New projects in Somalia will go "long way" in rebuilding country: UN agency

New projects in Somalia will go "long way" in rebuilding country: UN agency

Three major new initiatives launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia last week will go a "long way" in helping Somali communities rebuild their economy, their society, and their livelihoods, the UN agency said in a statement issued today in New York.

The projects are the Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery programme, the Capacity Building for Governance programme, and a joint initiative with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the Reintegration of Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.

"These programmes, taken together, show what our mission in Somalia is all about," said Randolph Kent, UNDP Resident Representative. "Somalis want to move ahead, to improve their lives. We are here to support them, to offer the helping hand that enables them to take charge of their future. UNDP Somalia is helping to bridge the gap between emergency and recovery."

The Poverty Reduction and Economic Recovery programme will help vulnerable populations generate income in agriculture and livestock, offer job skills training and set up micro-credit projects. The effort, focusing on economic diversification, aims at encouraging industries such as fishing and animal product processing, and export products like frankincense and henna.

The programme will also help communities design development plans, and will provide advice to authorities on how to improve economic planning and policies aimed at helping the poor.

The Capacity Building for Governance programme supports the approach that governance is a shared responsibility among the authorities, the private sector, and civil society.

"Good governance requires institutions with the capacity to ensure public accountability by leaders, popular participation, availability of information, respect for human rights and gender equality, the rule of law, and public sector reform," the UNDP statement said. "To achieve these goals, the programme will support public administration and Somali representatives, strengthen access to information technology, and cooperate with civil society organizations."