baki, Berbera, Borama, Hargeisa and Luqhaya).

FAO defines cash+ as an intervention that combines cash transfers with productive assets, agricultural inputs and/or technical training and extension services to enhance the livelihoods and productive capacities of poor and vulnerable households.

Cash+ livestock provides immediate humanitarian support to livestock producers through unconditional cash transfers, including monthly cash assistance (for six months), livestock livelihood inputs (mineral blocks for livestock, livestock treatment and milk containers) and training to make the most of the inputs provided.



Economic Development | UNIDO and MOCI work on a plan for development of Special Economic Zones in Somalia

The federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), with the technical support of UNIDO, has started the implementation of strategy for the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Somalia. The initiative is a component of the UN Somalia flagship joint programme lead by UNIDO and MoCI, and aimed at supporting the Development of Somalia Productive Sectors (PSDP). The programme is funded by Italy thought the UN Somalia Multiparters Trust Fund (UN-MPTF).

FGS-MOCI intends to promote the establishment of Economic Zones in various regions of Somalia, in order to generate robust business activities, creating employment opportunities and stimulating entrepreneurial development across the country. The institutive primarily aims at targeting domestic enterprise mainly SMEs. The goal is to increase “employment opportunities, develop domestic value chains in agricultural commodities, increase inclusivity and access to technology and business services for youth, women and most vulnerable”. Great emphasis is placed on improving the quality of infrastructure like ports, transportation or energy services, and enhancing investment in the Somali economy, from domestic as well as Somali diaspora and other foreign sources”. The Ministry will work with UNIDO, key international development partners and the private sector to fully implement this initiative.



Migration Management | UNODC supports Somaliland with countering trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants

On 11 March, UNODC organized an awareness raising workshop and roundtable discussion for parliamentarians on countering trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. The workshop was convened as part of the Better Migration Management programme, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.



COVID-19 Response | UN supports the arrival and roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in Somalia

In mid-March, 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Somalia, of which  195,000 doses were delivered to Mogadishu, 40,000 to Garowe and 65,000 to Hargeisa. This first consignment of vaccines will be used to vaccinate frontline workers, elderly persons, and people with chronic health conditions. By prioritizing essential workers and people who are at highest risk of COVID-19 complications, Somalia can ensure health and other essential services continue to function and deaths among people at risk, especially the elderly, can be reduced.

The UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, hailed the Somali authorities for their sustained efforts to combat COVID-19 and pledged the world body’s continuing support to roll out a nationwide vaccination campaign to contain the spread of the pandemic.

The UN continues to work closely with the Government of Somalia to ensure there is a swift, safe, and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines across the country.  It will also continue supporting interventions to provide medical equipment, distribute personal protective equipment, train medical and non-medical staff, inform communities about various prevention measures, and undertake other crucial activities to defeat the virus.



COVID-19 Response | WFP UNHAS flights deliver COVID-19 vaccines to multiple locations

In a critical turning point in the government-led fight against COVID-19 in Somalia, WFP – working with UNICEF, WHO and the rest of the United Nations family – delivered the first batch of vaccines through the COVAX facility. Aircraft from the fleet of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, brought the initial consignments to multiple locations. This builds on the work done since March 2020 by WFP and UNHAS to support the Somali authorities and the humanitarian community through the COVID-19 pandemic, by transporting medical personnel, equipment, and samples.



Elections | UN and international partners call for Somali leaders to reach agreement

In preparation for the Mogadishu summit of the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States, Somalia’s international partners urged participants to convene quickly and show leadership by building on the Baidoa Technical Committee proposals of 16 February 2021 to implement the 17 September 2020 electoral model, and to conduct peaceful, inclusive, free, fair, and credible elections without delay.

In a joint statement, the partners noted they would not support a partial or parallel electoral process or any initiatives leading to extension of prior mandates.