Somalia: Germany donates 70m euros to drought-ravaged Somalia

Mogadishu, Somalia (PANA) - Germany has donated 70 million euros (US$76 million) to Somalia and plans to at least double its amount of assistance to help scale up humanitarian response to the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa country, it was officially announced in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

Germany's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor. Sigmar Gabriel, briefly visited the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Monday where he remarked that the drought affecting the country and the region is once again threatening to turn into a catastrophic humanitarian emergency.

He appealed for international efforts to reverse the trend saying, "This is why we (Germany) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations have made an appeal and called for greater aid to Somalia and the people in the Horn of Africa.”

Mr. Gabriel held discussions with Somalia’s Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khaire, in Mogadishu, and later visited Baidoa to assess the drought and humanitarian situation in that part of the country.

“Apart from agreeing on a new strategy for Somalia, we also believe it’s time for the international community to once again stand up and express its readiness and seriousness in the fight against hunger,” the Vice Chancellor said.

He said the discussions with the Prime Minister did not just focus exclusively on drought but also on a long-term approach with regard to finding sustainable solutions for Somalia.

Mr. Khaire thanked Germany for the continued assistance and urged other donors to emulate the European nation.

“We had very candid discussions, outlining what the government stands for and where we want to be moving forward. We welcome the support that Germany has extended to Somalia. We hope it will continue in the future,” the Prime Minister said.

He noted that Somalia was on a recovery path after many years of civil war and was mending relations with the international community.

“We hope that Germany will be our voice in the European Union, and since our country has changed the way we used to get aid, we hope that they will change since our priority is to rebuild the country and not just focus on drought,” Mr. Khaire added.

In Baidoa, Mr. Gabriel was received by the President of the South West state, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, before touring the Maqori Manyow camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) transition centre.

He was accompanied to Baidoa by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) in Somalia, Michael Keating, and he witnessed first-hand living conditions at the IDP camp.

The South West Minister of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, Hassan Hussein Eelay, welcomed the delegation at the DDR centre, which is funded by the German government.

“This centre hosts Al-Shabaab defectors who agreed to stop violence against their people. As you can see, these young people before you have surrendered, and many others have already integrated into the community after they learnt helpful skills. We are hoping that others will join us soon. You are part of the people and the country,” Eelay told the German Foreign Minister.

Apart from the DDR centre, other projects funded by the German Government include road maintenance, improving food and nutrition security to vulnerable populations and the promotion of sustainable land management.
-0- PANA AR/MA 3May2017

03 may 2017 15:33:25

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