International community promises support for puntland

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Addis Ababa, 22 May 2014 (WIC) - The international community today committed to a mutual partnership with the Puntland State of  Somalia during a donor roundtable in the state capital, Garowe.

As part of renewed efforts to chart a new relationship with Somalia after more than two decades of conflict, representatives of the donor community, the United Nations, the African Union and the World Bank participated in a donor roundtable aimed at identifying the state’s development priorities and setting a framework for co-operation and support.

Speaking on behalf of the international community at the conclusion of the event, the European Union’s Ambassador to Somalia Michele CervoneD’Urso stated that the meeting, convened by the government of Puntland, was aimed at developing a coherent and coordinated approach to development issues in the region.

“Today’s discussions were excellent, they were constructive, they were frank, we had a very open exchange of views.

It was an opportunity for the President, and the Puntland government to present their immediate priorities over the coming two years; to underscore how they would be embedded in the New Deal; the overall New Deal Compact,” said Ambassador D’Urso.

According to a presss release AU/UN Information Support Team, in September 2013, the international community gathered in Brussels for the New Deal Compact conference where 2.4 billion US dollars was pledged for the reconstruction and development in Somalia over a period of three years.

On his part, the Puntland President, Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas reiterated the need for his government to take ownership of the development process and identify key priorities that deserved focus.

“The international community has demonstrated to us today that they are ready to support Puntland’s development, to put into consideration what Puntland has planned for itself and to be supported on that; so that it does not become something that Puntland is dictated to do,” stated President Abdiweli.

Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia was established in 1998 and has enjoyed relative peace. In January, successful elections and a smooth transition of power further etched the state’s stability.

The new administration recently launched its 5-year development blueprint aimed at improving public service delivery and a conducive environment for sustainable progress.