Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya)

With its Horn of Africa cooperation programme, Switzerland is focusing on good governance, food security, health, migration and the protection of vulnerable communities. Geographically, the regional programme focuses on the Somali context. It covers the semi-arid areas of Ethiopia and Kenya that border Somalia. Emergency aid is provided throughout the region as needed.

© FDFA

The Horn of Africa is one of the world's most conflict-prone and fragile regions. The region's countries are the countries of origin and host countries for a great number of refugees and internally displaced persons. Factors driving fragility include protracted conflict and violent extremism, weak governance, and poor quality of public services. This is compounded by the increasingly hard-hitting impacts of climate change. At the same time, the Horn of Africa harbours the potential to drive positive developments in the region, including the spread of mobile telecommunications, rapid digital innovation and an agile global diaspora. A generation of young and connected citizens are working more and more closely to create better prospects for the region.

The SDC's Horn of Africa cooperation programme builds on the results that have been achieved in the region and emphasises Switzerland's engagement in fragile contexts. Swiss support covers areas such as the delivery of services and the restoration of trust in state institutions. Switzerland is also tackling the long-term causes of the conflicts and poverty that exacerbate the fragile situation in the Horn of Africa. As part of its cooperation work, Switzerland also supports the efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as the only regional organisation in the Horn of Africa.

Good governance

Strengthening people's trust in state institutions

Together with the Somali authorities and its multilateral partners, Switzerland supports the efforts of the Somali state, its federal entities and its administrative districts in establishing functioning state structures. It promotes the delivery of public services (water, health, markets, roads and education) at local and district levels thereby furthering citizens' trust in their local state institutions. Local development funds run by communities are considered a successful model for fiscal decentralisation.

Good governance

Food security

Strengthening the resilience of people living in arid areas

The people in the region's arid areas subsist on agriculture and livestock rearing. They are regularly hit by drought and famine, which also affects their livestock. Switzerland sees its most important contribution to food security in its work to help build up the resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities with the aim of creating more secure livelihoods on the one hand, while at the same time helping to meet people's basic needs in emergency situations. To this end, Switzerland's work also helps boost livestock productivity and agricultural yields by introducing climate-friendly practices.

Agriculture and food security

Health

Promoting access to primary healthcare

Switzerland assists efforts to establish sustainable healthcare systems serving vulnerable communities in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya by improving the access of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities to human and veterinary healthcare. Beyond this, Switzerland promotes the delivery of healthcare services, focusing in particular on improving maternal and child health. Switzerland is also committed to protecting the victims of gender-based violence.

Health – A prerequisite for development

Migration

Better protecting displaced persons and drawing on development potential

A significant number of migrants transit the Horn of Africa every year. These vulnerable people need special protection. They are refugees, internally displaced persons, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking and people in search of a better future for themselves and their families. This Swiss cooperation programme comprises efforts to protect these migrants and their host communities and meet their special needs. This Swiss support comes through capacity development, awareness-raising, training of government officials, improved infrastructure and emergency assistance. The long-term goal is to empower displaced people to become self-sufficient. In order to open up longer-term prospects for refugees and internally displaced persons, Switzerland is supporting the authorities in the Horn of Africa in the search for sustainable solutions for displaced persons.

Migration

Approach and partners

Switzerland takes gender-mainstreaming measures in accordance with its gender policy and promotes gender equality. It also advocates for systematic accountability in the allocation of public funds. Furthermore, 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
  • Ministries, provincial, district and local administrations, IGAD (regional and national instruments such as local development funds)
  • International and local NGOs and organisations
  • Multilateral partners: ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, OCHA, FAO, UNDP, WHO. Switzerland supports these partners with financial contributions or experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.
  • Local private sector
  • Other donor countries

Links

Current projects

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Safeguard Young People (SYP) - Tanzania

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2026

With 62% of its population below 25 years, the Safeguard Young People (SYP) programme supports Tanzania’s demographic dividend. The project advances young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through a gender-responsive and inclusive policy environment, empowered youth who make informed decisions, and responsive health and education systems. SYP builds on 10 years of regional experience and UNFPA’s expertise.


Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF)

Ms. Maria Maguta, TASAF beneficiary in Katavi Region.

01.10.2023 - 30.09.2025

Switzerland’s contribution to Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) for the implementation of the Productive Social Safety Net Program (PSSN) contributes to the protection of 1.5 milion poor households in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar through cash transfers, public works and livelihoods enhancement. Also evidence generated through this support will inform and reinforce Swiss engagement in national policy dialogue on social protection, beyond PSSN. 


