The European Community and UN-HABITAT have signed a grant agreement for the implementation of a new three-year project entitled Sustainable Employment Creation and Improved Livelihoods for Vulnerable Urban Communities in Mogadishu.
Urban populations in Somalia largely rely on an informal economy based on trade, the hospitality sector, transport, utilities (energy and water), communications, and construction. Local communities in Mogadishu – particularly youth, women, internally displaced people, ex-combatants, and other marginalized groups – generally do not have the chance to participate in decision-making processes related to the provision of basic services and public infrastructure. Furthermore, vulnerable urban groups have limited opportunities to enhance their livelihoods through trade, employment, or technical and vocational skills training. It is estimated that between 30 and 66 percent of Somalia’s estimated 9.5 million people are unemployed, and most of those are under the age of 25.
The project responds to these challenges by focusing on poverty reduction through the creation of sustainable enterprise and employment, and the reconstruction of public infrastructure and basic services through a participatory, youth-focused, gender-balanced approach. Six key sectors of the Mogadishu urban economy will be targeted for capacity development, access to markets, and the promotion of trade. The project aims to create over 2,000 permanent jobs, plus 65,000 workdays in temporary employment. It will train more than 1,000 people in business and vocational skills and build the capacity of 100 business entities. Women will represent 30 percent of the beneficiaries of the project.
The total cost of the project is USD 5.5 million. The European Commission has agreed to finance almost 90 percent of the total budget, with the remaining amount co-funded through activities implemented within the framework of the Participatory District Rehabilitation Project (Phase II), funded by Italian Cooperation. The project will be jointly implemented with the International Labour Organization, the Italian NGO CESVI, and the local NGO SAACID. Activities will be rolled out to all 16 districts of Mogadishu, in close collaboration with the Benadir regional administration, district authorities, and the private sector.
The project is expected to significantly contribute to the achievement of UN development outcomes under the Somalia Reconstruction and Development Programme, the United Nations Somali Assistance Strategy (Outcome 2 on Poverty Reduction and Livelihoods), and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as ongoing peace-building efforts in Somalia.