08 February 2013 11:35 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--European and Japanese shipping firms are collaborating with the United Nations (UN) on a program to promote job creation in Somalia to address the problem of high-sea piracy at the roots, Anglo-Dutch energy firm Shell said on Friday.
The shipping arms of Shell and UK energy major BP, along with Maersk, Stena, and Japanese maritime firms NYK, MOL and “K” Line are leading the initiative, in cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Shell said in a statement.
“Our hope is that 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,” Shell said.
Most pirate attacks on ships traversing the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean – a key route for commodities trading – were committed by Somalians, which were driven to the crime because of poverty.
The UNDP has an existing project in Somalia called “Alternative Livelihoods to Piracy in Puntland and Central regions” that is aligned with the objective of the shipping industry.
“By working with the UNDP to help provide alternative livelihoods we hope to support local communities and help reduce the threat to seafarers in the area,” said Grahaeme Henderson, vice president at Shell Shipping in the statement.
The initiative launched in February last year was designed to “make a contribution to the rebuilding of a stable Somalia and thus reduce the risk of piracy to seafarers in the Indian Ocean”, Shell said.
“The shipping industry initiative will provide additional funding of $1.5m to support other capacity building projects in Somalia and this will be the subject of a further announcement,” Shell added.
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