19 January 2013

Somalia: USAID's Steinberg On Recognition of New Somali Government

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U.S. Agency for International Development

Statement by USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg - Recognition of the New Somali Government

On behalf of USAID, I would like to congratulate President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Parliament on establishing Somalia's first permanent government after more than 20 years and reinforce our partnership with you to build a peaceful, prosperous country.

Today we recognize that there is a new story to tell about Somalia. Whereas just months ago, Mogadishu was a war zone, today it is a construction and restoration zone. For two decades, we focused on assisting Somalis suffering from conflict, famine, and terrorism. Today, we are focused on strengthening Somalia's resilience and assisting the Somali people to rebuild institutions and infrastructure. We would not have arrived at this point without the hard work and sacrifice of many, especially the Somali people.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to host a Somalia Development Roundtable with the President of Somalia and his delegation and several key U.S. government agencies. The discussion centered on supporting Somalia's priorities, making government relevant in the lives of everyday Somalis, and enhancing our diplomatic and development relationship through partnership and collaboration.

USAID has a longstanding commitment to address the needs of the Somali people. Across Somalia, USAID projects such as the Transition Initiatives for Stabilization bring communities and local governments together to realize immediate peace dividends. USAID's Somali Youth Leadership Initiative and support to the Parliament exemplify how we can contribute to a peaceful, stable, and economically secure future.

Because the foundation of solid governance is accountability and transparency, we look forward to working with the Government of Somalia on fighting corruption, building democratic institutions, and responding to the needs of its people. The successful transition of the Somali Government also signals an important step in engaging the complex issues that have hampered humanitarian aid in the past and we look forward to actions that increase our access to those in need.

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