Germany supports Somalia in the fight against hunger through debt relief
Rome, 14 February 2023 - Development State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth today attended the annual meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome as German Governor.
Together with IFAD President Alvaro Lario and other state representatives, he met with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Somalia is experiencing the worst drought in 40 years with the absence of the fifth consecutive rainy season. At least half of the population, eight million people, are dependent on humanitarian assistance.
Against this background, the BMZ is supporting Somalia in a special way and has taken on a repayment of Somalia's arrears to the UN agricultural organization IFAD.
IFAD has been unable to fund programs in the fragile state for three decades due to Somalia's outstanding debt repayments.
In addition to Germany (six million euros), Belgium (2.5 million euros), Italy (474,000 euros) and Sweden (562,000 euros) have assumed outstanding debts.
This enables IFAD to resume and strengthen its support for Somalia.
Development State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth:
We have taken this rather unusual bilateral step to help Somalia become more resilient to economic and climate shocks, and to strengthen the country's institutions and ownership in times of crisis so that further funding can be mobilized for climate-resilient agriculture.
IFAD cannot invest in countries that are behind in repaying their debt with the Fund, even though these countries often have tremendous needs.
In March 2020, the main bilateral and multilateral creditors had decided that Somalia was eligible for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
This initiative aims to help the country pay off its debt arrears and strive for better economic and socioeconomic development.
After being disbursed to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, only Somalia's arrears to IFAD remained outstanding.
Somalia thus fulfills an important condition for full debt relief.
(Source: BMZ press release)