UN seeks boost peace building efforts in Somalia


The Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations today unveiled the 2019 portfolio of the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund, with $14 million earmarked for support of new state-building projects in the country.

The Fund will support five new projects focusing on stabilization, internally displaced persons, reconciliation and state-building processes, land for peace and the leveraging of the contribution of women to peacebuilding and promoting gender sensitivity in the national programme on disengaged combatants.

“Each of these five projects is important. Our area of focus is the liberated areas that have weak administration. The objective is to assist them in the areas of reconciliation and help set up administration structures to enable them to develop,” said the federal Minister of Interior Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Abdi Mohamed Sabrie, during the launch at an event he co-chaired with the Deputy Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Resident Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq, in the Somali capital.

The event was also attended by senior officials of the federal government, the five federal member states, UN agencies in Somalia and other development partners. The Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund has supported Somalia’s peacebuilding process since 2009, and investments to date amount to approximately $45 million.

Mr. Sabrie said that Somalia has more than 2.5 million internally displaced persons, most of them living in the major cities, who need help to access basic necessities like food, water and shelter.

“The fact remains that we have to deal with the reality and handle (internally displaced persons) as other residents of the cities by helping them access education, clean water, housing and medical care,” the minister observed.

Mr. de Clercq noted that the fund was intended to provide a coherent and coordinated approach by the federal government, the UN and other partners to provide durable solutions to a number of problems caused by conflict and extreme weather conditions.

“These programmes are intended to be catalytic, which means that we are trying out risky approaches towards peacebuilding, especially where donors would not necessarily put their money because they think it is too risky to invest,” said Mr. de Clercq.

The senior UN official noted that there is a need to support the stabilization and reconciliation efforts in Somalia by comprehensively tackling the problem of displacement.

“This country is fast urbanizing not just in Mogadishu but in other towns like Baidoa and Bosaso, and it is very important that we support that urbanization process fueled by internally displaced people, either as a result of drought or as a result of conflict,” Mr. de Clercq said.

The Fund aims to address Somalia’s peacebuilding priorities as outlined in the Peacebuilding Priority Plan, the National Development Plan, the National Stabilization Strategy, the Wajadir Framework and the National Reconciliation Framework.