Puntland Livelihood Support Programme
Duration of the project
Somalia has been without a Central Government for the last 19 years owing to the bloody civil war in the early 1990s and subsequent political confusion and clan conflicts that are still beleaguering the country. Somalia is in a state of complex emergency and has some of the worst indicators of human development worldwide.
Somalia is now one of the poorest countries in the world:
ranked 161 out of 163 countries in 2001 according to the UNDP’s human development index. Poverty has increased to the point where 43 per cent of the population survives on less than $1 per day. Management of and access to natural resources and any remaining infrastructure has been under the anarchic control of clans, sub-clans, militias and warlords. In the resultant atmosphere of endemic insecurity, viable livelihood systems and coping mechanisms have rested upon clan-based self-reliance. Puntland State of Somalia, that declared self-autonomy in 1988, has remained relatively calm while violent conflicts erupted in central and southern Somalia in the recent past. The State is also affected by the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing from the chaos in south central Somalia.
There is a real need to promote the home grown markets as fish is a nutritious food and even cheaper than meat in these parts of Somalia. With the exception of a few fish species, Somalia’s fisheries products cannot access international seafood markets. Reasons are logistical difficulties, certification, and lack of products of appropriate quality. This is further complicated by lack of governmental authority to provide and police regulations in order to establish a credible and acceptable fish export system. Previous work by VSF CH in Puntland greatly contributed to strengthening of local governance and to enable rural populations to earn a livelihood. Positive linkages between local leaders and rural populations contribute towards conflict resolution and peace building. Further support in the livestock and fisheries sector is needed to ensure that the pastoral and poor vulnerable communities will become more food secure.
The nomadic population in Puntland bases their livelihood on livestock. They represent the main source of food and income. However, the productivity of the livestock has decreased due to changed environmental circumstances. Further, the long distances and insufficient hygiene measures lead to a decreased quality in the produce. Therefore, the livelihood of a great number of people is endangered.
VSF-Suisse supports the production and marketing of camel jerky, known as Hodka. Traditionally, Hodka is an important source of income for the women. A study has shown that the hygiene standards in slaughter and processing of camel meat are insufficient. Thus, the supply of low quality camel jerky has led to a market collapse. The same applies to milk production and sale. The project represents one of six components of a large regional programme and its focus lies on training the women in hygienic production and marketing of camel jerky and milk.