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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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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