The Horn of Africa (Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti) has been a core region of Switzerland’s international cooperation since 2013. The originally humanitarian-oriented engagement has been developed and expanded over the past few years to include aspects of development cooperation and peacebuilding.
Under the joint guidance of the Humanitarian Aid and the South Cooperation at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the strategy is being implemented in partnership with the Human Security Division (AMS) and the Directorate of Political Affairs at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Federal Department of Justice and Police’s State Secretariat for Migration.
The approach used combines the tools associated with humanitarian aid and development work and ensures they complement each other. This is essential given the complexity of the region, which is affected by ongoing conflicts and recurring crises, such as the ongoing drought, and ranks as one of the most fragile in the world. Innovation is needed in order to maintain the required level of agility in such a fragile situation. This will make it possible both to respond to emergencies in the short term and to meet structural needs in the medium and long term with a view to dealing with recurring challenges.
The geographical focus of the Swiss engagement is on Somalia and the (semi-)arid areas of North East Kenya and South East Ethiopia. In these regions, Switzerland is committed to good governance, improvements in health care with the focus on mothers and children, migration and protection of the civilian population as well as improvements in the food security sector. Under the current strategy (2013-2017), between CHF 30 and 40 million are spent and used every year. Building on the existing commitment to the various geographical areas and topics, the new strategy (2018-2021), which is still in development, will have a similar scope.