Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya)

In the Horn of Africa, Switzerland focuses on governance, food security, health, and migration.  It supports projects with a regional approach in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia and north-eastern Kenya.

© FDFA

The Horn of Africa has been at the centre of global attention for several decades because of protracted armed conflict, severe food crises and large scale displacement.. .  Local conflicts over access to and share of natural resources are on the increase and the region has the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates.  This difficult context forces people to migrate and leads to internally displaced persons and refugees. Other the other hand, the region shows positives changes: On the political front, significant progress has been achieved in Somalia since 2012, when a new government took office, creating a new outlook for the entire region.

The current Swiss cooperation strategy Horn of Africa builds on the results that have been achieved in the region and emphasises its commitment in fragile contexts.

Switzerland supports the provision of services and promotes the restoration of trust in state institutions. It also seeks to address the long-term causes of conflict and poverty  and thus promotes conflict transformation and regional integration. The dynamic of the conflicts in Somalia as well as conflicts over power and resources in the region take centre-stage. As part of these efforts, Switzerland has also established since July 2014 a joint partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the only regional organisation in the Horn of Africa (based in Djibouti).

Governance, state- and peacebuilding

Promoting public services and peace dialogue

Together with the Somali authorities and multilateral partners, Switzerland is making a contribution to peace and the delivery of public services (water, health, markets, roads and education) at the local and district administration levels. This helps to restore citizens’ confidence in their local state institutions.  So far the programme has benefited over 800,000 people in Somaliland and 300,000 people in Puntland. Local development funds governed by communities are considered to be a model for fiscal decentralisation. Through political and diplomatic measures, Switzerland is also committed to federalism, state-building and mediation processes.

Advocacy and Good Governance

Food security

Strengthening communities living on arid lands

Arid lands are inhabited by people who live from farming and livestock breeding. They are regularly affected by drought and famine, which also affects their livestock.   Implemented by NGOs and the local private sector, a project combining humanitarian and development instruments is assisting 435,000 people in improving their access to water and grazing areas, and increasing their awareness and capacity in sustainable water and grazing land management.

Agriculture and food security

Health

Improvement of maternal and child health

Through projects and policy dialogue at national and regional levels, Switzerland is contributing to the rehabilitation of subnational and national health systems in Somalia. It also supports the provision of health services for pastoralist families, responding both to human and animal health needs. Twenty-one communities in Somaliland have already declared that they no longer practice female genital mutilation and support has been provided to community midwifery schools across the country.

Health

Migration

Better protection and perspectives for displaced persons and perspectives

A significant number of migrants transit the Horn of Africa every year. These vulnerable groups requiring particular protection include refugees, IDPs, asylum seekers, as well as people who have been trafficked and those looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Switzerland contributes to addressing specific protection needs for vulnerable migrants and their host communities through capacity building, awareness-raising, training government officials, improving infrastructure and emergency assistance. In order to give refugees a longer-term prospect, SDC supports vocational skills development activities and business development in the Kakuma refugee camp and in its surrounding host communities.

Migration

Approach and partners

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: Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, Swisscontact, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Swiss Kalmo
  • Ministries, provincial, district and local administrations, IGAD (regoinal and national instruments such as local development funds and the "New Deal" fund)
  • International and local NGOs and institutions: e.g. , Jijiga University, Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Médecins du Monde France, Save the Children
  • Local private sector
  • Donor countries: e.g. Germany (GiZ), Denmark (DANIDA), Norway and Sweden (SIDA) (delegated cooperation agreements in part)
  • ICRC, FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA, WHO(multilateral instruments)

Transversal themes

According to its gender policy, Switzerland takes gender-related issues into account and promotes equality between men and women in all its projects. It is also committed to an accountable system of public resources allocation. Conflict-sensitive tools and analyses supporting positive conflict transformation are applied.

History of cooperation

Switzerland’s long-term commitment

Switzerland has been providing assistance to the Greater Horn of Africa since the 1990s. Since 2013, the Horn of Africa is a priority region for SDC.  The current cooperation strategy (2018-2021) has a total budget of CHF 169 million (98% from SDC). The  Swiss embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia coordinate the actors of the Swiss Government responsible for the implementation of the strategy. The Embassy in Ethiopia acts as the main interlocutor with IGAD.

Current projects

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OVCI - Improving nutritional condition of most vulnerable groups in Juba

01.03.2019 - 31.01.2021

Malnutrition among children and other vulnerable groups remains worse as a result of the prevailing food insecurity situation in South Sudan. According to the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for South Sudan, some 1.8 million people – the majority of which are children under five years - face malnutrition. Through this project, Volunteers Organization for International Co-operation (OVCI) intends to address malnutrition of vulnerable children, pregnant and lactating mothers and other destitute persons in Juba County by improving their dietary intake.


