By Dipo Olowookere
The United Nations Peace building Fund has approved $3 million for a pilot project that will provide peace building and vocational skills to Somali refugees volunteering to return from Kenya to Somalia, where they will then be helped to settle down and contribute to a community dialogue and reintegration process, UN Peace building announced Tuesday.
The project is unique as it reaches across borders and targets the same population, first in asylum in Dadaab, Kenya, and then upon return to Baidoa, Somalia. It builds on an agreement between the governments of Kenya and Somalia and UNHCR on the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees living in Dadaab.
The initiative is part of a comprehensive set of measures to promote coexistence and peaceful resolution of conflict in Somalia and aims to support the government’s priorities for stabilization and peace dividends, including investment in jobs.
The funding will be directed to UNHCR in Kenya as well as to UNHCR, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, IOM and the ILO in Somalia. With this funding, the Fund hopes to provide momentum to similar initiatives on return and reintegration of refugees.
The UN PBF is currently also sponsoring other projects in Somalia, aimed at strengthening the national authority in areas liberated from rebel control.
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