Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya)

In the Horn of Africa, Switzerland focuses on governance, food security, health, and migration.  It supports projects with a regional approach in Somalia, south-eastern Ethiopia and north-eastern Kenya.

© FDFA

The Horn of Africa has been at the centre of global attention for several decades because of protracted armed conflict, severe food crises and large scale displacement.. .  Local conflicts over access to and share of natural resources are on the increase and the region has the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates.  This difficult context forces people to migrate and leads to internally displaced persons and refugees. Other the other hand, the region shows positives changes: On the political front, significant progress has been achieved in Somalia since 2012, when a new government took office, creating a new outlook for the entire region.

The current Swiss cooperation strategy Horn of Africa builds on the results that have been achieved in the region and emphasises its commitment in fragile contexts.

Switzerland supports the provision of services and promotes the restoration of trust in state institutions. It also seeks to address the long-term causes of conflict and poverty  and thus promotes conflict transformation and regional integration. The dynamic of the conflicts in Somalia as well as conflicts over power and resources in the region take centre-stage. As part of these efforts, Switzerland has also established since July 2014 a joint partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the only regional organisation in the Horn of Africa (based in Djibouti).

Governance, state- and peacebuilding

Promoting public services and peace dialogue

Together with the Somali authorities and multilateral partners, Switzerland is making a contribution to peace and the delivery of public services (water, health, markets, roads and education) at the local and district administration levels. This helps to restore citizens’ confidence in their local state institutions.  So far the programme has benefited over 800,000 people in Somaliland and 300,000 people in Puntland. Local development funds governed by communities are considered to be a model for fiscal decentralisation. Through political and diplomatic measures, Switzerland is also committed to federalism, state-building and mediation processes.

Advocacy and Good Governance

Food security

Strengthening communities living on arid lands

Arid lands are inhabited by people who live from farming and livestock breeding. They are regularly affected by drought and famine, which also affects their livestock.   Implemented by NGOs and the local private sector, a project combining humanitarian and development instruments is assisting 435,000 people in improving their access to water and grazing areas, and increasing their awareness and capacity in sustainable water and grazing land management.

Agriculture and food security

Health

Improvement of maternal and child health

Through projects and policy dialogue at national and regional levels, Switzerland is contributing to the rehabilitation of subnational and national health systems in Somalia. It also supports the provision of health services for pastoralist families, responding both to human and animal health needs. Twenty-one communities in Somaliland have already declared that they no longer practice female genital mutilation and support has been provided to community midwifery schools across the country.

Health

Migration

Better protection and perspectives for displaced persons and perspectives

A significant number of migrants transit the Horn of Africa every year. These vulnerable groups requiring particular protection include refugees, IDPs, asylum seekers, as well as people who have been trafficked and those looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Switzerland contributes to addressing specific protection needs for vulnerable migrants and their host communities through capacity building, awareness-raising, training government officials, improving infrastructure and emergency assistance. In order to give refugees a longer-term prospect, SDC supports vocational skills development activities and business development in the Kakuma refugee camp and in its surrounding host communities.

Migration

Approach and partners

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: Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, Swisscontact, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Swiss Kalmo
  • Ministries, provincial, district and local administrations, IGAD (regoinal and national instruments such as local development funds and the "New Deal" fund)
  • International and local NGOs and institutions: e.g. , Jijiga University, Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Médecins du Monde France, Save the Children
  • Local private sector
  • Donor countries: e.g. Germany (GiZ), Denmark (DANIDA), Norway and Sweden (SIDA) (delegated cooperation agreements in part)
  • ICRC, FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA, WHO(multilateral instruments)

Transversal themes

According to its gender policy, Switzerland takes gender-related issues into account and promotes equality between men and women in all its projects. It is also committed to an accountable system of public resources allocation. Conflict-sensitive tools and analyses supporting positive conflict transformation are applied.

History of cooperation

Switzerland’s long-term commitment

Switzerland has been providing assistance to the Greater Horn of Africa since the 1990s. Since 2013, the Horn of Africa is a priority region for SDC.  The current cooperation strategy (2018-2021) has a total budget of CHF 169 million (98% from SDC). The  Swiss embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia coordinate the actors of the Swiss Government responsible for the implementation of the strategy. The Embassy in Ethiopia acts as the main interlocutor with IGAD.

Current projects

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Horn of Africa: One Health Units for Humans, Environment, Animals and Livelihoods

01.09.2024 - 30.06.2032

The project aims at improving the well-being of targeted pastoral communities challenged with inadequate access to basic health/veterinary services and environmental conditions in Somalia, Ethiopia and Northern Kenya through integrated health service delivery for both pastoralists and their livestock. The project will contribute to stability and vulnerability’s reduction of citizens in the region, thereby reducing their displacement/migration which is in the interest of Switzerland and the international community.


