Germany leads on Somalia: international donors meet in London

Germany leads on Somalia: international donors meet in London

During an unannounced visit on May 1, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced his government was “ready to at least

Photo: ZDF

Photo: ZDF

During an unannounced visit on May 1, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced his government was “ready to at least double” the $76 million already provided to Somalia. During an international forum on Somalia on Thursday, German leaders will seek to convince others to match this commitment.

The May 1 announcement expressed a degree of confidence in Somalia’s embattled institutions. But past donations have had little impact on the living standards of ordinary citizens—indeed, some say foreign aid was counterproductive, ending up slushed into private accounts.

But as the country continues to grapple with terrorism, piracy and territorial control issues, and with drought affecting some six million people, something has to be done.

Strengthening Somalia’s institutions and averting crises is of both regional and international concern. Somali-based al-Shabaab conduct cross-border attacks in Kenya and Ethiopia, piracy threatens international shipping and famine produces hundreds of thousands of refugees.

It’s hoped that Thursday’s conference will generate much-needed pledges of aid which, if expended appropriately, will strengthen emergency facilities for the internally displaced, provide food, clean water and healthcare.