Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
UK promises Somalia solid partnership

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Britain will help Somalia build a more stable and prosperous future by boosting its public services and operations, officials said.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening and minister for Africa Mark Simmonds made the announcement at the end of a meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

“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,” said Ms Greening.

President Mohamud outlined the priorities for his administration, including tackling corruption.

Ms Greening congratulated the new president, saying that the recent peaceful transfer of power showed that there was now a real opportunity to help the people of Somalia to grow and prosper.

"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,” said Ms Greening.

She added that improving basic services such as justice, schools, health care and transport was vital if Somalia was to have a more peaceful and prosperous future.

President Mohamoud briefed the media that Somalia expected substantial support from UK.

“In Villa Somalia (the state house in Mogadishu) we talked about several issues, particularly how UK could support the Somali government and people,” said President Mohamoud.

Basic services

The UK ministers also held talks with the Deputy Force Commander of the AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Mr 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.”

The minister added that he welcomed the progress made to increase the areas recovered from Al-Shabaab control, including recent progress in Kismayu.

“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.”

President Mohamoud 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 pull themselves out of poverty.


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