Building Regional and National capacities for improved Migration Governance in the IGAD Region

01.01.2022 - 31.08.2027

The Horn of Africa is of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. Swiss support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Member States will contribute to improve their migration governance capacities so as to enable the organisation to effectively implement regional, continental and global regulatory standards for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants in the region.


Sustainable Natural Resources Management (NRM) for Enhanced Pastoralist Food Security in the Borana Zone, Ethiopia.

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2027

Natural resources, particularly water and pasture, are among the key determinants of pastoralist livelihoods’ sustainability. The proposed Project contributes to the outcomes of the SDC’s Food Security Domain as stipulated in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa. It aims at improving pastoralist food security and adaptive capacities in the lowlands of Borana Zone, Southern Ethiopia, through enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources.


City-to-City Partnership Hawassa – Lugano

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2026

This contribution supports an innovative Swiss-Ethiopian municipal twinning partnership to enhance capacity at the sub-national level to manage access to drinking water in good quantity and quality according to the Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 and 6.3 in underserved communities. The partnership will be accompanied by a research and education component, involving local and Swiss innovative university partnerships.


RAPID+ The Kenya Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development Plus

01.11.2021 - 31.10.2026

Pastoralist communities in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) have for a very long time adapted to the harsh environments to derive livelihoods (mainly livestock). Communities in the ASALs are facing multiple pressures of climate change, degraded natural resources and conflicts. This program supports the historically marginalised and under-developed pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya to access safe, reliable and affordable Water and manage their rangeland ecosystem sustainably.  


Locally-led Governance: the road to legitimate and effective delivery of services

01.11.2021 - 31.12.2022

The Somali population is facing considerable development and state building challenges, with Government institutions still very weak and fragile, particularly at the local level. With the UN Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery (JPLG) as well as local peacebuilding initiatives, SDC contributes to enhanced state legitimacy, more equitable access to public service and well-being for all citizens, leading to more stability in the Horn of Africa.


Strengthening livestock sector in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Counties of Kenya

01.10.2021 - 30.04.2024

Around 60% of the population in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Eastern Kenya Counties live in abject poverty and are almost entirely dependent on livestock production for their livelihoods in an environment that is characterized by droughts and resource based conflicts. This programme will support these Counties to enhance livestock production by strengthening key factors such as fodder production, animal health, etc. and by strengthening the institutions to more effectively deliver relevant services and reduce conflicts. 


Financing Durable Solutions Programme for Forcibly Displaced People (FDSI)

01.10.2021 - 31.12.2025

Through an innovative approach, Switzerland will mobilize the private sector and municipalities to contribute to durable solutions for displacement-affected communities in the Horn of Africa. Forcibly displaced persons and their host communities will benefit from enhanced self-reliance and increased socioeconomic inclusion. The initiative operationalises the strategic link between migration policy and international cooperation and further strengthens Switzerland’s profile as a pioneer in the search for durable solutions.


Direct Health Facility Financing

Zuena Hussein Ismail with her baby attended by a health worker at Makole Health Centre in Dodoma.

01.09.2021 - 30.06.2026

Together with the Tanzanian Government and development partners, Switzerland’s contribution to the reformed Health Basket Fund builds on positive results achieved so far and pursues to strengthen the health system that benefits 58 million inhabitants. Switzerland’s contribution will further expand effective decentralisation through the Direct Health Facility Financing mechanism to state and non-state primary health care providers, thus accelerating Tanzania’s progress towards universal health coverage and “Leaving no One Behind”.


Community Health Provision in Somalia

01.08.2021 - 30.04.2024

The programme provides maternal and child health services in Somalia. It works with community and district health boards to strengthen health governance at the local levels, while at the same time builds the capacities of health authorities and health workers. It also promotes innovation by incorporating research findings that inform evidence based implementation. All these elements are linked to the Swiss interest of ensuring long term sustainability in the intervention areas through strengthened service delivery at lower governance levels.


Somalia, UNFPA Support to Health, Gender and Data

01.06.2021 - 31.12.2025

This programme will work closely with health workers arid health authorities at the state and federal level to improve access and quality of health services. Focus will be on maternal and child health, and sexual and reproductive health for the youth and adults. At the same time, the programme will address gender issues around gender based violence while also working on collecting data on the general population that can be used for evidence based programming within the health sector.


Jigjiga One Health Initiative Phase 2 (JOHI2)

01.04.2021 - 31.03.2026

The Jijiga One Health Initiative aims to develop a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence on pastoralist health within the Jijiga University (Somali Region, Ethiopia). Community-based one-health research and pilot interventions, including contribution to COVID-19 prevention and response, as well as targeted policy influencing will contribute to improved health among pastoralist communities and reduce pressure for their displacement/migration, which is in the interest of Switzerland.  

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