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UNDP Somalia launches three major new programs to help Somalis rebuild their lives


The United Nations Development Programme Somalia office on Friday launched three major new programs aimed at supporting the efforts of Somali communities to rebuild their economy, their society, and their livelihoods.

The three programs include "Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery", "Capacity Building for Governance", and a joint program with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) titled "Reintegration of Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons".

"These programs, taken together, show what our mission in Somalia is all about," said Randolph Kent, UNDP Somalia Resident Representative. "Somalis want to move ahead, to improve their lives. We are here to support them, to offer the helping hand which enables them to take charge of their future. UNDP Somalia is helping to bridge the gap between emergency and recovery."

The "Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery" program will assist chronically vulnerable populations to generate income by providing inputs for agriculture and livestock, and offering job skills training and micro-credit projects. It also focuses on economic diversification, by reviving or encouraging industries like fishing and animal product processing (e.g. milk, chilled meat, hides), and export products like frankincense and henna. The program also helps communities to design development plans, and provides advice to authorities on how to improve economic planning and improve policies aimed at assisting the poor.

The "Capacity Building for Governance" program supports the approach that governance is a shared responsibility among diverse actors including authorities, the private sector, and civil society. Good governance requires institutions with the capacity to ensure public accountability by leaders, popular participation, availability of information, respect for human rights and gender equality, the rule of law, and public sector reform.

To reach these goals, the program will support public administrations and Somali representatives, will strengthen access to information technology, and cooperate with civil society organizations. The "Reintegration of Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons" is part of a sub-regional initiative launched by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), UNDP, and UNHCR. After years of civil war, there are approximately 350,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country, and approximately 400,000 returnees in the northwest and northeast.

There are also still about 336,000 Somali refugees living in camps in the Horn of Africa, Libya and Yemen. This program aims at providing basic social services -- like water, education, health care, and shelter -- to returnees, and more crucially, to help create social and economic opportunities for returnees and their communities.

For more information, please contact Sonya Laurence Green, Information Officer UNDP Somalia. Tel: +254 2 448434, Email:

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