A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in November 2023

1 Dec 2023

A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in November 2023


De-mining | UNMAS delivers explosive ordnance risk education

With large parts of Somalia experiencing heavy rains and the extensive bursting of riverbanks, flood-affected communities have been forced to migrate to less affected areas where the level of explosive hazard contamination remains uncertain. 

To mitigate the potential risk posed by explosive ordnance items which might be found in any temporary settlements or relocated by the floodwaters, UNMAS deployed risk education teams which provided 139 explosive ordnance risk education sessions to 1,326 individuals.

The individuals had been displaced to higher grounds in Kismayo, Luuq, Marka, Baidoa, Yeed, Adale, Bula Burte and Hobyo districts, as well as the Hodan district in Banadir. 
UNMAS said these efforts will also raise the awareness of returning communities once the floodwaters subside.

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Persons with disabilities | UNDP provides training for disability organisations

UNDP organised a capacity-building workshop to empower organisations representing persons with disabilities in Puntland.

The three-week training programme, specifically tailored for disability organisations, was conducted in Garowe, the Federal Member State’s capital, and had a primary focus on strengthening skills and fostering awareness within these organisations.

The training aimed to equip participants with essential skills, knowledge, and strategies to address the unique challenges faced by persons with disabilities. Additionally, a four-day media capacity-building session focused on advocacy for disability rights and creating inclusive content.

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Food security | FAO facilitates production of locally-made fodder-processing machines

FAO facilitated the production of the first locally-manufactured fodder processing machine prototype in Somaliland – a ground-breaking achievement which marks a significant step towards strengthening the livestock sector and enhancing food security for rural communities.

The locally produced machine, comparable in performance to imported models, offers a cost-effective and accessible solution for Somaliland farmers.

By utilising locally available materials and partnering with local metalworkers, FAO noted that those involved had demonstrated the viability of local manufacturing, empowering rural communities and fostering economic growth.

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Gender | UNFPA facilitates gender mainstreaming visit for parliamentarians

UNFPA facilitated a study tour to Nigeria of a delegation of 14 female Somali parliamentarians, selected from the country’s House of the People and Senate.

The visit offered delegates an opportunity to engage in dialogue and learn from the experience of Nigerian parliamentarians. It aimed to enhance the capacity of Somali MPs in initiating and sponsoring gender-sensitive legislation, specifically addressing gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices.

The study tour included high-level meetings with leaders of Nigeria’s upper and lower houses of parliament, laying the foundation for future collaboration and fostering gender mainstreaming and good governance.

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Health | WHO scales-up of response to El Niño

Amid an ongoing and escalating drought across Somalia which has already affected 7.8 million people and displaced 1.3 million, heavy rains in recent months have caused flash floods that displaced an additional 400,000 people in Jubaland, destroying their livelihoods.

Limited access to safe water and proper sanitation in displaced communities as a result of the drought and floods led to a cholera outbreak in Jubaland. 

As of the end of July this year, more than 11,704 cases and suspected cases of cholera, with 30 associated deaths, had been reported in 28 drought-affected districts, 54 per cent of whom were children younger than five years.

After the cholera outbreak in drought- and flood-affected districts, WHO deployed teams which reached 1.79 million people with messages on health-related issues.

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Humanitarian | UNICEF deploys rapid response teams for El Niño flooding

As El Niño-induced flooding continues to ravage parts of central and southern Somalia, UNICEF emergency rapid response teams, the Somali Government, the UN and partners reached more than 100,000 children and 156,000 people in Belet Weyne, Jowhar, Balcad, Buloburte, Jalalaqsi, Kismayo, Dollow and Baidoa with integrated services in health, nutrition, protection, education and water sanitation and hygiene.

In addition, social mobilisers moved from house-to-house with early warning messages and water purifying tablets as the rains and floods were quickly contaminating water sources.

Further more, UNICEF, South West State’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and partners have reached more than 4,000 flood-affected families in Baidoa with emergency water supply and have chlorinated 103 shallow wells.

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Local governance | UN-Habitat backs digital access to government services in Somaliland

UN-Habitat supported the Somaliland Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to develop and launch an innovative e-governance platform – a mobile application and web portal where locals can access local government services and pay taxes, fees and other charges.

The user-friendly smartphone application, available for both Android and iOS users, serves as a hub for residents to access and receive a wide range of municipal services – including registering property, land and business permits, among others.

Alongside the mobile app, a comprehensive web portal (www.govsomaliland.online) offers further accessibility to these services, catering to a broader spectrum of users across five districts of Somaliland: Hargeisa, Borama, Berbera, Burao, and Gabiley.

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Gender-based violence | UNSOM launches podcast series against gender-based violence

To mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, a global campaign that runs from 25 November to 10 December, UNSOM launched a new podcast series, ‘Gobaad: Dignity for All,’ to raise awareness and take action against gender-based violence (GBV) in Somalia.

‘Gobaad: Dignity for All’ is a series of eight episodes that will explore various aspects of GBV, such as online harassment, disability and gender inequality, rural women and GBV, and the role of the government and collective action of the international community in addressing this issue. Each episode will feature a guest speaker who is an expert or an activist in the field of GBV prevention and response.

The first episode of ‘Gobaad: Dignity for All’ was released on Saturday, 25 November, and featured the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, as she introduced the 16 Days of Activism and the different forms of GBV in Somalia.

The podcast is available on Youtube, Facebook and X and was also broadcast on regional radio stations Waamo Radio, Isnaay Radio, Sanguuni Radio, Beerlula Radio, Arlaadi Radio and Radio Daar-Dheer.

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