Somalis have experienced years of struggle, climate shocks and disease outbreaks in recent years. COVID-19 has worsened the situation as well, with up to 20 percent of Somalia/Somaliland’s population expected to suffer from direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. According to officials, There is widespread unemployment in Somalia/Somaliland with approximately 49% of the population between the ages of 15 and 64 years being unemployed.

“The Tadamon project is the fruit of a long collaboration between ISDB and SPARK,” said Mourad Hentati, Regional Programme Director for North Africa at SPARK.  “It is a relevant and timely project to address the negative impact of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. This is also a strong opportunity for SPARK to relaunch its activities in Somalia/Somaliland and respond to the growing urgent needs of youth and women to access jobs and sustainable economic opportunities. With a strong network of partners on the ground, namely Bina Incubator and Zamzam, the TADAMON project aims to provide the best possible services to equip young people with the skills and capacities to mitigate the covid-19 impact but most importantly aspire to start and grow their economic activities and ensure decent conditions to thrive in a challenging social and economic environment, while having better health services in their communities”.

As a response to the needs of Somali entrepreneurs and jobseekers, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) has partnered with SPARK, an international NGO, to launch a support programme for companies affected by COVID-19. The ‘Tadamon’ programme ( contributes to the immediate and medium-term efforts to combat the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Somalia/Somaliland economy.

Health and education sectors are prioritised – 90 healthcare workers will receive short vocational courses to gain skills surrounding emergencies and COVID-19.

Women and other vulnerable groups will have access to higher vocational education degrees or skills development in sectors relevant to the labour market. SPARK expects 500 youth (50% women) will gain sustainable employment and 90 entrepreneurs will start up their own micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) or home-based businesses.

The one year programme will be implemented in partnership with local non-profit organisations, the private sector and multinational stakeholders to work towards the global UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which focuses on decent jobs and economic growth.