With its Horn of Africa cooperation programme, Switzerland is focusing on good governance, food security, health, migration and the protection of vulnerable communities. Geographically, the regional programme focuses on the Somali context. It covers the semi-arid areas of Ethiopia and Kenya that border Somalia. Emergency aid is provided throughout the region as needed.

© FDFA

The Horn of Africa is one of the world's most conflict-prone and fragile regions. The region's countries are the countries of origin and host countries for a great number of refugees and internally displaced persons. Factors driving fragility include protracted conflict and violent extremism, weak governance, and poor quality of public services. This is compounded by the increasingly hard-hitting impacts of climate change. At the same time, the Horn of Africa harbours the potential to drive positive developments in the region, including the spread of mobile telecommunications, rapid digital innovation and an agile global diaspora. A generation of young and connected citizens are working more and more closely to create better prospects for the region.

The SDC's Horn of Africa cooperation programme builds on the results that have been achieved in the region and emphasises Switzerland's engagement in fragile contexts. Swiss support covers areas such as the delivery of services and the restoration of trust in state institutions. Switzerland is also tackling the long-term causes of the conflicts and poverty that exacerbate the fragile situation in the Horn of Africa. As part of its cooperation work, Switzerland also supports the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as the only regional organisation in the Horn of Africa.

Good governance

Strengthening people's trust in state institutions

Together with the Somali authorities and its multilateral partners, Switzerland supports the efforts of the Somali state, its federal entities and its administrative districts in establishing functioning state structures. It promotes the delivery of public services (water, health, markets, roads and education) at local and district levels thereby furthering citizens' trust in their local state institutions. Local development funds run by communities are considered a successful model for fiscal decentralisation.

Good governance

Food security

Strengthening the resilience of people living in arid areas

The people in the region's arid areas subsist on agriculture and livestock rearing. They are regularly hit by drought and famine, which also affects their livestock. Switzerland sees its most important contribution to food security in its work to help build up the resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities with the aim of creating more secure livelihoods on the one hand, while at the same time helping to meet people's basic needs in emergency situations. To this end, Switzerland's work also helps boost livestock productivity and agricultural yields by introducing climate-friendly practices.

Agriculture and food security

Health

Promoting access to primary healthcare

Switzerland assists efforts to establish sustainable healthcare systems serving vulnerable communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya by improving the access of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities to human and veterinary healthcare. Beyond this, Switzerland promotes the delivery of healthcare services, focusing in particular on improving maternal and child health. Switzerland is also committed to protecting the victims of gender-based violence.

Health – A prerequisite for development

Migration

Better protecting displaced persons and drawing on development potential

A significant number of migrants transit the Horn of Africa every year. These vulnerable people need special protection. They are refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking and people in search of a better future for themselves and their families. This Swiss cooperation programme comprises efforts to protect these migrants and their host communities and meet their special needs. This Swiss support comes through capacity development, awareness-raising, training of government officials, improved infrastructure and emergency assistance. The long-term goal is to empower displaced people to become self-sufficient. In order to open up longer-term prospects for refugees and internally displaced persons, Switzerland is supporting the authorities in the Horn of Africa in the search for sustainable solutions for displaced persons.

Migration

Approach and partners

Switzerland takes gender-mainstreaming measures in accordance with its gender policy and promotes gender equality. It also advocates for systematic accountability in the allocation of public funds. Furthermore, Switzerland takes a holistic approach by combining humanitarian aid, development cooperation, political and diplomatic measures as well as migration and security instruments. It works using a number of modalities and with various partners:

  • Swiss NGOs and institutions
  • Ministries, provincial, district and local administrations, IGAD (regional and national instruments such as local development funds)
  • International and local NGOs and organisations
  • Multilateral partners: ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, OCHA, FAO, UNDP, WHO. Switzerland supports these partners with financial contributions or experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.
  • Local private sector
  • Other donor countries

Links

Current projects

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Good Financial Governance (GFG)

01.05.2024 - 30.04.2027

The project contributes to strengthen Tanzania’s public financial system, a central element to cement its economic status. The 3rd phase aims at expanding the mobilization of domestic revenue and improving the government’s expenditure control. It shall strengthen interinstitutional mechanisms for tax data exchange, enhance the audit system, and improve public procurement. At policy level, it seeks to develop an evidence-based and gender responsive fiscal strategy for better public service delivery to benefit the population, especially the poor.


Safeguard Young People (SYP) - Tanzania

Safeguard Young People Programme

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026

With 62% of its population below 25 years, the Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme supports Tanzania’s demographic dividend. The project advances young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through a gender-responsive and inclusive policy environment, empowered youth who make informed decisions, and responsive health and education systems. SYP builds on 10 years of regional experience and UNFPA’s expertise.


