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Somalia: UK support for new government

Britain will work in partnership with the new Government of Somalia to help 20,000 Somalis benefit from better schools, sanitation, roads and health clinics.

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Britain will work in partnership with the new Government of Somalia to build a more stable and prosperous future for the country by boosting its public services and operations, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds announced today on their first visit to the country.

Speaking from the Somali capital Mogadishu, Ms Greening 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.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening 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).

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.

Read the full press release

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Published 3 October 2012