Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Since 2011, the United States government has provided over $2 billion in humanitarian assistance and more than $500 million in development assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia, in its institutional and financial reconstruction efforts.

Through financing several essential projects, the U.S. has contributed hugely to key sectors such as water, health, security, education, and community development programs.

On August 29th, the Federal Government of Somalia and the USA inked the second phase of the Development Objective Assistance Agreement (DOAG) worth $92.6 million. This agreement aims to bolster Somalia’s financial capacity for various development projects.

Somalia’s Minister of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development, Hon. Mohamud Beenebeene, emphasized the vital role played by the United States in revitalizing and reconstructing functional institutions in Somalia.

“The American government has been a key pillar in the revitalization and reconstruction of functional institutions in Somalia. We have signed a Development Objective Assistance Agreement (DOAG) worth $92.6 million with the United States to support our development projects. Similarly, last year, the U.S. government provided $78 million for such projects,” said Hon. Mohamud Beenebeene, Somalia’s Minister of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development.

He highlighted the importance of these funds in promoting stability, community development, and the reconstruction of key institutions.

“These funds hold great importance in addressing the essential needs of the Somali people, particularly in the education, water, and health sectors, as well as promoting potential economic growth for our country,” he added.

These funds are expected to address critical needs in education, water, health, and economic growth, with a focus on areas that have previously not benefitted from such programs.

The Minister stressed that the allocation of funds would follow a transparent process, prioritizing the needs of the Somali people.

“These funds will be utilized for very clear and transparent programs. Although the exact locations have not been specified in the agreement, they will be part of the programs. We are focusing mostly on the liberated areas that are in serious need of government services. The areas that have not previously benefited from these projects will be prioritized,” he added.

The Federal Minister of Finance, Mr. Bihi Iman Egeh, highlighted the importance of this funding, during the signing of the Development Objective Assistance Agreement (DOAG) worth $92.6 million

“This morning, I co-signed the new Development Objective Assistance Agreement which is $92.6 million USD of additional financing for enabling development projects and USAID Somalia. This is valuable support which comes at a critical time when Somalia is fighting Al-shabaab militants across all the regions, and facing with climate change,” said Bihi Iman Egeh Somalia’s finance minister.

The U.S. Charge chargé d’affaires, Shane Dixon, reaffirmed the U.S. government’s continuous support for Somalia. He emphasized the impact of these funds on vulnerable communities, particularly in education and other vital sectors.

“Our joint efforts ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind, and we stand behind how they would gain economic development, providing quality education for 150,000 Somali students as we rejuvenate educational facilities,” said US Charge d’Affaires Shane Dixon.

“The U.S. embassy will support the needs and requests of the Federal Government of Somalia. We have always supported Somalia, and we will continue supporting Somalia in the sectors of security, water, health, and education,” he added.

In 2017, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a landmark Development Objective Assistance Agreement (DOAG) with the Federal Government of Somalia, focusing on democracy, stability, governance, economic growth, community development services, humanitarian aid, education, and health.

The financial support from the U.S. represents the U.S government’s commitment to strengthening Somalia’s pursuit for stability, democracy, and prosperity.

The financial support is aimed for development projects across four crucial sectors:

  1. Democracy, Stability, and Governance: Good-governance serve as the foundation for achieving stability and democracy.
  2. Economic Growth and Community Development: These funds will directly benefit Somali citizens, including farmers, pastoralists, and youth, through agricultural initiative programs and ideas.
  3. Humanitarian Aid: These funds will be utilized to provide humanitarian assistance during crises, such as those related to climate change.
  4. Education and Health Sectors: The majority of these funds will be allocated to these specific areas. More than 150,000 children from remote areas have received free education in line with the government’s educational curriculum and standards. Over 200 classrooms have been renovated, and more than 10,000 teachers have been recruited.

Abdinur Ali Mohamed, Dean of the Graduate School at Simad University, highlighted the need for a comprehensive plan that includes youth and women empowerment and human capital investments. He said that the plan will help identify target areas and groups, facilitating support from organizations focusing on these critical areas.

“Institutions, particularly under the Ministry of Planning, should develop an organized plan and include areas that have long been neglected, including youth and women empowerment and human capital investments. When Somali agencies develop a comprehensive plan and priorities, it will attract organizations that focus on those key areas. The plan and priorities will facilitate the identification of target areas and target groups,” Abdinur Ali Mohamed stated.

The activities funded under the Development Objective Assistance Agreement will be jointly implemented by U.S. agencies in close coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia.

These U.S funding has helped Somalia in strengthening its government institutions and financial systems, which played a vital role in its journey towards debt relief, which will clear the loans contracted during the pre-civil war era.

In August, Somalia received a debt-relief boost of $75 million grant from the World Bank in an effort to strengthen its efforts to build strong institutions. These grants were aimed to help the country towards full and irrevocable debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

Prior, the government of Russia exempted $640 million of debt relief to the Federal Government of Somalia in an agreement signed in Saint Petersburg between Mr. Bihi Iman Egeh, Somali Minister of Finance, and Timur Igorevich Maksimov, Deputy Minister of Finance of Russia.

The debt reliefs are huge achievement towards implementing ambitious reforms to build functional institutions, attract investments and achieve economic growth.

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