The Government of Japan has announced that it will fund a project to strengthen community resilience through conflict resolution and youth vocational skills training in Somalia. This is one of eight new projects implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Nigeria, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic, with Japanese funding totaling $5.2 million.
The project will be implemented in Somalia’s recently established State, Hirshabelle, where conflict and drought have had a profound and adverse impact on the productive capacity of all sectors of the economy. With the goal of contributing to community recovery, stability and economic growth, and preventing conflict, the project shifts the focus from humanitarian-based aid to sustainable development assistance by delivering technical and vocational skills training to young people.
The project will also benefit from e-learning courses in Occupational Health and Safety developed in previous Japanese-funded projects in Somalia. They will be used to advance safety standards in local industries as part of the project, with a total of 170 young people set to benefit from technical and/or vocational skills and conflict minimization training, 20 of whom will be selected to become trainers of these courses. Vocational and skills training centers will also be revitalized to provide the necessary space to deliver training courses.
Toshitsugu Uesawa, Ambassador of Japan to Somalia, Kenya, Eritrea and Seychelles, said “UNIDO Somalia has been an important partner for Japan for more than seven years. Supporting job creation and income generation for youth and communities dealing with displacement is specifically focused in Japan’s Country Assistance Policy for the Federal Republic of Somalia. The Government of Japan is pleased to see UNIDO’s successful and continuous support for increasing employment opportunities, which will contribute to the country’s stability and growth.”
Speaking at the kick-off event held on March 28 at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, during which the eight projects and the funding from the Government of Japan were announced, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, highlighted that the projects aim to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus and promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development by taking a human security approach.
Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, the Permanent Representative of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna, stated that the projects will “help individuals to live under healthy conditions, consolidate their livelihoods and, with all of this, gain optimism for their future.”
The destabilizing forces of conflict combined with recent drought have significantly impacted income and employment creation, further hindering socio-economic development in the region. The partnership with the Japanese Center for Conflict Prevention (JCCP) and their local counterparts aims to leverage their expertise in preventing conflict. Together with UNIDO’s skills training and technical capacity delivery, this integrated approach is intended to be a mutually reinforcing mechanism to promote long-term economic stability and community reconciliation.