Horn of Africa: two SDC humanitarian workers tell us about their work

Article, 19.08.2016

The international community celebrates World Humanitarian Day on 19 August. To mark the occasion, the SDC pays tribute to its own humanitarian workers. Natacha Pugin and Abdi Kunow work day in day out providing food assistance in the Horn of Africa.

A woman sits on a hospital bed with her child on her lap. Both are suffering from severe malnutrition. They are being treated in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.
In 2016, the World Food Programme is helping 1.4 million people facing acute food shortages in Somalia. © WFP/Barry Came

Several hundred experts make up the SDC's Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA). Whether in Bern or abroad, as members of the SHA on assignment in the field or in reserve, these men and women work in a wide range of areas, in all countries around the world that need their help.

The Horn of Africa, for example, faces a multitude of crises, including natural disasters, conflict and extreme poverty. Somalia is the epicentre of the region’s humanitarian crisis, with the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. The UN estimates that 4.7 million people require humanitarian aid in Somalia alone, equivalent to 40% of the population.

So who are the men and women who choose to work in these challenging environments? How do they do their job and what does it entail? What motivates them? We take a closer look at the work of two SDC experts in the Greater Horn of Africa.

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© SDC

Natacha Pugin

Position: Member of the SHA, seconded to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Somalia

Place of work: Nairobi, Kenya, with occasional travel to Somalia

Length of assignment: 12 months

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© SDC

Kunow Abdi

Position: Food security programme officer, Horn of Africa, Swiss cooperation office in Kenya

Place of work: Nairobi, Kenya – Frequent travel to Horn of Africa (Northern Kenya, Somalia)

Links

SDC projects in the Greater Horn of Africa

Object 25 – 36 of 62

Somalia - Support to the Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI)

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2020

In Somalia, more than 2.6 mio people are internally displaced. Switzerland contributes to the provision of durable solutions for these people in the region by enhancing the awareness and the capacity of all relevant humanitarian, development and state-building actors under the leadership of the Somali Government. By addressing the underlying causes of protracted displacement, the affected people are offered the perspective of integration and self-reliance rather than migration.


Somalia - UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG)

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021

After two decades of civil war and the following establishment of an internationally recognised federal government of Somalia in 2012, the UN Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery (JPLG) supports the building up of more effective, accountable and inclusive local governance systems. Focusing on improved regulatory frameworks, enhanced public service delivery, and civic engagement, SDC contributes to enhanced state legitimacy, peacebuilding and more equitable access to public service well-being for all citizens, aiming thereby at more stability in the Horn of Africa.


Somalia - Inclusive and accountable governance

01.08.2018 - 31.08.2020

In 2012, a comprehensive state-building process along federalist principles started in Somalia. Switzerland will contribute to a more inclusive, accountable and equitable governance system by focusing on the constitutional review process and strengthening the parliamentarians’ capacities. It will promote knowledge sharing, exchange of Somali, Swiss and international expertise, and public discourse to foster Somali-owned governance arrangement.


Planned project

Somalia - Inclusive and accountable governance

01.07.2018 - 30.06.2026

In 2012, a comprehensive state-building process along federalist principles started in Somalia. The project will contribute to a more inclusive, accountable and equitable governance system by focusing on the constitutional review process and strengthening the parliamentarians’ capacities. It will promote knowledge sharing, exchange of Somali, Swiss and international expertise, and public discourse to foster Somali-led and owned governance arrangements.


Reducing Food Losses through Improved Post Harvest Management in Ethiopia

01.07.2018 - 31.12.2022

Ethiopia continues to experience high post-harvest losses around 30% annually due to inappropriate use of technologies and mal-practices. Building up on the success stories and knowledge gained from SDC’s long-term engagement in post-harvest management and lessons learnt from the first phase, the second phase aims at promoting affordable and effective on-farm storage technologies and management practices to reduce post-harvest losses for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.


Strengthening livestock sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties of Kenya

01.05.2018 - 30.04.2024

Around 60% of the population in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Eastern Kenya Counties live in abject poverty and are almost entirely dependent on livestock production for their livelihoods in an environment that is characterized by droughts and resource based conflicts. This programme will support these Counties to enhance livestock production by strengthening key factors such as fodder production, animal health, etc. and by strengthening the institutions to more effectively deliver relevant services and reduce conflicts. 


Grain Post-Harvest Loss Prevention (GPLP)

01.11.2017 - 31.03.2020

GPLP aims at improving food security and income of small holder men and women farmers in the Central Corridor of Tanzania by addressing major constraints in post-harvest practice, access to improved technologies and adoption, knowledge sharing and related policies. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation is implementing GPLP using a market system development approach and working through multi-stakeholder partnerships with private sector and public organizations. This is the second and exit phase of GPLP.


Eritrea Vocational Skills Training

01.10.2017 - 29.02.2020

The Swiss Development Cooperation will implement in this pilot phase 2 projects in vocational skills training in Eritrea. One project is designed as a contribution to ongoing projects of Don Bosco, the other to a project of the “Schweizerisches Unterstützungskomitee für Eritrea. The objectives of the phase are: (i) enhancing the training of teachers and increasing numbers of students having access to trainings and (ii) building a relation of trust with the Eritrean authorities in order to open a broader policy dialogue between the two countries


South Sudan, Concern Worldwide: NGO Forum Support

01.09.2017 - 31.08.2020

This is the fourth phase of support to the NGO-Forum in South Sudan, aiming at contributing to the effectiveness and coordination of emergency humanitarian response and development programming in South Sudan. This will be achieved through sustained and enhanced engagement with all stakeholders on issues affecting NGO operations, advocacy, capacity building and information sharing. 




Object 25 – 36 of 62