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EU and FAO engage in supporting Somali coastal communities in the framework of IGAD regional initiative for Maritime Security

The European Union, the Federal Government of Somalia, the Federal States of Puntland and Galmudug and, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations today jointly launched a new project promoting economic opportunities for young people living in coastal communities in north-eastern and central areas of Somalia. Creating long-term jobs for youth in fishing community is a key strategy for preventing piracy and reducing temptations to engage in maritime crime.

"The prevention and fight against piracy cannot be achieved just by strengthening regional coordination and capacity for maritime security, it must be supported by creating alternative livelihoods and economic opportunities for those groups more at risk of engaging in illegal activities. This is especially true for disillusioned youth," said Mrs. Veronique Lorenzo, EU's Head of Delegation for Somalia. "The challenges can only be addressed through a comprehensive approach to Somalia's development and stability" she highlighted. 

The "Coastal Communities against Piracy" (CCAP) project, is being implemented under the framework of the ongoing broader EU-IGAD initiative "Programme to Support Regional Maritimes Security" (MASE) in the Eastern and Southern Africa – Indian Ocean Region and will be implemented in coastal areas of Puntland, Galmudug and Mogadishu by FAO, in close partnerships with Somali Federal and regional Ministries of Fisheries and Livestock. 

The project is receiving 5.3 million Euros from the European Union, almost USD6 million. The project will provide training, equipment, better productive infrastructure and cash transfers to youth, women, fishermen and pastoralists in selected coastal communities, creating new longterm jobs and raising incomes.    

“This is a really exciting step forward for Somalia. It will bring jobs, income and opportunities to communities that have been economically marginalized for so many years. It provides a platform for Government and cooperatives to provide the support and assistance that these communities so desperately need if they are to make piracy history and build long-term sustainable futures” said Richard Trenchard, FAO's Representative for Somalia.  

The project builds on successes of other FAO activities in the fisheries and livestock sectors, such as the deployment of FADs (Fishing Aggregating Devices) along Somalia’s coastline in 2015 and a boat building programme that is making low-cost, high quality, efficient and safe fishing boats available to fishing communities for the first time for many years.  

Almost 200 young people from coastal communities in Puntland, Galmudug and Mogadishu will benefit from the use of new fishing vessels and receive technical training to increase the catches, reduce costs and better manage vital marine resources. More than 200 young men and women will receive training and mentoring support in handling and processing of fish and fish products and management and operation of fish handling facilities. Over 75 youths will benefit from support in fodder production and another 440 youth will be involved in related cash-for-work activities. At the institutional level, 18 individual fishing co-operatives and the Hibo Cooperative umbrella organization will benefit from a structured training and mentoring programme to improve their services to the fishing community. 

Distributed by APO on behalf of EU Delegation to Somalia.