EU and AU-IBAR to support Somali livestock

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Today, the European Union and the African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) launched a new project to further strengthen animal health service delivery in Somalia in a bid to promote livestock production for 250,000 Somali pastoralists and sustain export. Building on years of successful cooperation in the Somali livestock sector, the new 4 million EUR project “Reinforcing Animal Health Services in Somalia” (RAHS ) aims at enhancing the quality, access and sustainability of animal health services delivery in Somalia.

This project will sustain the existing private-sector led economic growth in the livestock sector, by strengthening capacities and public-private partnerships between the Somali public Veterinary Authorities and private Livestock Professional Associations in animal health services delivery. Pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are set to benefit from improved access to animal health services and enhanced participation in the design and implementation of livestock disease surveillance and control programmes for the protection of their livestock. The project will contribute to increased income and reduced food insecurity for more than 250,000 households country-wide.

“The EU has been supporting the Somali livestock sector for years, said EU Special Envoy Michele Cervone d’Urso. Livestock export is one of the main economic sectors of Somalia creating 65% of all job opportunities. That is why it’s absolutely crucial to continue to enhance animal health services in the country.”

Interventions will be coordinated by AU-IBAR in close partnership with the Somali Veterinary Authorities, the Somali Livestock Professional Associations and two international NGOs working in the Somali livestock sector namely COOPI and Terra Nuova. Stakeholder workshops for the project in Somalia will take place in June 2014.