18 February 2013

Somalia: British Ambassador to Somalia Welcomes Completion of UK-Funded Balad Road and Bridge Refurbishment

The British Ambassador to Somalia, Matt Baugh, welcomed the completion of the UK-funded Balad road and bridge refurbishment.

The project was funded under the UK Stabilisation programme which will support the government's stabilisation and recovery efforts in newly recovered areas of southern Somalia.

Speaking in Mogadishu alongside the Somalia Minister of Interior, Abdikarim Hussein Guuled, Ambassador Matt Baugh said:

"The UK Stabilisation Programme works with the Somali Government to help extend its reach and capacity, improve stability, and establish the conditions for longer-term recovery in southern Somalia. We welcome the government's progress since transition in liberating areas from Al Shabaab. I wish to reiterate our commitment to support the government and the people of Somalia in their efforts to a build a more peaceful and prosperous Somalia."

The UK has already allocated £3 million to the programme and will make an additional contribution over the coming year.

The Balad project was implemented by the Nordic International Support Foundation (NIS) in support of the local administration and the Ministry of Interior. The project has rehabilitated 1.7 km of primary road and repaired the main bridge of Balad town. This will improve access for local businesses and economic opportunities for the community. It will also help support the local administration through the provision of public services.

On the Balad Road and Bridge refurbishment, Ambassador Matt Baugh said: "This project is already supporting local commerce by facilitating the transit of goods between Mogadishu and central and northern regions as well as creating the necessary physical infrastructure for future development activities."

During the four month construction period, the project employed over 900 local people, playing an important role in the economic recovery of the area.

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