UNICEF & UN-HABITAT collaborate on $1.3 million project to provide shelter for Tsunami - affected inhabitants of Somalia

Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday 19 July 2005. Starting next month UNICEF and UN-HABITAT will jointly implement a project to provide shelter for over 2400 people living in the Tsunami-affected town of Hafun, North Eastern Somalia.
Under a recently-signed agreement the twelve month project, worth just over US$1.35 million, will plan, relocate and reconstruct some 400 housing units, public buildings and sanitation facilities on a safe and protected site in Hafun as part of a larger integrated development programme involving different international organizations.

Following the December 2004 disaster most of the buildings on the seafront of Hafun were destroyed or severely damaged. Over 5,000 people were displaced. Because the town's largely unplanned settlement was located on a flat, low-lying sand plate, most of the structures were especially vulnerable to the tsunami waves.

The reconstruction, which will begin in August, comes as a result of a joint-UN agency assessment mission in February 2005 which identified areas for investment in Hafun which would bridge the gap between relief and development.

UN-Habitat Chief Technical Advisor, Maurizio Pieroni says,"After meeting the immediate emergency needs of Hafun following the Tsunami, the aim of the UN team is to collaborate with the community to forge a medium to long-term assistance programme that will develop living and working conditions in a sustainable way"

Reconstruction of the area will include site planning and design, skills training in construction, the production of local building materials and management skills training for cooperative enterprises.

According to UNICEF Somalia Representative, Christian Balslev-Olesen, the project will help to bring basic social services and economic development to the people of Hafun, "This is a project that will provide 400 families, including 1600 children, with affordable housing and sanitation facilities while in the process creating job-opportunities, building technical and leadership skills and nurturing community spirit."

The project will be implemented in collaboration with other United Nations agencies including the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Editor's note

UNICEF has a long history of support for emergency relief and rehabilitation projects worldwide. UNICEF is supporting projects in Somalia in areas of child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. Activities in Tsunami-affected areas of Somalia include the rehabilitation of health and water services and support to basic education. UN-HABITAT has been implementing urban development programmes in Somalia for over 10 years. UN-HABITAT just started an EC/UNDP-funded country-wide Urban Development Programme, including resettlement activities in Puntland and Somaliland.

For further information contact:

1. Christian Balslev-Olesen Representative, UNICEF Somalia. Email: Tel: +254-20-623950/53/55/70. Mobile: +254-722-514-569/733-629-933.

2. Denise Shepherd-Johnson, Communication Officer, UNICEF Somalia: Email: Tel: +254-20-623950/53/55/70. Mobile: +254-722-719-867.

3. Maurizio Pieroni, Chief Technical Advisor, UN-HABITAT Somalia. Email: Tel: +254-20-625029/5030.
Filiep Decorte, Programme Manager, UN-HABITAT Somalia. Email: Tel. + 254-20 625030/323