Horn of Africa
About Swiss International Cooperation
Background Information on Selected Projects and Activities
Horn of Africa 
SDC – on location worldwide
Welcome to the Regional Office for the Horn of Africa
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) regional office is in charge of all development and humanitarian activities supported by the Swiss Government in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea.


The Greater Horn of Africa is affected by 3 long-lasting conflicts: the fragmentation of Somalia, the sensitive separation of Sudan and South Sudan, and the unresolved dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Somali sub-conflict system is at the core of regional fragility, as it has strong regional impacts in the adjoining regions of South-Eastern Ethiopia and North-Eastern Kenya, and beyond. Substantial parts of the population experience political exclusion and economic marginalisation, sharpened by chronic and cyclic food insecurity with high climate variability and acute droughts in the (semi-) arid lands, creating a protracted humanitarian crisis. Local conflicts over equitable access and share of natural resources are intensifying. Throughout the region, the population suffers from a very high burden of diseases, with the world’s highest maternal and child mortality rates. Mines and explosive remnants of war further diminish opportunities for earning a living and leave behind victims long after the armed conflicts. These combined challenges lead to forced migration and high numbers of refugees/IDPs, most of whom are hosted by neighbouring countries.

Cooperation Strategy 2013-2016

The diversity and the interconnections of these challenges call for a sharing of expertise and operational concentration on those areas where impacts can be maximized and regional synergies can be exploited. This Cooperation Strategy 2013–2016, with a total budget of 140.05 million Swiss francs (94.32% from SDC), applies a “Whole-of-Government” approach to Somalia, Ethiopia and North/North-Eastern Kenya, addressing also Djibouti and Eritrea only if humanitarian needs arise and the conditions of engagement are given.

Why: hypothesis of change for the region

Switzerland’s interests and overall hypothesis of change is that people in the region gradually gain confidence in, and benefit from, their State institutions and services. Despite temporary setbacks they are increasingly able to share and manage resources peacefully and take advantage of economic opportunities. Switzerland promotes the transformation of conflicts and regional connectivity by addressing the long-term drivers of conflict and poverty which lie at the core of the fragility in the Horn of Africa, particularly the Somali conflict dynamics and conflicts concerning power and resource sharing.

What: objectives and domain of activties

The overall goal for Switzerland is to contribute to the reduction of poverty, improve human security and stability, and address migration challenges in this new region of concentration. The Swiss actors involved all contribute to the same 4 sectors and their corresponding goals of:

  • Food Security/Rural Development sector, aiming to increase food security and resilience of dry land communities by supporting the adaptation and diversification of their livelihood strategies to environmental and socio-economic change.
  • Health sector: to improve the health of the population in the intervention zones (arid/semi-arid lands), with a special focus on maternal and child health.
  • Good Governance, State and Peace Building/Conflict transformation sector, to strengthen the culture of accountable governance and peace dialogue at local, sub- national and national levels with a specific focus on the transformation of the Somali conflict and conflicts concerning power and resource sharing.
  • Migration sector, targeting the improved protection and living standards for refugees, IDPs and migrants in the region, and improved migration management to reduce vulnerability caused by irregular migration patterns.

How : instruments and modalities

Combining regional and multi-country interventions, these 4 sectors mainly correspond to the top priority regional policies of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and to the National Development Plans of the partner countries. Aid modalities include bilateral and multilateral instruments, core/earmarked contributions to government-owned and multi-donor projects or delegated cooperation agreements, possibly also locally managed development funds and/or direct implementation. Switzerland will also streamline good governance, gender equality and conflict-sensitivity in all sectors. Policy dialogue at national and regional level will be systematically promoted, as well as donor coordination and aid effectiveness principles in fragile contexts (New Deal).

 Contact Information
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Embassy of Switzerland
General Mathenge Drive 89
Spring Valley, Westlands
P.O. Box 2600, 00621 Nairobi

Tel.: +254 202 134 323, +254 706 210 297

Related publications and links
SDC Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa 2013 – 2016
February 2014 /

Download: (PDF, 683 KB) [en]
Cooperation Strategy Horn of Africa 2013 - 2016 at a Glance: synopsis
January 2013 /

Download: (PDF, 291 KB) [en]
“It’s by talking with people from the local population that you see how....
Switzerland’s role in negotiations for a new development agenda: building....
Switzerland takes further measures to fight the Ebola epidemic
All News
Photo Galleries

Impressions from Kitui and Mwingi, Kenya

Impressions from Water for Livestock, Isiolo and Garissa County, Kenya

Impressions from Merti and the Goat and Camel Distribution

Impressions from the Horn of Africa Mission from Ambassador Manuel Bessler

Press Reports

SF "10 vor 10": Das Ende der Hungersnot (german, 03.02.2012)

DRS 4 aktuell: Somalia: «Hauptstadt Mogadischu eine zerstörte Stadt» (german, 16.01.2012)

NZZ: Somalia «prekär, aber nicht hoffnungslos» (german, 10.01.2012)

Selected Partners & Links

Smiling Boy in Merti, Kenya

Selected projects that receive SDC support:

is a humanitarian news and analysis service covering the parts of the world often under-reported, misunderstood or ignored.
Radio ERGO 
provides the Somali population with valuable and life-saving information.

The Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) provide timely and relevant information and analysis for better decision-making relating to short-term food insecurity and malnutrition as well as rigorous early warning and vulnerability information on emerging and evolving food security issues.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is a part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs