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Somalia: UN Project to Improve Food Security, Climate Resilience


Friday June 7, 2024
By: Omayma Sheikh


Somali Farmers, June 2024 Photo: @africanpercpt

According to FAO, increased local food production is expected to generate more than 50 million U.S. dollars per season in production value and income, and lead to savings of up to 36 million dollars per year in humanitarian assistance costs as the food security situation improves.

On Thursday, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its partners launched an initiative, the Jowhar Offstream Storage Program (JOSP), in Somalia to improve food security and climate resilience.

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The JOSP aims to build resilience against climate shocks in communities along the Shabelle River by enhancing access to water, reducing drought and flood risk and boosting agricultural production.

“The program is expected to enhance access to water for 368,887 people across five districts, reduce flood risk for 1.5 million people, and mitigate drought impact for 1.65 million people,” FAO said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Wednesday evening.

According to FAO, increased local food production is expected to generate more than 50 million U.S. dollars per season in production value and income, and lead to savings of up to 36 million dollars per year in humanitarian assistance costs as the food security situation improves.

The program is a collaborative effort between the government of Somalia, FAO, and its UN partners, the International Organization for Migration, the UN Settlement Program, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the UN Environment Program.

Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia Salah Ahmed Jama called the JOSP initiative a testament to the power of collaboration in averting humanitarian needs and driving the country toward a better future.

Jama said community ownership and integration are essential, noting that the community must understand that the program belongs to them and that a sense of ownership is crucial for its success.

“We need to change the perception that the canal is a government project so people recognize it as their own. This program should pave the way for new initiatives and demonstrate to donors the great potential of investing in Somalia,” he added.

Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Mohamed Abdi Hayir said JOSP will significantly impact the regions by reducing upstream flooding and supplying water to downstream communities.



 





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