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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Community Health Provision in Somalia

01.06.2017 - 30.06.2020

This intervention contributes to improve access of the Somali population to quality, affordable and equitable health services in South Central Somalia and Puntland. In a context of still very low health services coverage, high level of vulnerabilities and protracted conflict, this intervention will ensure the delivery of essential primarily health care services, focusing on women and children, while at the same time contributing to progressively build the health system at both district and regional levels.



Nutrition Emergency Assistance to the Drought Affected Pastoralist Communities in Doolo Zone of Somali National Regional State, VSF-CH, Ethiopia

15.05.2017 - 14.08.2018

The failure of two consecutive rain seasons is having devastating effects on the mostly pastoralist population of Ethiopia’s southern arid and semi-arid areas. The number of people in need is dramatically increasing, with the drought affecting multiple aspects of human life. The Doolo Zone, where pastoralism is the main livelihood, is one of the most severely affected. By supporting VSF-CH, Switzerland will contribute to improve the nutritional status of the affected population.


KENYA - Strengthening Livestock Sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties

01.05.2017 - 31.08.2021

Around 60% of the population of Northern/Eastern Kenya counties are poor. They depend on livestock production in an environment of recurrent droughts and resource-based conflicts. This program will support local entities to better support pastoralist communities in livestock production and to advocate for their consideration in national strategies and policies. This will contribute to the reduction of their socio-economic marginalisation and thus to the region’s stability, which is in the Swiss and international community’s interest.


Contribution to government and development partners platforms

15.04.2017 - 14.04.2021

The Development Assistance Group (DAG) and Rural Economic Development & Food Security (RED-FS) platforms are two development policy fora between Development Partners (DPs) and the Government of Ethiopia (GoE). They play a critical role in the implementation, coordination and monitoring GoE’s 2nd Growth & Transformation Plan[1] (GTPII). This contribution will allow Switzerland to actively participate in discussions and to link its programmes to existing policy processes for upscaling and policy influencing.


SCOPE - Sustaining a Culture of Peace

01.03.2017 - 31.12.2025

Increasing tensions based on political, religious, socio-economic and natural resource-based conflicts indicate that Tanzania’s culture of peace needs strengthening. SDC will therefore promote the use of peaceful means to prevent and deal with conflicts. It will support the Government to establish a conflict early warning and response system, and state and non-state actors to increase public space to address conflictual topics, in particular for women and marginalized.


Skills for Employment Tanzania – SET

Babati, Tanzania

01.03.2017 - 30.06.2022

SET seeks to enhance youth (self) employment by improving the Vocational Skills Development (VSD) system. It will support public and private stakeholders to expand access to quality training that matches the demand from both the economy and youth, in particular women, including young mothers. Key elements from the Swiss VSD model will be emphasized: the coordination between skills providers and private sector, practical training and innovation.


SSD IOM: Regional Information and Coordination Mechanisms for South Sudanese Displacement Dynamics

01.02.2017 - 30.08.2018

Continued conflict, food insecurity and a dire economic situation have increased the scale of displacement both within and outside the country to unprecedented levels, with many sheltering in UN POCS or crossing to neighbouring countries. For humanitarians to be able to respond to the needs of these populations, a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends must be developed. IOM’s proposed project will help create a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends and enable humanitarians to effectively respond to needs of the populations.


Improved food security, nutritional status and incomes among vulnerable households in Juba, South Sudan

01.02.2017 - 31.12.2018

In the current context of economic stress and limited supply of food due to disruption of the main supply routes, urban and peri-urban agriculture in and around areas of Juba provides livelihood opportunities for food production and income generation. The deteriorating situation calls for a two-pronged approach of boosting the agricultural production of nutritious commodities and improving access to the most vulnerable groups who may not be able to produce for their own consumption.

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