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

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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 serve an estimated 35,000 people in the local area. Since the hospital is on the main road connecting Hargeisa to Ethiopia, it is also expected to deal with injuries from frequent traffic accidents on this route. …

UNDP-supported centre in Puntland sends messages to farmers so they can protect their families and livestock before disaster strikes

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Abdullahi Abdirahman (left), General Manager of Puntland’s Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Agency (HADMA).

Somalia is no stranger to floods and droughts — or to the crop failure and hunger that they bring. In 2011, more than 250,000 people died of famine while in 2017 a lack of rain caused widespread hunger and loss of animals, leaving over 6m people food insecure.

Recurrent floods and droughts have also destroyed houses and livelihoods, leaving people without shelter or incomes. Last year 4.2 million people needed humanitarian assistance and this number has risen to 5.2 …

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On International Volunteer Day, we celebrate the role played by volunteers who selflessly give their time and energy to make the world a better place.

For the UN, this means our 6,000 UN volunteers — men and women from all walks of life who offer their skills to more than 50 UN missions around the world. Some are doctors, some are teachers; some are managers or analysts or councillors. They work in a huge range of fields, but all have one thing is common: the spirit of volunteerism.

Here in Somalia, we have 100 UN volunteers. This year, as we deal with COVID-19, their work in health centres and clinics has been particularly critical. Let’s meet some of the volunteers helping to reduce infections on top of their normal workload. …

When she was 60, Safiya became one of Puntland’s oldest lawyers and one of the first women.

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Safiya Jama Gayre graduated from a UNDP-supported law degree when she was 60 and has been fighting for women ever since.

As recently as 2012, Puntland had no women lawyers working in any of its courts. So 60-year-old Safiya Jama Gayre from Puntland’s major city of Garowe decided to do something about it.

“When I found out that there were no women lawyers in the courts, I decided to fill that gap,” Safiya explains. “In our society, we still settle domestic violence issues with customary laws and traditions that don’t treat men and women equally. …

A series of centres across Somalia offer a new model of justice that can help reduce violence against women

Violence against women is a problem everywhere. Around the world, the UN estimates that 1 in 3 women have experienced rape or other violent abuse. Figures are harder to come by in Somalia but there is no reason to think the problem does not exist here — and plenty of anecdotal data and proxy indicators suggest it might be worse than the average.

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Schoolgirls learn about FGM and other violence against women at an event supported by UNDP and the EU. But knowledge is not enough with a system of justice to protect their rights.

The most commonly reported crimes in many police stations involve violence against women, but women make up less than 10 percent of the police force and there is only one female judge for the entire country. This limits the ability of the justice system to prosecute crimes against women or provide support to victims. …

Graduates from a UNDP-supported law degree in Garowe are slowly changing the justice system

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In 2008, Puntland had almost no formally qualified lawyers, so UNDP helped set up a 4-year law course at Puntland State University (PSU) and a scholarship programme for gifted students who couldn’t afford the fees.

In this video, one of the graduates — now a successful lawyer — explains why she joined the course and what she does now to make the streets safer for all — particularly women.

More than 170 lawyers have now graduated from the programme, including 52 women (there was only 1 woman lawyer as recently as 2012). …

UNDP Somalia’s Resident Representative, Jocelyn Mason, explains why emergency responses are critical but long-term development is needed more than ever

Somalia has come a long way in the last few years. The economy has been growing steadily and recent agreements on debt relief should boost funding for health, infrastructure and other development projects. Government services are expanding to reach more people every year. Progress on constitutional reform and power-sharing arrangements are putting in place systems for long-term stability.

But alarm bells started going off last year. In November 2019, huge floods displaced more than half a million people — the latest in a series of inundations that cost hundreds of millions of dollars almost every year. Shortly after, the same rains that had washed away homes and farms created the perfect growing conditions for the largest locust invasion for a quarter of a century. …

With a carefully selected panel of experts, UNDP and local stations run talk shows on staying safe and how Somalia is responding to the pandemic

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UNDP has been working with radio stations across Somalia to set up talk shows bringing together some of the country’s leading experts on public health, medicine and religion. Together, they are helping people know what COVID-19 is, how it spreads and how to keep themselves and their families safe.

Fewer than 3,500 people have been confirmed to have the disease in Somalia, but very limited testing means that numbers are likely to be far higher. At the same time, cases are rising fast in countries across Africa, including Somalia’s neighbours, threatening a second wave and making it vital to remain vigilant. …

UNDP takes to the streets and airwaves to fight the virus and misinformation

As COVID-19 spread closer to Somalia, our communications team aimed to slow the spread while others prepared to deal with the effects of an outbreak likely to overwhelm the fragile healthcare system.

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Recording a PSA with a significant religious leader in Garowe urging people to stay home and stay safe.

The first priority was to get clear, accurate information out as widely as possible on how the virus spreads and how to keep yourself safe — and also to counter some of the false rumours circulating online and in the streets — that Muslims can’t catch the disease, that it won’t spread in hot weather or that it can be warded off with garlic and ginger. …

A one-stop shop providing the public with information about all foreign assistance received by Somalia has been launched by the Federal Government of Somalia and UNDP.

The new Aid Information Management System will support Somalia’s government in monitoring and coordinating aid to ensure more transparent, accountable and effective use of assistance — including in coping with the impacts of COVID-19.

It will enable people to easily find out how much aid is coming into Somalia and where and how these funds are being deployed.

What is an Aid Information Management System?

AIMS is a software that stores data on projects, activities, donors and budgets. …


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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