2024 Additional allocation to WFP Country Strategic Plans (NHF)

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2024

The war in Sudan entered its second year. Sudan is facing a major humanitarian catastrophe. The conflict also affected neighbouring countries, in particular Chad and South Sudan who are already struggling with a dire humanitarian situation that pre-existed before the conflict broke out. The consequences of the war exacerbated the acute food insecurity situation in those countries. With additional funding, SDC reinforces WFP’s emergency response to deliver life-saving food and nutrition assistance in Sudan, Chad and South Sudan.


Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)

Ms. Maria Maguta, TASAF beneficiary in Katavi Region.

01.10.2023 - 30.09.2025

Switzerland’s contribution to Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) for the implementation of the Productive Social Safety Net Program (PSSN) contributes to the protection of 1.5 milion poor households in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar through cash transfers, public works and livelihoods enhancement. Also evidence generated through this support will inform and reinforce Swiss engagement in national policy dialogue on social protection, beyond PSSN. 


Supporting returnee and host communities to rebuild livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security (Triple Nexus) in South Sudan

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2025

This project will support returnees and the host communities to rebuild their livelihoods, generate income, and peacefully improve and manage natural resources for short-term relief and long-term food security. This will be achieved through increased food production, sustainable management and governance of natural resources, initiating alternative income opportunities, non-violent conflict resolution and GBV prevention. This intervention aligns with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus and will contribute to durable solutions. 


South Sudan: Plan International, Integrated Protection, Skills Building and Learning for Empowerment of Adolescents, Youth, families and communities in Yei, Morobo and Kajokeji

15.06.2023 - 14.06.2025

This project seeks to complement the previous phase of an integrated protection intervention. It will build on key successes, achievements and key lessons learned through the provision of integrated life-saving emergency child protection services, skills building, empowerment of adolescent youth and communities in the targeted locations. 


Enhancing Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in South Sudan

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2026

Local authorities and communities will be strengthened in their technical and managerial capacities to reduce people’s livelihood exposure, vulnerability and resilience to floods and drought thus increasing food production and reduce food insecurity as well as displacement of people and competition over natural resources. This will be achieved through improved communication, coordination and knowledge-sharing, early warning systems and appropriate legislation. 


SOM, Com. recvr. peace. &local gov. ph02

01.05.2023 - 31.12.2025

Somalia is slowly emerging from one of the most complex and protracted conflicts. Over the past decade, peacebuilding and state-building processes, while navigating conflict, climate crisis and political fragility, maintained an incrementally positive trajectory. In investing in civil society engagement and building of local institutions and capacities all over Somalia, Switzerland is contributing in the establishment and strengthening of sustainable, community-driven, inclusive institutions necessary to deliver services and sustainable peace. 


Somalia: Strengthening State Institutions for better service delivery

01.03.2023 - 31.12.2025

The Multi-Partner-Fund (MPF) provided an umbrella to prepare the World Bank’s (WB) re-engagement in Somalia. It has become a powerful tool for donors to pool resources and enabled the WB to engage with Somali authorities to gradually advance reform implementation related to revenue and financial policy, as well as public financial management (PFM). Through this project, Switzerland supports the incremental strengthening of core state institutions in Somalia and contributes ultimately to stability and socio-economic recovery of the country.


Mercy Corps: Strengthening Resilience in Agriculture, Livelihoods and Markets through Local Institutions in Greater Mundri

01.02.2023 - 31.01.2026

To sustainably move households out of chronic vulnerability, poverty and food insecurity by facilitating economic recovery and support for smallholder farmers and non-farm microenterprises. The support will consist of market system development (MSD), value chain development, vocational skills development and improved methods of agriculture, such as agro-ecology and conservation. The intervention will focus on women and youth and is highly relevant in a post-conflict context like Mundri (South Sudan).


Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Tanzania

01.02.2023 - 28.02.2028

Tanzania is investing heavily in reforming sustainable health financing and leveraging integrated digital solutions to advance Universal Health Coverage and ensure that all Tanzanians have access to any quality health services they need, when and where they need, without financial hardship. Together with other development partners, Switzerland uses this momentum to support the government in establishing a Universal Health Insurance and the Center for Digital Health.


Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF 2023 – 2026)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

More than 28 million people in Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of internal conflict, displacement, and recurrent natural hazards, primarily drought. An estimated 5.7 million people are displaced internally as a result of conflict (main driver of displacement in the country) and drought. Additional 2 million people are IDP returnees. The country also hosts more about 1mio refugees from Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Sudan. The Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund is a pooled fund that aims at providing rapid and flexible humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and underserved areas. Switzerland has been reconfirmed in 2023 member of the EHF Steering Committee.

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