The Government of France on Wednesday (January 9th) pledged to give a million Euros (US$1.3 million) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to help the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, migrant populations and refugees in Somalia.
In a statement the IOM said the aid would enable it to carry out a year-long stabilization project aimed at providing support for the displaced and those sheltering them.
The IOM Somalia's Chief of Mission, Ali Abdi, applauded France's commitment to seizing the right moment and showing the foresight to assist Somalia's stabilization. He said the aid would mean IOM in Somalia could "establish border health posts on the Somali-Kenyan and Somali-Ethiopian borders" and provide effective service to "very vulnerable migrant populations".
The French ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Etienne de Poncins, expressed his belief that "the current positive trends in Somalia, both the political process and the security situation, must be seized upon".
He underlined the value of the government of France providing "further assistance for stabilization in Somalia", particularly to the IOM, which he noted, was working in close partnership with the Government of Somalia. The number of displaced people in Somalia is estimated at 1.5 million. A million refugees are also estimated to have fled the country