Shell, BP, Maersk, Stena & Japanese shipping companies NYK, MOL and “K” Line support job creation & capacity building projects in Somalia.
This collaboration between many in the shipping industry and UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) is the first step in an initiative, launched in February 2012, designed to make a contribution to the rebuilding of a stable Somalia and thus reduce the risk of piracy to seafarers in the Indian Ocean.
Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President Shell Shipping said: “The safety of seafarers is the priority of all of us involved in this maritime industry led initiative. By working with the UNDP to help provide alternative livelihoods we hope to support local communities and help reduce the threat to seafarers in the area.”
The UNDP has been selected because of its existing footprint in coastal and city centres in Somalia and the alignment of the objectives of the shipping industry partners with those of the UNDP’s “Alternative Livelihoods to Piracy in Puntland and Central regions” project.
The UNDP will focus on supporting long term youth employment with the aim of providing viable employment alternatives to piracy for Somalia’s youth in the agriculture, livestock and fishing industries. For example, this funding will support the creation of a business development centre for local entrepreneurs.
The funding will also help the UNDP to build up local youth facilities to encourage community collaboration and mutual support. The hope is that this shipping industry led initiative will help lay the foundation for a future generation in Somalia that has choices and no longer supports or condones piracy.
The shipping industry initiative will provide additional funding of US$1.5 million to support other capacity building projects in Somalia which will be the subject of a further announcement.