Somalilandsun – 30 people (26 women and 4 men) staying in make shift shelters on the outskirts of Borama, Somaliland have received a total of US$16,500 in grant awards to start up small businesses.
The grants come under the Livelihood assistance for Migrants and Mobile Populations Project, funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Receiving $550, Cadoosh, one of the beneficiaries, said: “I was crippled after the 2011 drought – I lost most of my cattle. I started a small business, and will now use this money to expand what little I have built over the last two years.”
Mohamed Mahad Dhama, Executive Director of IOM’s implementing partner Y-PEER explains: “In 2013, IOM shifted its focus from life-saving assistance to transitional assistance in all areas of Somaliland, with priority being employment creation through provision of small grants to internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities. In addition to starting up their own business, they also attend vocational trainings targeted at youth and women who are at risk of irregular migration and drug addiction.” Mr. Mohamed thanked IOM and Government for their great support to Somaliland people and particularly to the disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Mohamed finally reminded to the beneficiaries the agreed terms for grant award included that everyone will start his or her business within 15 days.
Addressing a large crowd included the beneficiaries, the Mayor of Borama, Suleiman Hassan Haddi, called on poor, vulnerable and marginalized families from Borama IDP camps and host communities to break poverty cycles and strive for self-reliance, in order to restore their dignity. In His speech the mayor said to the beneficiaries “this money will benefit to the larger community included Borama local municipality when it is used to its intended end. Local government will get a tax as well as other institutions and local people. The Mayor also remarked this grant is test for all of us and all UN agencies and international organizations-not only IOM will charge the result of this exercise. If we do it well and then more and more may come but if we fail people will know our bad story and then no one will become interested to us. Hope that you will do well done job that will make proud all of us. Finally he thanked IOM, Government of Japan, Y-PEER other individuals whom supported this effort.
Liban Essa of IOM said: “It is not easy for people who have no assets to open their own small businesses because you have no access to capital, as there are no financial and loan institutions in Somaliland. With this in mind, IOM designed this project with Somaliland Y-PEER to enable IDP residents establish small businesses for long-term daily income generation. IOM is committed to facilitate integration of IDPs into host communities.” Mr. Liban also remarked that IOM has done similar projects in Burco for 2012 and the beneficiaries are still doing great jobs and their business is growing day after day. We hope that Borama beneficiaries will the same. I am expecting that one day I will see the business running, growing and good number of customers and generating profits that you will use for your living expenses and other things you may need for money in your live.
The vice governor of Awadal region Mr. Abdirahman Nuur Sugaal thanked to IOM, Government of Japan and Y-PEER for their great effort of supporting our people. Mentioned that the implementing partner the selected the most appropriate beneficiaries without any conflict and problem. Mr. Sugaan remarked that this money- $ 16500 will be an injection to general economy of the region as it will circulate from our business to the other business. He said “These organizations played their role and have done their job nicely but now it is our turn and people will see what we do. I am very confident that you will produce great and nice results that will overwhelm for every body’s expectations. Good thing I liked that there is more women beneficiaries than the men and that is why I am more confident. The vice governor finally distributed the grant the beneficiaries.
To increase chances of success, all beneficiaries were required to develop evidence-informed business plans, and were trained on financial literacy, business management, marketing, customer service, and financial management before receiving the grants. Refresher training will also be given 2 months after they start their business to discuss successes stories, challenges encountered and receiving mentoring and advices from successful business people and Y-PEER.
IOM’s livelihoods projects in Somalia are funded by the Japanese government.
For more information or for interviews, please contact Mr. Daihei Mochizuki, IOM Somalia, Tel +254 739851650, Email DMochizuki@iom.int