Somalia, UN Launch Initiative To Improve Lives Of IDPs

Somalia and the United Nations on Wednesday launched a major innovation challenge to seek ideas from young Somalis on improving the living conditions of people in internally displaced persons (IDPs) communities.

Both Somali government and UN officials who attended the launch in Mogadishu urged the Somali youth to develop solutions for tackling the many problems facing IDPs in their country.

Achim Steiner, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator advised the youth to develop professional networks to promote their innovations.

“We do a lot of emergency support. But what we love the most is to work with people like you because if we can succeed with you, to help you to the next level, you will take Somalia to its next level,” he said in a statement issued by the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The challenge is part of an ongoing “Innovate for Somalia” project led by UNDP, in collaboration with Somali government which has conducted two previous innovation challenges to improve the dairy industry and on coding development focused apps.

The third of its kind, the new innovation project is open to young Somali IDPs, returnees and young people from host communities.

Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said no country wants to be reliant on emergency assistance.

“And the only way I can achieve my dream of not being needed anymore (as UN Emergency Relief Coordinator) is if Achim (Steiner) is fantastically successful in helping all of you to be fantastically successful. As far as I am concerned, you are the solution, and good luck,” Lowcock said.


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