UN agencies ink incomprehensible deal to enhance rural water security in bewildering Somalia!

On Wednesday May 10, 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed an MoU in Mogadishu, Somalia. The agreement aims to enhance their cooperation and effectiveness to improve Somalia’s water security. The MoU backing the strategy of the Somali Ministry of Energy and Water Resources has been endorsed by the Somali Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. It supports the Water4Life initiative that targets improving access to safe and adequate water for human consumption and livelihoods, household nutrition, and sustainable community water resource management for rural water supply in Somalia.

The FAO representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, said in a joint statement that the MoU would strengthen joint-advocacy efforts for supporting the implementation of the strategy of the Somali Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. By working collaboratively under the agreement, the two UN agencies aim to achieve the Clean Water and Sanitation Sustainable Development Goal 6. The MoU would also establish a solid foundation for Somalia’s inter-agency cooperation and development work to fulfil the SDG 6.

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“Both agencies have common objectives with regards to safe and adequate water access for rural communities to protect lives and livelihoods,” said Peterschmitt.

The UNICEF Somalia representative, Wafaa Saeed, added that the integrated response would strengthen programs that address Somalia’s complex situation where 8 million people are in need of water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance. “Together, we can enhance community access to climate-adaptive water sources and strengthen their resilience through long-term interventions,” she said.

The FAO and UNICEF have worked together in the past under project-specific agreements to generate water source information and mapping for the rural water sector, drought monitoring, and humanitarian response. The two UN agencies have also developed and implemented the National Water Resources Strategy and Road Map, the National Water Sector Coordination Facility, and jointly programmed alongside the World Food Program under the Joint Resilience Action in Somalia to improve health and nutrition outcomes for children and rural communities.

The Somali Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Jama Taqal Abbas, was optimistic about the collaborative work that will take place under the agreement, stating that working together with FAO and UNICEF puts them in a great position to make significant strides in their long-term strategy for water security in the country.

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