Somalia needs aid effectiveness – UM

Minister of National Planning Gamal Hassan speaking at launching event for the 9th National Development Plan held in Mogadishu last year. Photo courtesy: Villa Somalia

Mogadishu (UM) – The Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development Gamal Mohamed Hassan is doing something that has been discussed for a very long time but never really acted on. As the Minister responsible for aid coordination and national planning, he is asking donors and partners to be transparent in the way aid money is spent in Somalia. This is important because aside from what donors tell the Somali people, nobody knows how much money comes to Somalia and how it is spent. Most of the money does not go through the Ministry of Finance and there’s no accountability to the Somali government.

Donors have been generous in supporting Somalia in the past. This is true but aid has not been effective. The amount of billions claimed to be spent on supporting Somalia and the impact on the ground do not match. The donors should do an impact assessment and an audit of their programs and what they will find is high cost of operations and a small amount of their support reaching the Somali people. The donor money has created Aid-Lords and profiteers from poverty in Somalia. This is a tragedy because the Somali people desperately need the aid to be effective.

The Somali government is in the process of finalising an Aid Policy and this should be very clear in the way it holds partners to account. Projects should be agreed with the Somali government and be in line with the National Development Plan. The Somali government must also have a direct role in the monitoring and evaluation of all projects in Somalia. All implementers must also comply with the Ministry of Planning order from last year to relocate to Somalia. There should be no exceptions.

What is the point of wasting donor tax payers money on high salaries, bulletproof cars and regular trips to Nairobi for Rest and Recuperation? Donors must challenge the costly waste of aid in Somalia urgently. After all, they will be held to account by their tax payers.

The Somali people are in a desperate state of poverty. Not one Dollar intended to alleviate this burden can be wasted by implementing agencies.

The National Development Plan is a good working document from which donors can support Somalia. The Somali governments ability to deliver services is also improving and this must mean that more projects are delivered by the government. This is the only way Somalia will transition to self sufficiency with strong institutions to manage national development.