AfDB Pledges U.S.$18 Million in Support of Somalia's Reconstruction

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The African Development Bank pledged its support to Somali's reconstruction on May 7 with a commitment of US $18 million over three years.

African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka made the commitment during the closing day of the two-day Somalia conference, which concluded in London on May 7.

"We will concentrate on whatever area the Somalia Government considers priority," said Kaberuka, referring to the action presented by the Somali Government for 2013-2016. "Beyond the domain of public financial management, we consider the whole area of statistics and infrastructure planning key."

Kaberuka underscored the importance of stability in Somalia and the entire Horn of Africa region and applauded the resilience of the Somalian people. "Somalia has a long way to go, but Somalia has come a long way," he said.

President Kaberuka also called for rapid action on the process of assessing and clearing the country's external debt, estimated at US $3 billion. He also called for flexibility in support for Somalia.

The Somalia conference was co-convened by British Prime Minister David Cameron and the President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and attended by participants from 54 countries, including the Presidents of Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, along with senior officials from international organizations such as the United Nations, African Union and International Monetary Fund.

The conference discussed the progress the country has made so far in the areas of peace and security, public financial management, justice and policing, and issues on arrears and long-term assistance.

Donors agreed on the importance of strengthening coordination of support to the country and the need for government ownership for any support programs to succeed.

The importance of speeding up the process of clearing the arrears of the country while, at the same time, continuing to support the country's public financial management systems was also underscored.

"Engagement in fragile states always carries risks," said Kaberuka. "We have learnt over time how to manage and mitigate those risks."

"The African Development Bank's Fragile State Facility has demonstrated a credible track record and will support Somalia in the domain of public financial management and building livelihoods and resilience," Kaberuka added. "The famine in the Horn of Africa, which decimated a quarter of a million people, must be the last."

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