The World Food Program (WFP) has started building a fishing jetty in Somalia to help boost the fishing industry in the country, a senior United Nations envoy in Somalia said.

James Swan, the United Nations secretary-general’s special representative for Somalia, said the project, in the Hobyo district, “will provide easier access and docking points for fishing boats, with the objective of supporting the local fishing industry and facilitating export once it is finished in the summer of this year.”

The WFP is also training the local community in new fishing skills and fishing preservation methods, in partnership with local non-governmental organizations, he said in a statement issued on Sunday after talks with Galmudug President Ahmed Abdi Kariye in Dhusamareb.

“The Hobyo jetty project is part of the World Food Program’s ‘food systems’ approach which involves supporting networks that are needed to produce and transform food, and ensure that it reaches consumers,” Swan said.

The UN envoy said investments in food systems improve the long-term resilience and self-reliance of communities around Somalia.

The latest project is in addition to the WFP’s core humanitarian program that provides food, cash or vouchers to some 300,000 people in need around Galmudug every month, Swan said.He said humanitarian aid to Somalia is expected to be scaled up this year.

Swan said the UN Development Program (UNDP) has been providing technical support to help Galmudug’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation develop its core functions.

The UNDP has also supported the training of more than 100 government officials on issues related to federalism and intergovernmental relations, he said.

“The UNDP’s support has also included facilitating the participation of more than 1,000 government officials, civil society representatives, elders, women and youth leaders in reconciliation-related conferences, consultations and workshops,” Swan said.

He said his discussions with the Galmudug president also covered the wider political situation in Somalia, particularly the preparations for elections and the importance of resolving outstanding contentious issues so that a credible electoral process can take place across the country.

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