The Home of Somali Poetry aims to find out — and promote Somali culture in the process

Spend more than a day or so in Somalia and someone will mention poetry — whether it’s song cycles exchanged between different clans over hundreds of years, anti-colonial verse of the 20th century, or today’s young poets (as well as singers and rappers) using verse to explore love, war and politics in the 21st century. Across different styles, historical eras and regional variations, if there’s one thing that unites Somalis all over the world, it’s an agreement that their poetry is fantastic.


Dams built by UNDP and the GEF provide water to camel herders and local communities when it’s needed most

Across Somalia, climate change is altering the seasons, worsening natural disasters and extreme weather events. In 2017, after the rains failed for three seasons in a row, a severe drought caused widespread hunger, disease and livestock deaths and left over 6 million people food insecure.

Puntland’s Shaxda village is especially prone to droughts. The village is mainly made up of camel herders and farmers, who are completely dependent on the rangelands and have struggled to access clean drinking water for…

UNDP helps camel herders in Puntland protect their land and livestock from soil erosion and flash floods

Climate change is having a profound impact across Somalia. More frequent droughts and flash-flooding bring soil erosion, crop failure and livestock deaths in a land where over 2/3 of the people depend on subsistence agriculture.

Puntland is certainly no stranger to these disasters and the destruction they bring to farmers. …

By providing solar power to rural clinics, Japan and UNDP are helping to bring down sky-high mortality rates

In December 2019, in the middle of the night, a young woman arrived to give birth at Caramadaw Clinic in rural Somaliland, a simple concrete building surrounded by dusty streets, tarpaulin-topped houses and grazing sheep.

This would be her first child — a prospect scary enough for a first-time mother anywhere, but particularly so in a country where 1 in 22 women die in childbirth.

Captain Fatima Abdulkadir talks about her journey through the ranks and her vision for policing in Somalia

Captain Fatima brings years of training, including a 4-year legal degree, to her job as police captain and policy advisor in Garowe, Puntland.

She heard it first on the radio on the way to school: the government was setting up a new police force and Puntland’s Armo Police Academy, just opened with funding from UNDP, was taking on 800 recruits. 18-year-old Fatima applied without a second thought. It would change her life.

Our new documentary follows five Somalis doing amazing things to make the country safer and more prosperous

Somalia is a land of beautiful scenery and talented people, but both are overshadowed by the terrible challenges faced here everyday, leaving a one-sided picture of the country.

We wanted to bring these people and places out of the shadows and to tell stories that show the other side of Somalia — stories of women police and women activists instead of insecurity and violence; stories of tourist spots instead of conflict zones and of natural beauty instead of natural disasters.

So we…

Japanese funding supports a range of UNDP initiatives to respond to COVID-19

When COVID-19 struck, the Japanese Government was quick to respond, providing millions of dollars to help countries around the world.

These funds have included more than US$1m for UNDP’s work in Somalia to limit infections and help government deal with the social and economic damage inflicted by the virus.

Thanks to this generous support, we have been able to:

  • Provide solar powered generators for health clinics serving almost 70,000 people. …

New documentary tells how COVID-19 hit Somalia and how people fought back

Somalia recorded its first case of COVID-19 in Mogadishu on March 2020. The virus would go on to reach every part of the country and even though swift action helped to keep total infection numbers lower than was initially feared, more than 600 lives have been lost to date, (a figure that is almost certainly an underestimate because testing facilities remain limited).

At the same time, the pandemic has damaged an already weak economy, pushing many into poverty and hindering plans for development. UNDP’s own research, an analysis…

Baidoa’s Dispute Resolution Centre coordinator, tells us what women face and what needs to be done about it

Everyone is impressed by Khowla Mohamed Abdow. She’s competent, helpful, hardworking and, at only 25 years old, the coordinator of Baidoa’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre in South West Somalia, a Ministry of Justice facility supported by UNDP where local people can come for help solving arguments ranging from land theft to domestic abuse.

The centre offers mediation services and a safe place where opposing parties can either talk things through — sometimes de-escalating situations that could turn into serious violence — or…

Japanese funds bring light and power to small hospitals where electricity can be unreliable

Mortality rates for Somali mothers and children are among the highest in the world. More reliable power supplies in hospitals and clinics can improve medical care and save lives.

What does a hospital need? It needs buildings and staff, equipment and medicine. But it also needs electrical power to run that equipment, refrigerate medicines refrigerated ad keep the lights on at night so staff can treat patients for emergencies whenever they happen.

Thanks to Japanese funding, UNDP has been able to supply two medical facilities in Somaliland with solar panels that will ensure a steady supply of free power.

Newly-built Arabsio Hospital, located around 35km west of Hargeisa, has beds for 50 patients and will…

UNDP Somalia

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion.

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