UN inaugurates project to help Somalia improve food security

FAO: Public investment in agri-food systems up 22% in 2022

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its partners have inaugurated an initiative, the Jowhar Offstream Storage Programme (JOSP), in Somalia to improve food security and climate resilience.

The JOSP aimed to build resilience against climate shocks in communities along the Shabelle River by enhancing access to water, reducing drought and flood risk, and boosting agricultural production.

“The programme is expected to enhance access to water for 368,887 people across five districts, reduce flood risk for 1.5 million people, and mitigate drought impact for 1.65 million people,” FAO said.

According to FAO, increased local food production is expected to generate more than 50 million U.S. dollars per season in production value and income.

“It will also lead to savings of up to 36 million dollars per year in humanitarian assistance costs as the food security situation improves.”

The programme is a collaborative effort between the government of Somalia, FAO, and its UN partners, the International Organisation for Migration.

Other partners are the UN Settlement Programme, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the UN Environment Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia Salah Ahmed Jama, called the JOSP initiative a testament to the power of collaboration in averting humanitarian needs and driving the country toward a better future.

Jama said community ownership and integration were essential, noting that the community must understand that the programme belonged to them and that a sense of ownership was crucial for its success.

“We need to change the perception that the canal is a government project so people recognise it as their own.

“This programme should pave the way for new initiatives and demonstrate to donors the great potential of investing in Somalia,” he added.

Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdi Hayir, said JOSP would significantly impact the regions by reducing upstream flooding and supplying water to downstream communities.

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