The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has committed €50 million for a joint United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNICEF programme to tackle women and children’s nutrition in nine districts in Banadir and six districts in Gedo region in the south of Somalia.
Over a million children in Somalia are expected to be acutely malnourished in the next 12 months, including 232,000 who will be severely malnourished and in need of life-saving assistance. The ongoing drought and other shocks have left communities with little to no resources to fall back on- hence the importance of investing in resilience.
The three-year grant (€24.5 million for UNICEF and €25.5 million for WFP) will be managed by the German Development Bank (KfW). This will help put families and communities in a better position to cope with shocks and crises that often hit Somalia.
UNICEF and WFP will work closely with the Government at Local, State and Federal levels. Key Ministries include the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. Coordination and oversight of this programme will be conducted by the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development (MOPIED).
“The Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development recognizes the importance of this initiative by WFP and UNICEF which contributes to the overall resilience agenda of the National Development Plan by putting an urgent focus on improving the resilience of women, children and their communities to recurrent shocks, and we look forward working and engaging with you all,” said Abdalla Hajji Ali, Minister of State for Planning, Investment and Economic Development.
The programme will take a multi-sectorial approach to addressing malnutrition and building resilience through health, nutrition water and sanitation as well as hygiene interventions. This year, it targets nearly 206,000 children under the age of five, along with over 109,000 pregnant and nursing mothers who will receive health and nutrition support for the treatment and prevention of various forms of malnutrition at the facility and community levels. In addition, over 8,000 children in Gedo will benefit from water and sanitation facilities in their schools. There will be similar numbers of people benefitting from the programme in the following two years.
“We must look to long-term community solutions to break the cycle of persistent droughts and humanitarian crisis in Somalia,” said Jutta Frasch the German Ambassador to Somalia. “We are confident that, through the collaboration between the German Government, UNICEF, WFP, the Federal Government, the Government of Jubaland, the Banadir Regional Administration and other key authorities, we can make this happen.”
To ensure the long-term impact and sustainability of the programme, WFP and UNICEF are placing a significant focus on strengthening the capabilities of government, communities and families to withstand shocks and crises and to recover from them quickly.
The services are being delivered through health centers run by partners together with the Federal Ministry of Health and Jubaland authorities. There is also a package of community level interventions delivered through community workers.
“Germany has provided important support not only to Somalia’s humanitarian efforts but also to work towards rebuilding its government and institutions and strengthening its systems,” said UNICEF Somalia Representative Steven Lauwerier. “While we continue our scaled up operations to combat the drought, we need to plan ahead and ensure that communities are resilient and able to withstand future droughts, floods and other extreme events.”
“WFP is proud to be part of this programme with UNICEF and the Government of Germany that allows us to bring our expertise together and work closely with the Government of Somalia and the people of Banadir and Gedo regions,” said WFP Deputy Country Director Edith Heines.
The programme is being launched today by the German Ambassador, UNICEF and WFP representatives and senior representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia at a ceremony in Mogadishu.