Enhancing Climate Resilience of Vulnerable Communities and Ecosystems in South Sudan

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2026

Local authorities and communities will be strengthened in their technical and managerial capacities to reduce people’s livelihood exposure, vulnerability and resilience to floods and drought thus increasing food production and reduce food insecurity as well as displacement of people and competition over natural resources. This will be achieved through improved communication, coordination and knowledge-sharing, early warning systems and appropriate legislation. 


Somalia: Strengthening State Institutions for better service delivery

01.03.2023 - 31.12.2025

The Multi-Partner-Fund (MPF) provided an umbrella to prepare the World Bank’s (WB) re-engagement in Somalia. It has become a powerful tool for donors to pool resources and enabled the WB to engage with Somali authorities to gradually advance reform implementation related to revenue and financial policy, as well as public financial management (PFM). Through this project, Switzerland supports the incremental strengthening of core state institutions in Somalia and contributes ultimately to stability and socio-economic recovery of the country.


Mercy Corps: Strengthening Resilience in Agriculture, Livelihoods and Markets through Local Institutions in Greater Mundri

01.02.2023 - 31.01.2026

To sustainably move households out of chronic vulnerability, poverty and food insecurity by facilitating economic recovery and support for smallholder farmers and non-farm microenterprises. The support will consist of market system development (MSD), value chain development, vocational skills development and improved methods of agriculture, such as agro-ecology and conservation. The intervention will focus on women and youth and is highly relevant in a post-conflict context like Mundri (South Sudan).


2023 Annual Allocation to WFP Country Strategic Plans - Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2023

Against historic levels of food security due to conflicts, climate change and COVID-19, Switzerland supports annually in 28 SDC priority countries operations of the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide humanitarian and development assistance. It funds indistinctively Country Strategic Plans, incorporating all WFP programmes or projects, based on affected population needs and potential synergies with other local partners, especially national governments and civil society.


Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund (EHF 2023 – 2026)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

More than 28 million people in Ethiopia are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of internal conflict, displacement, and recurrent natural hazards, primarily drought. An estimated 5.7 million people are displaced internally as a result of conflict (main driver of displacement in the country) and drought. Additional 2 million people are IDP returnees. The country also hosts more about 1mio refugees from Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Sudan. The Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund is a pooled fund that aims at providing rapid and flexible humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable and underserved areas. Switzerland has been reconfirmed in 2023 member of the EHF Steering Committee.


CARE International: Breaking the Silence

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

The proposed project seeks to address key drivers of GBV, promote help-seeking behaviour, access to quality services for survivors and promote economic empowerment of vulnerable women and girls. Some key activities will include the provision of health, psychosocial, and protection support in one (1) existing safe house and three (3) women and girl-friendly spaces (WGFSs), the provision of unconditional emergency cash support to vulnerable survivors and livelihood opportunities. Through the partnership with WIDO, a local women-led organisation, CARE will work to transform negative masculinities and social norms.


SIRA - Somalia Information and Resilience Building Action

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

Rangeland degradation, drought and other effects of climate change are further exacerbating food insecurity in Somalia. Through the present intervention the communities’ resilience is increased by enhancing climate sustainable livestock production, fodder productivity and public service delivery leading to improved household incomes. Switzerland aims to support communities’ capacities to cope with climatic shocks and as such contributes to stability and peace in Somalia.


Contribution to UNHCR Programme Budget 2023-2024 (earmarked)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

UNHCR is one of Switzerland’s key multilateral partners due to its unique mandate by the General Assembly of United Nations to provide protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, refugee returnees, and stateless persons. The strategic direction 2022-26 concretise the overall mandate of UNHCR for the upcoming years. Contributing to these directions allows Switzerland to achieve in particular the human development goal defined in the Dispatch to Parliament on International Cooperation for 2021-24.


Empowering vulnerable youth and women in fragile situation to foster community Resilience and cohesion through peaceful co-existence and promotion of livelihoods initiatives

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

The goal of the project is to foster conditions for peace and promote community resilience in the Equatorias region of South Sudan through a combination of activities aiming at (1) building and supporting a workforce of peacemakers, (2) providing trainings in conflict resolution, (3) fostering social cohesion and conflict prevention through locally held community dialogues, (4) promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods, notably by supporting women- and youth-led small income generating businesses, and (5) promoting sports as a platform for fostering peace and social cohesion among the youth. This intervention is coherent with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus (triple nexus) and contributes to durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. 


JPOs4UN Programme 2023-2028

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2028

The JPOs4UN programme aims at increasing the presence of Switzerland in the UN by augmenting the number of Swiss nationals working in SDC priority UN organizations. Switzerland directly funds partner humanitarian UN organizations to hire 11 Swiss young professionals on a three-year Junior Programme Officer contract; the Swiss foundation CINFO provides administrative support and career counselling. Swiss nationals add to a qualified and diverse UN workforce to implement the Agenda 2030.

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