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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that a meeting organized for donors and friends of Somalia on the sidelines of its meetings in India in May has started to yield fruits as the stakeholders have now agreed to fill the US$ 105 million infrastructure projects funding gap for Somalia.

The meeting with the theme: Financing the Infrastructure Pillar of Somalia's National Development Plan (NDP) 2017-19, was well attended by stakeholders, including representatives from the following countries and institutions: Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United States of America, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Morocco, World Bank, and the AfDB.

According to media outlet of the AfDB, "Through the NDP 2017-19, the Somali government has prioritised the rehabilitation and development of the country's infrastructure, given its importance in accelerating economic recovery and job creation, developing a competitive and prosperous private sector, and restoring peace and stability."

It said following the successful launch of a New Partnership Agreement between Somalia and the international community at the London Somalia Conference on May 11, 2017, and the broad commitments that were made to support the delivery of the NDP, the meeting in India was a timely opportunity for the Somali government to further articulate its infrastructure investment priorities, and outline the financing options available for delivering these priorities.

Furthermore, the Somali government noted that aid flows to Somalia are currently prioritised towards short term imperatives, which leaves infrastructure and economic growth as the least funded pillars of the NDP priorities. As a result, it is important that new sources of funding are identified and better aligned to the country's top priorities.

An important channel to mobilise resources for important infrastructure projects is the recently established and AfDB administered Multi-Donor Somali Infrastructure Fund (SIF).

During the meeting, the AfDB team presented a pipeline of priority energy, water and transport projects worth about US$ 160 million that will be developed over the next three years using the resources that will be mobilised through the SIF.

Of the total amount required, a funding gap of about US$ 105 million still remains to be filled.

Contributors to the SIF include the AfDB, Islamic Development Bank, United Kingdom, and Italy.

The meeting also afforded representatives of donors the opportunity to express their support for Somalia. This will enable the government to forge stronger partnerships and identify potential resourcing for its infrastructure agenda, which will ensure that delivery of infrastructure on the ground for the Somali people becomes a reality.

Source: NAM News Network