Abu Dhabi(WAM)27th May 2004)
The Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Activities, based in the United Arab Emirates, and UNDP Somalia today signed an agreement in Abu Dhabi to provide USD 2 million to the Programme for Water Supply in Somalia.
The Programme will address the immediate water supply needs, through increased accessibility and affordability, of vulnerable groups, such as returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), pastoral populations in drought-stricken regions and poorer populations in the southern region of Somalia. In addition, it will also ensure sustainable water management systems based on the capacities of local communities, and where feasible through public-private partnerships.
“The signing of this agreement comes as a directive from His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahayan, President of the U.A.E, with special consideration for the situation in Somalia, to help alleviate the plight of the Somali people by addressing their dire need for water, “ noted Zayed Foundation’s Acting Director General, Salem Obaid Al Dhahiri.
This is the first agreement to be approved by the Zayed Foundation from several project proposals within the context of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNDP and the Zayed Foundation established in September 2003.
“We need to move fast to meet the urgent need for water by the Somali communities,” UNDP Country Director, El Balla Hagona said. “This project will help intensify the coordination of various stakeholders – local ngos and both the private and public sector - and enhance the participation of the local communities which will further enhance ownership. It should be noted that the agreement has been signed less than five months after making initial contact with the Zayed Foundation, and demonstrates that UNDP is a credible and effective partner. Further, we appreciate the assistance of UNDP UAE office for facilitating this successful contact.”
The Programme for Water Supply in Somalia will be executed by UNDP Somalia’s Reintegration of Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons Programme which provides basic social services to meet the physical needs of returnees and the communities to which they return, enlarges economic opportunities and strengthens structures of policy and governance at the local level.