In a meeting co-hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron and the President of Somalia, the UK H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, alongside other donors including Japan, committed international support for Somalia’s new federal government at yesterday’s Somalia conference. These commitments endorsed the Somali government’s plans for developing the country’s armed forces, police, justice and public financial management systems. These plans are a pivotal part of tackling poverty, improving security and tackling the root causes of humanitarian disasters, mass migration, terrorism and piracy.
In his opening speech to the Conference, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said:
Winning the war in Somalia has been proved. Winning the peace in Somalia will take patience and great skill. We are at a critical junction. The time is now.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
The people and government of Somalia can rightly be proud of the huge progress the country has made over the past year. A new parliament and government have been appointed in the most representative political process in a generation. Al Shabaab has lost large areas of territory. The diaspora are returning and the economy is starting to revive.
But this progress is fragile, and maintaining the momentum will require leadership in Somalia and support from the region and the international community. That is why the UK convened this conference and that it is why it was crucial that the international community agreed that Somalia is on the right path, recognised the challenges Somalia faces, and set out its support for the Somali government’s priorities and plans.
The funding committed by the UK today is a clear demonstration of our commitment to Somalia and our determination to support the federal government and the Somali people in the years ahead.
Somalia has been through a dramatic shift since last year’s London Somalia Conference. Besides the appointment of a new Parliament, President, Prime Minister and Cabinet, there are positive signs such as piracy attacks down by 80%, with no vessels attacked this year. But Somalia still faces desperate poverty and 2013 will be a pivotal year.
Over 200,000 children under-5 are acutely malnourished and just under half of all Somalis live on less than $1 a day. Despite the gains made against Al-Shabaab, the recent tragic and despicable attacks in Mogadishu – including one just last weekend – are a reminder of how much work there is still to do in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
The UK commitments made on 7th May 2013 will support Somalia’s federal government’s own recovery plan in the following areas:
- Military experts to advise the Somalis as they develop their armed forces, as well as £10 million over 2 years to help extend forces beyond Mogadishu;
- £1.5 million to support Somalia’s Maritime Resource and Security strategy, secure Somalia’s coastline, and aid the prosecution of suspected pirates;
- £14.5 million to help repair and rebuild Mogadishu’s crumbling prison, double police numbers and set up a series of mobile courts to operate across the country.
- £2.8 million to support the Somali government’s plans to boost public finances and manage their own resources and revenues better;
- A major new £145 million humanitarian programme to help 500,000 Somalis to survive the current food crisis, become better able to withstand future droughts and crop failures, and plan for the future;
- A new £5 million package to help the government to work with local communities to resolve local conflicts and deliver better services;
- Support for a team of UN experts on Sexual Violence in Conflict to deploy to Somalia in the summer.
Read the final communiqué from the London Somalia Conference.
Watch videos from the Conference, including from double Olympic Champion Somali-born Mo Farah.
More information on the Conference