Ministers announce UK support to Somalia during visit to Mogadishu

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain will work in partnership with the new Government of Somalia to help build a more stable and prosperous future for the country by boosting its public services and operations.

This was announced by International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds on their first visit to the country.

Speaking from the Somalia capital Mogadishu the International Development Secretary set out how Britain will help improve the Government’s ability to manage its public resources while helping 20,000 Somalis benefit from better schools, sanitation, roads, health clinics and safety and security.

The Ministers outlined the support after meeting the Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. During that meeting, the President set out the priorities for his administration including the need for action to tackle corruption and improve transparency and accountability, and they discussed the wider development and security situation.

The International Development Secretary said:

“I congratulate the new President on his appointment. The recent peaceful transition of power shows that there is now a real opportunity to help the people of Somalia to grow and prosper. The UK is committed to working in partnership with the new government and the Somali Parliament to achieve this.

“For too long Somalia has been blighted by famine, piracy, terrorism or conflict. It is right that we help Somalia to tackle the underlying causes, which matter as much at home in Britain as they do in Somalia. Improving basic services such as justice, schools, health care and transport is vital if Somalia is to have a more peaceful and prosperous future.”
During their visit, the Ministers are also holding talks with the Deputy Force Commander of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds said:

“I want to pay tribute to the bravery of AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces. We discussed the advance of AMISOM and Somali forces with the Deputy Force Commander and the Kenyan Government. I welcome the progress made to increase the areas recovered from Al Shabaab control, including recent progress in Kismaayo. It is clear that this will help create areas of stability, which will allow space for the return of basic services and for economic activity to resume. As the operation moves forward, it is essential that civilians are protected and that humanitarian access is assured.”

The joint visit follows the recent appointment of President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud. The President has already stressed that his initial priorities will include security, economic recovery, improving delivery of basic services, strengthening the accountability of government and transparency of public finances.

Britain’s new aid package will help improve security and justice; public financial management; local governance for service delivery and public sector management across all areas of Somalia. It will allow 3,000 girls and women to access justice and help 20,000 Somalis access the schools, latrines, roads and health clinics to give them opportunities they need to pull themselves out of poverty. It will also improve security, safety and public financial management and make districts more accountable and responsive to communities’ needs.

Today’s announcement in in addition to the Foreign Secretary’s announcement at the UN General Assembly last week that the UK would provide an additional £10 million to help the new government of Somalia with its immediate needs such as promoting governance and accountability, increasing the capacity of government institutions, helping resolve constitutional issues, security and justice, and developing a free media.