Somalia’s debt to IFAD is cleared
Source: telesur, Tuesday February 14, 2023
Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Alvaro Lario
In recent years, this African country has suffered five severe droughts that have fully impacted the ability to produce food.
On Tuesday, Donal Brown, the assistant vice president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), announced that Somalia’s external debt with this institution had been cleared thanks to the actions promoted by Italy, Germany, Belgium, and Sweden.
The decision to forgive the debt will allow IFAD to reinvest in improving living conditions in rural areas and foster “resilience and a more prosperous future” for the country’s population, IFAD President Alvaro Lario said during a press conference held jointly with Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Debt cancellation “represents an opportunity to achieve greater food security for Somalia, investing very selectively in priority areas,” he added.
In recent years, Somalia has suffered five severe droughts that have fully impacted the ability to produce food in one of the poorest countries in the world.
In 2011 alone, some 250,000 Somalis died of hunger, which is more deaths than those caused by the armed conflicts that the country has suffered throughout its history, Sheikh recalled.
Added to the natural catastrophes is the dominance of jihadist groups over large areas of Somalia, which further limits agricultural activity and the movement of food within the country itself.
Today, despite the fact that the Mogadishu government has recaptured some of the areas that fell into the hands of armed groups, half of the country’s population remains on the brink of starvation.
Italy, the former colonial power that controlled Somalia until World War II, previously helped clear other debts for the country. In 2020, for instance, Italy offered a loan to the African country to settle its debts with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the African Development Bank (ADB).