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Somalia: FAO in fish eating promotion to fight hunger

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Published on May 9, 2012

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization recently launched a campaign to raise public awareness about the nutritional benefits of fish across Somalia, the country with the longest coastline in Africa, but also one of the world's lowest fish consumption per capita.

Despite the enormous marine resource, Somalia's fishing industry is largely under-developed and unexploited, partly due to decades of conflict and piracy on the high sea. The country's per capita fish consumption is 2.4 kg/year (FAO 2005).

Recent analysis by FAO's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and FEWSNET confirmed that famine conditions, that killed tens of thousands of Somalis in early 2011, no longer existed in parts of Southern Somalia, yet nearly a third of the Somali population remains in crisis, unable to fully meet essential food and non-food needs.

The key messaging behind the campaign targets women, household heads as well as the youth with an objective of diversifying the Somali eating habits, currently biased against any seafood. The "Fish is Good for You," campaign is funded by the World Bank and Spanish government. It was first launched in the coastal town of Bossaso, Puntland, which hosts tens of thousands of displaced Somalis.

All communication material were pretested and integrated into a multimedia marketing communications strategy including television and radio spot messages, roadshows, leaflets, and drama shows. In Bossaso, the campaign took the town's bustling streets, markets, Internally Displacement camps, schools, restaurants and soccer-playing teenagers on the white sandy beaches.

Filmed and produced by Frank Nyakairu, as part of the "Fish is Good for You" Campaign.

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