Planned project

Somalia - Private Sector Partnerships for Health (PSPH)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2030

Despite high dependence on international aid, the Somali health sector remains dominated by local business providers. In 2017, SDC piloted a business-franchising model as a component of the health delivery system in Somalia. This project “Private Sector Partnership for Health” will investigate further and promote the most effective and relevant private and/or public-private models for improved quality and affordable health services delivery in Somalia.


Social Accountability Programme 2019 - 2022

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

Against the backdrop of shrinking civic space in Tanzania, the Social Accountability Program supports four key accountability Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country. It aims to enhance transparency and accountability of public resource management at national and local level and to empower citizens – including youth and women - and local organizations to engage effectively in public oversight, decision making and advocacy on social issues of concern.


SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2021

As part of its increased commitment for Education and of the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy, the SDC launches an Education Fund in order to incentivize innovation and the application of new approaches in basic education/vocational skills development and through educational activities across sectors. Innovation can have a catalytic effect on the effectiveness of programmes in and through education. Education is a core enabler for sustainable development and is an important lever in Switzerland’s commitment to promote human and economic development, peace and stability. 


Planned project

Somalia: FAO – Somalia Information and Resilience Building Action (SIRA)

10.12.2018 - 09.10.2028

The Somali population has remained chronically food insecure over the years with acute emergency needs increasing during the cyclic drought periods. Switzerland contributes, through its support to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), to the longer-term resilience building of the Somali communities by supporting the provision of information and data for decision making, the formulation of evidence-based policy making and  the use of the data for increased protection and resilience.


Horn of Africa: IFC - Private sector solutions for regufees and host communities

10.12.2018 - 09.07.2031

The Horn of Africa is fraught by political and economic fragilities and conflicts, leading to protracted displacement situations. They involve confinement in camps with few opportunities to establish sustainable livelihoods. Switzerland contributes to durable solutions for displacement-affected communities by promoting private sector development, leading to greater economic and employment opportunities and socio-economic integration in the region, which is in the Swiss interest.


Ethiopia, IOM - Durable Solutions

10.12.2018 - 30.06.2020

Ethiopia has about 2.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) mainly due to conflict, drought and flood. Addressing the needs of IDPs has been limited to meeting their short-term humanitarian needs. Given the prolonged economic, social, and gender impacts of displacement on individuals, there is a critical need for longer-term solutions. Switzerland will contribute through IOM to address the long-term needs of the displaced and host communities in their search for self-sufficiency.


Somalia Information and Resilience Building Action (SIRA)

10.12.2018 - 30.11.2022

The Somali population has remained chronically food insecure over the years with acute emergency needs during the cyclic drought periods. Switzerland contributes, through its support to enhanced fodder production and income, to the longer-term resilience building of the Somali communities. By supporting the provision of information and data for decision making, the formulation of evidence-based policy making and the use of the data for increased protection and resilience will enhanced.


Kenya: IFC Private Sector Engagement Kakuma

10.12.2018 - 31.12.2024

The project IFC Private Sector Engagement Kakuma implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), seeks to attract private sector solutions for refugees and host communities through catalyzing private investments. Thanks to access to improved services, potentially lower prices and supported jobs, refugees and host community will enhance economic opportunities and capacities, self-esteem, dignity and empowerment.


Enhancing security coordination and local contextual understanding to increase humanitarian access

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020

This project aims at enhancing security coordination and local contextual understanding to increase humanitarian access to insecure locations both inside and outside of Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites. Through enhanced understanding of the context, operational threats can be better mitigated by NGOs, facilitating scale-up of programme and service delivery to the affected population in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity States.


Ethiopia, UNICEF, Emergency WASH Response for the Reduction of Hunger in Borena Zone, Oromia Region

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020

The Borena Zone (Oromia Region) hosts one third of Oromia's conflict Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) between Oromo and Somali groups. Water is a priority for conflict IDP sites and local populations. UNICEF, as the lead agency for the WASH sector in development and humanitarian settings, proposes targeted interventions to respond to immediate life-saving needs by improving access to clean and safe drinking water, and support the recovery phase for both IDPs and host communities.


Reducing the Prevalence and Impact of Violence in Western Equatoria

01.11.2018 - 31.08.2020

Nonviolent Peaceforce’s (NP) intervention in Mundri County, Western Equatoria State is aimed at reducing the prevalence and impact of violence. Key activities will include conducting patrols in risky areas, protective accompaniments, advocacy, conducting trainings workshops, awareness raising activities etc. Through this intervention, Switzerland contributes to creating sustainable grassroots-led peaceful solutions to conflict, promotion of Human Rights, SGBV prevention and response among conflict affected communities.

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