Industry giants, K Line , Maersk Line , Stena , NYK Line, Mitsui OSK Line, Shell and BP have donated $1m to support job creation and capacity building projects in Somalia and have pledged a further $1.5m.
The group, brought together by Shell International Trading and Shipping , said its partnership with the UN Development Programme was the first step in a drive launched in February 2012 to stabilise and rebuild Somalia to reduce the risk from piracy to seafarers in the Indian Ocean.
The group said: “The UNDP has been selected as a collaborator because of its existing footprint in coastal and city centres in Somalia and the alignment of the objectives of the shipping industry partners with those of the UNDP’s Alternative Livelihoods to Piracy in Puntland and central regions project .
“Our hope is that this initiative led by the shipping industry will facilitate establishing the foundation for a future generation in Somalia that has choices and no longer supports or condones piracy.”
The shipping industry initiative has promised $1.5m in additional funding for other capacity-building projects in Somalia to be announced separately.
The UNDP will support long-term youth employment, creating employment alternatives to piracy for young Somalis in agriculture, livestock and the fishing industry.
One plan is to fund a business development centre for local entrepreneurs. Another is to help the UNDP to build up local youth projects to encourage community collaboration and mutual support.
UNDP operates within the UN Somali Assistance Strategy, a five-year plan for UN agencies in Somalia.
UNSAS spells out the humanitarian, recovery and development priorities in Somalia from 2010-2015 and defines how assistance will contribute to national priorities named in the Somali authorities’ own reconstruction and development programme.
The programme was developed through a post-conflict process called the Somali Joint Needs Assessment, carried out in 2005-2007, based on a national assessment of rehabilitation and transitional recovery needs.
UNDP established a formal presence in Somalia in 1977, when the Standard Basic Framework Agreement was signed.
The Country Programme Document 2011-2015 outlines UNDP’s strategy for recovery and development assistance to Somalia.
Security problems in Somalia have forced UNDP to operate the programme out of Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya. However, the organisation has a network throughout Somalia, with key offices in Garowe and Hargeisa.
In October 2011, UNDP upgraded and reopened the UN common compound in Mogadishu, allowing it to extend its initiatives in south-central Somalia.
UNDP deploys 112 staff based in Somalia: nine international, 15 national and 88 service contract holders. However, it hopes to decentralise its operations from Nairobi to the sub-offices.