14 February 2019

Somalia: Overview of U.S. Support to Somalia Economic Development

press release

The United States is proud to support the people and government of Somalia as they seek to create a better tomorrow, including through economic development and job creation. The United States is committed to providing up to $74 million in investment for these programs.

This week, U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Y. Yamamoto visited with the Somali companies and owners that are beneficiaries of U.S. support through the USAID GEEL program. (GEEL stands for Growth, Enterprise, Employment and Livelihoods.) During his visit, the Ambassador stated: "The United States is back and is pleased to support Somali job creation activities. And we are pleased to hear that Somalia is 'Open for Business' through GEEL support." Success stories of U.S. economic development assistance are described below.Summary:

Habo Tuna Canning Factory, presently directly employs 160 people and buys seafood from over 2,000 fishermen. With USAID support, the company was able to revive and expand its operations. Starting in late 2017, Habo purchased over $500,000 worth of tuna from local fishermen. This has had a huge impact on the local economy, and local fishers are returning to fishing. This season, the additional USAID co-funded blast freezers will allow Habo to produce more than 40,000 cans of tuna, an estimated $2 million value, and plan on hiring 40% more people to work in their factory.

Horn Gardens is one example of how USAID is partnering with a Somali business leader with a vision to help that vision become a reality. Horn Gardens has gone from a single greenhouse to become the first local agro-dealer providing high quality agricultural inputs combined with extension services to local farmers. They are now working with 31 farms and have introduced climate-smart greenhouses and drip irrigation systems that reduce water waste by 80% and are providing farm management support to another 400 farmers.

We're creating opportunities for women farmers and entrepreneurs. In partnership with MicroDahab, USAID is helping women business owners to take out loans they need to build their businesses and farms. With USAID's support, MicroDahab is supporting many women entrepreneurs take out loans to start and expand their businesses.

Somali women face serious barriers in accessing finance. To break down such barriers, GEEL is partnering with banks and Somali women-owned businesses to find solutions to such challenges. GEEL has supported one of the leading female agribusiness companies in Somalia, (Somfresh), to access finance and technology for wholesale and retail sales of fruits and vegetables. GEEL provided technical and investment support for her to take out a loan from Dahabshiil Bank to purchase a new farm which will improve her supply chain. GEEL also providing in-kind grant in the form of cold storage to improve her fresh fruits business.

USAID is partnering with a number of livestock companies, including Irmaan Dairy, Beder, and Sommilk, to improve milk processing and nutritional value of local milk.

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