A Round-up of Activities of the UN System in Somalia in September 2020

30 Sep 2020

A Round-up of Activities of the UN System in Somalia in September 2020


Agriculture | FAO launches radio training programmes for farmers, pastoralists and fisher folks

In light of the current threat to public health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prevent the spread of the virus, FAO launched a new radio distance learning and extension service that complements its cash and livelihood support, for the most vulnerable farmers, pastoralists and fisher folks in Somalia.

Thanks to the support of USAID, Sweden and Germany, 30 training episodes started airing in local dialects all over the country on key topics such as good agricultural practices, livestock, nutrition and fishery.

This new initiative is part of FAO’s e-Platform for Mobile Money and Livelihood Assistance in Somalia, which has already registered more than 414,500 households – comprising nearly 2.5 million people – that can be reached through mobile money and livelihood assistance through e-vouchers.



Local Leadership | UN-Habitat provides training on local leadership management in urban areas

In partnership with the Hirshabelle Ministry of Interior and Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, UN-Habitat delivered a 10-day local leadership management training to 29 members of Warsheikh district council. 
The goal of the training was to enhance the leadership capacity of the council and facilitate better local governance so as to foster service delivery in Somalia’s local government within the country’s rapidly urbanizing environment. 

The training highlighted the need for more women in the council to promote inclusion and women’s participation and representation in local decision-making process, and the localization of the sustainable development goals.



Migration | IOM resumes business training for returning migrants

After months on standby because of COVID-19, IOM has resumed the Start & Improve your Business (SIYB) trainings under the European Union-IOM Joint Initiative. 

The trainings for Somali migrant returnees started in 2018 and are based on the ILO SIYB curriculum. The sessions support returning Somali migrants to acquire basic skills in business management and planning.



Justice | UNDP provides mentoring for future justice leaders

UNDP is providing long-term, targeted mentoring for up to ten Ministry of Justice (MoJ) staff in each Federal Member State to build problem-solving skills, improve leadership and make meetings more effective. 

Topics covered in the training include how to lead, prepare and conduct meetings with clear aims and action points; how to deal with difficult situations; and, how to develop creative solutions to old problems by looking at them from fresh perspectives. 

MoJ staff will be able to apply these skills to the challenge of providing justice for all, including the most vulnerable. Sessions are conducted virtually in order to allow work to continue despite COVID-19 restrictions.



Female Genital Mutilation | UNFPA supports midwives’ fight against medicalisation of FGM

UNFPA in investing more in the midwifery profession, particularly in midwifery regulation, to ensure that no midwife participates in the medicalization of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). 

One hundred midwives in Puntland, including 20 new graduates from UNFPA-supported midwifery schools, committed not to participate in the medicalization of FGM. 

They pledged to be anti-FGM champions in the #EndFGM campaign, following an assembly organized by the Puntland Ministry of Health and Puntland Association of Midwives with UNFPA’s financial and technical support.



Flood Response | UNCHR steps up flood response with distribution of emergency kits

UNHCR stepped up its flood response across the country with the distribution of emergency shelters and Non-Food Items (NFIs) kits. 

Vulnerable communities were reached in some of the hardest hit regions, including Belet Weyne and Afgyooye, while plans were underway to reach more people in Marka and Qardho by the end of the month. 

Overall, UNHCR’s initial flood response plan includes the distribution of 11,476 NFI kits and 7,000 emergency shelter kits.
The ongoing response comes against the backdrop of severe floods still being witnessed in the country. 

According to provisional figures from the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN), more than 150,000 people were displaced by the third week of September.



Health | UNICEF and WHO support polio and measles vaccination campaign

As the COVID-19 response continues in Somalia, it is crucial immunization drives are sustained at the same time. 

With this in mind, the federal Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF organized a major polio and measles vaccination campaign in the Benadir region, reaching more than 400,000 children with life-saving vaccines. 

More such campaigns are planned.



Economic development | UNIDO supports 20 companies in fruit and vegetable exhibition 

With support provided by UNIDO, more than 20 Somali companies took part in Macfrut Digital, the leading Italian exhibition in the fruit and vegetable sector – albeit electronically this year.

The Somali companies, assisted by the Entrepreneurship Development Units (EDUs) established by UNIDO in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa, received more than 50 requests for partnerships from several countries, primarily buyers interested in tropical fruits and citrus, as well as technology providers in the horticulture sector.

The Somali virtual presence also included a video message to potential business partners from the country’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Abdullahi Ali Hassan.

According to UNIDO, Macfrut 2020 was a valuable opportunity to open up the international market for traders and buyers in this difficult time of uncertainty.

In the weeks to come, UNIDO and the EDUs will be following-up the negotiations established after the exhibition between foreign companies and Somali small- to medium-sized enterprises.

This activity was implemented within the framework of the ‘Agro-technology development for Economic Growth in central and south Somalia’ project funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, with the participation of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Somalia Chamber of Commerce and Industry offices in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Baidoa (hosting the EDUs) and the technical support of the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion office. 



Mine Action | UNMAS reaches 3,701 beneficiaries with explosives awareness training

With community-based risk education playing an important role in informing the public about explosive hazards and preventing accidents, UNMAS community-based liaison officers delivered Explosive Ordnance Risk Education to 3,701 beneficiaries. 

Most of the beneficiaries were children and internally displaced people living near locations suspected to contain mines and other unexploded ordnances.



Elections | UN and international partners note announcement on electoral agreement

The United Nations in Somalia was one of the country’s many international partners which, in a joint statement, took note of the agreement announced by the Federal Government of Somalia President and the five Federal Member State Presidents regarding the 2020/21 electoral process. 

The partners acknowledged that the agreement resulted from a Somali-led and Somali-owned dialogue among the leaders, and understood that some details of the agreed process were still to be clarified and additional stakeholders may be consulted. 

They also observed, with regret, that the announced model fell short of the longstanding Somali goal of direct voting for members of parliament in this electoral cycle, and urged that the 2020/21 electoral process be free, fair, transparent and inclusive.



Humanitarian Aid | Home delivery service sees usage of WFP e-Shop service skyrocket

The addition of home delivery services to WFP’s e-Shop platform, minimizing COVID-19 risk in the distribution of humanitarian assistance, has seen the number of e-Shop users in Somalia shoot past 90,000 in September. 

Created by WFP in 2018, e-Shop is an innovative step forward for the humanitarian aid model. It is a digital marketplace, accessed either via an iOS/Android app or USSD, that connects the people receiving WFP cash-based food support directly with networks of local food suppliers, retailers and – since 2020 – WFP-supported delivery agents. 

This approach creates opportunities for local economies and empowers beneficiaries with more choice and agency, as they can easily compare prices and benefit from competition – and now order food for COVID-safe delivery to their doorstep. 

This model, of using digital platforms to enhance food aid, can readily be expanded to other types of humanitarian assistance. WFP is already working with several other organizations on using the digital market linkages made possible by eShop in their own programmes.



COVID-19 response | WHO finding cases of COVID-19 by enhancing surveillance in ‘silent’ districts

By the end of August 2020, a total of 7,530 suspected cases of COVID-19 had been investigated by 73 rapid response teams deployed by WHO.

Community health teams had reached close to three million people with risk communication messages and visited almost 570,000 households to actively search for COVID-19 cases.

In efforts to find the latest cases, WHO enhanced its surveillance systems by deploying rapid response teams to districts which had not previously reported any suspected cases.

A total of 656 samples were collected for analysis from the so-called ‘silent’ districts. A strong surveillance system will ensure early detection and response to COVID-19 and other health emergencies.