Sweden donates $9M to scale up healthcare in Somalia

The Swedish Embassy in Mogadishu announced that it donated 75 million kronar ($9 million) on Tuesday to strengthen health and protection services for women and children in the horn of African country.

“Sweden in Somalia is proud to announce a new partnership with UNICEF Somalia to support child rights, scale up health and protection services for Somali women and children, including COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” the embassy said in a statement.

Funding will strengthen access to essential services and underscores Sweden’s long-term commitment to improving the lives of Somali women and children, according to Swedish Ambassador Staffan Tillander.

The contribution will improve access to maternal, newborn and child health services reaching more than 1 million women and children.

“In addition, funding will crucially strengthen national and sub-national capacities to plan, deliver, monitor, and report on quality health services and supplies,” said the statement.

It will also support innovative mental health initiatives for children affected by armed conflict, including former child soldiers, children maimed and survivors of rape and sexual violence.

“Every child has a right to health and protection. This multi-year funding provides us with the much-needed opportunity to work harder on long-term solutions and do more to keep Somali children and their families healthy and safe especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Acting Representative in Somalia.

More than 5.9 million people, including 3.9 million children in Somalia will need humanitarian assistance in 2021 because of the devastating effects of flooding, desert locust and the coronavirus, according to the UN.