March 9, 2015
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on February 5, 2015 launched a multi-donor trust fund to deliver capacity development in Somalia.
The Somalia Trust Fund aims at improving macroeconomic institutions, policies, and data systems and will provide over nine (9) million dollars worth of technical assistance and training to Somalia over the next three years.
So far, commitments have been received from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development ($3 million), the Canadian Department for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development ($2.5 million), and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development ($1.1 million). The IMF is continuing its efforts to secure additional contributions to fully finance the Trust Fund’s budget.
The inaugural meeting of the Steering Committee, the Trust Fund’s governing body on February 5, 2015 endorsed the work plans in three areas of the IMF’s expertise: fiscal operations, central banking, and statistical systems. Capacity development in these areas will be provided by the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, and Statistics Department. The IMF’s Legal Department will produce additional work plans on anti-money laundering and fiscal legislation over the coming year.
The Steering Committee comprises representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia, the IMF, and donors to the Trust Fund. Representatives of the European Union and Turkey also attended the inaugural meeting as observers. The Steering Committee endorsed the selection of Canada as the Chair for 2015.
Somalia is emerging from a long period of civil war that has lasted for a generation. In the August 2012, a 275-member Federal Parliament was elected by traditional elders from across the regions and districts of Somalia. The Federal Parliament in turn elected Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as Federal President and Head of the Federal Government of Somalia. In the wake of broad international support, the IMF announced in April 2013 that it also recognized the Federal Government of Somalia as the government of Somalia. This has allowed the IMF to resume the provision of technical assistance and capacity development to Somalia.
It has been recognized that the delivery of capacity development to meet Somalia’s vast needs requires a long-term approach. Such an approach also needs to be well coordinated with other technical assistance providers—not only to avoid duplication of efforts, but also to ensure that contributions made are complementary. To this end, the IMF proposed in mid-2014 the establishment of a multi-donor Trust Fund to ensure a sustained delivery of capacity development to Somalia. Its focus is to support the Somali authorities’ efforts to build key economic institutions and develop capacity for prudent macroeconomic policies. It also provides a forum to coordinate ongoing efforts with, and among, donors and other technical assistance providers.
Building on the IMF’s long experience in fragile and post-conflict countries, the capacity development program for Somalia under the Trust Fund will comprise technical assistance, training, and professional attachments of Somali officials in counterpart institutions in other countries in the region.