(Medeshi) - The UK is working with the international community through the UK's Presidency of the G8 to support the rebuilding of Somalia.
Along with the Somalia Conference in May, a key milestone this year for Somalia is the UK’s Presidency of the G8. Within the G8 forum Somalia has been identified as one of the most important foreign and security policy issues, and the UK will use the G8 as an opportunity to encourage leaders to provide high-level political support.
International Financial Institutions(IFIs) support to Somalia
At both the G8 Foreign Ministers meeting in April and G8 Leaders’ Summit in June, Ministers will consider how best to support the re-engagement of the International Financial Institutions in Somalia.
Engagement in Somalia by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund has been limited following the outbreak of civil war in 1990/1. A combination of an unstable security situation, absence of Government, and accumulation of arrears has meant that IFIs have been constrained in the amount they have been able to engage with Somalia.
Now there are however moves to restart support – at first on a small scale, but gradually building up to greater levels of technical and financial help.
The re-engagement of the IFIs would initially provide the economic and institutional expertise and broader support needed to help increase economic stability and growth. Over the medium to long term this could lead to arrears clearance of Somalia’s debt to the IFIs, eligibility for new concessional funding (finance with very low rates of interest), and ultimately, to the possibility of debt relief on the money that Somalia owes to other countries.
The push for IFI re-engagement will lead up to and build on the state-building focus of the Somalia Conference in May. IFIs will only consider re-engagement and the provision of technical and financial support to Somalia if the Somali Government can show they are committed to delivering on the priorities outlined at the Conference. These include rebuilding its armed forces, police, coastguard, justice and public financial management systems.