On visit to London, Somali president bags more aid pledges

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during the latter's visit to London on February 4. Photo by: DfID / CC BY

After receiving a warm welcome in Washington and Brussels, Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was greeted similarly in London, with a pledge of 3 million pounds ($4.7 million) in new aid.

Emerging from his electoral win last year, Mohamud has been touring donor nations to drum up support for the conflict-ridden African nation.

Following a meeting with Mohamud, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said Britain has pledged 1.47 million pounds to assist Somalia’s new parliament, an institution left in shambles after two decades of conflict.

Working with the U.N. Development Program and National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the U.K. Department for International Development plans to help Somalia’s fledgling parliament by:

  • Establishing an administrative support program.

  • Organizing training visits for Somali parliamentarians.

  • Providing mentors to help implement new parliamentary rules.

  • Setting up pilot constituency offices in three Somali regions.

  • Providing experts who will help revise the constitution.

Britain has also promised food aid worth 1.5 million pounds for some of the 2 million people who remain vulnerable after the devastating drought of 2011. The money will be funneled through the World Food Program.

The fresh aid pledges came ahead of an international conference in London to be co-hosted by Somalia and the United Kingdom on May 7.

Earlier this year, DfID released 9 million pounds in humanitarian aid and another 3.3 million pounds for provision of basic services in Somalia. Currently the third largest donor, the United Kingdom plans to send aid worth £63 million to Somalia annually in the coming years.

The United Nations’ consolidated appeal for Somalia totals $1.3 billion in 2013.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development just announced it will provide a grant worth $1.5 million to finance innovative Somali diaspora projects. Another $1 million is expected from diaspora investment in agriculture in the first four years.

In another sign of growing trust in the Somali government, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday suggested the U.N. Security Council consider lifting an arms embargo to help government forces counter the treat of al-Shabaab, the rebel movement that controls part of the country’s south.

Read more Somalia news and find jobs, projects and organizations working in Somalia. Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

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About the author

  • Alliage profile

    John Alliage Morales

    As a staff writer, John Alliage Morales covers the Americas, focusing on the world's top donor hub, Washington, and its aid community - from Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom to the downtown headquarters of USAID, the World Bank and Millennium Challenge Corp. Prior to joining Devex, Alliage worked for a variety of news outlets including GMA, the Philippine TV network, where he conducted interviews, analyzed data and produced in-depth stories on development and other topics.