mission and goals

The action of development cooperation in Somalia takes into account several factors, among which it is useful to remember in particular the alignment with the national development plans (NDP-9-2020-2024) and the Drought Impact & Needs Assessment (DINA).

In line with the aforementioned strategic documents, and with the obligations deriving from the Grand Bargain, AICS establishes operational and programming priorities in Somalia, also through bilateral meetings that the Mogadishu office has with local authorities and coordination between donors, promoting initiatives that guarantee greater impact in the light of knowledge of the local context. Programs that have given satisfactory results are, if necessary, also refinanced, creating a de facto multi-year nature of the action of the Italian Cooperation in Somalia. The monitoring is carried out within the coordination committees and with constant dialogue with the implementing agencies, or in the case of bilateral emergency planning, through external evaluation companies.

Bilateral action is necessarily limited, due to the extreme fragility and unreliability of the security conditions. The activities are therefore, so far, limited to the important commitment aimed at the reconstruction and adaptation of the infrastructures of the Somali National University. This support has evolved from an initial phase of exclusive professional updating of the teaching staff to the current infrastructural support. It is useful to remember that Italy is currently the only donor engaged in the development of state university education for the training of a new ruling class and officials.

A second program is the establishment of the Archivio Somalia, now online in three languages (Italian, English and Somali) thanks to the long work done by the Interdepartmental Research Center for Somali Studies (CIRSS) at Roma Tre University. Through its two sections, citizens and scholars can access not only extremely rare oral histories, photographic resources, and unpublished documents, but also consult for free a school dictionary (Qaamuus dugsiyeedka Af Soomaaliga) and the entire body of Somali legislation 1950-1989, previously unavailable in the country.

An integral part of the bilateral action of the Italian Cooperation in the country are humanitarian and emergency aid, for the most part carried out through collaboration and involvement of the Italian CSOs present in the territory, ensuring an excellent cost / benefit ratio, and enhancing the Italian system of Cooperation in Somalia.

On the multilateral action front, the thematic focus on employment is maintained through activities aimed at professional training, also in consideration of widespread youth unemployment, and irregular migration, through dangerous routes and journeys. For this reason, support is provided for the development of primary sectors such as agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing, in conjunction with the commitment in the private sector for the development of processing and export activities, promoting full participation by women.

Even when intervening in emergency situations, an approach that connects to development activities is preferred, with the prospect of improving food safety indicators, thanks to the use of appropriate agricultural techniques and the construction or restoration of irrigation infrastructures.

Water is considered a crucial pillar to decrease households' fragility and increase resilience. Thus, ensuring access to safe and healthy water and efficient management of scarce water resources are the top priority for Italian cooperation. AICS is working - now more than ever - to ensure equitable and sustainable access to water for all, increasing water supply and promoting the introduction of consumption tariffs in favor of the poorest groups.

Another sector of essential importance on which the action of the Italian Cooperation continues to focus is represented by the development of infrastructures, in particular the productive ones (ports and airports), through the support of the long-term program of the African Development Bank and other initiatives. These activities are essential to foster the recovery of a local economy, economic-commercial integration within the country (north-south axis) and regional trade, in particular with Ethiopia (east-west axis) and other countries of the region.

The health sector is confirmed as one of the traditional sectors of excellence of the Italian commitment in Somalia. Health is of primary importance in a country that ranks among the lowest in the world for quality of life indicators. In this sector we invest with an "all-inclusive" approach, taking into consideration both the offer of essential and emergency medical services, and the rehabilitation of health facilities, an indispensable requirement for providing services, with a focus on maternal and child health and the abolition of traditional practices harmful to women's health such as Female Genital Mutilation.

In line with the Somali Government's priorities set out during the Somalia Partnership Forum (Mogadishu, 1-2 October 2019), the primary importance of promoting the rule of law and strengthening government institutions is recognized as part of the broader discussion around 'forces generation' in Somalia. AICS intervenes with programs for the advancement of the rule of law, for the promotion of human rights - of which women's rights and children's rights are an integral part - and in the consolidation of democratic processes, in order to contribute to institutional strengthening for greater stability and peace and fostering long-term development.

Finally, by confirming the financial commitments undertaken within the funds managed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, support is maintained for the process of institutional and regulatory strengthening necessary for macro-economic development which, combined with progress in the rule of law, in compliance of human rights and in respect of democratic processes, are among the conditions that can allow Somalia to have access to debt cancellation.

Based on the analysis of funding flows provided by the Office of the Somali Prime Minister, Italy currently occupies the 7th place among traditional bilateral donors for development.