Tokyo-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced plans to collaborate, along with Shell, BP, Maersk, Stena NYK and “K” Line with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support job creation and skill development projects in Somalia. The industry partners will provide funding of US$ 1 million to the UNDP, which will oversee distribution of the funds in 2013 and 2014.
This collaboration between leaders in the shipping industry and UNDP is the first step in an initiative, launched in February 2012, to promote rebuilding of a stable Somalia and thus reduce the risk of piracy to seafarers in the Indian Ocean.
The UNDP will support this effort, which will provide employment opportunities in local communities and contribute to the safety of merchant shipping in the region.
The UNDP has a strong presence in coastal and city centers in Somalia and the objectives of the shipping industry partners are closely aligned with those of the UNDP’s¬†”Alternative Livelihoods to Piracy in Puntland and Central Regions”¬†project.
The UNDP will focus on supporting long-term youth employment with the aim of providing viable employment alternatives to piracy for Somalia’s youth in the agriculture, livestock, and fishing industries. For example, this funding will support the creation of a business development center for local entrepreneurs. The funding will also help the UNDP to build up youth facilities to encourage community collaboration and mutual support. The partners hope this shipping industry-led initiative will help lay the foundation for a future generation in Somalia that has choices and no longer supports or condones piracy.
The shipping industry will provide additional funding of US$1.5 million to support other skill development projects in Somalia.