Somalia has achieved development progress to make the country eligible for full debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the World Bank said Thursday.
Over the next few months, the World Bank said, it will be working closely with the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support Somalia in reaching the HIPC completion point which once achieved, will be a major milestone for Mogadishu that will help open up new financing opportunities for the country.
“We have come a long way together and important development results have been achieved,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank country director for Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda, in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Hansen said both the Somali government and the World Bank need to continue working together to ensure speedy implementation.
The statement came after the World Bank country team, in collaboration with the ministry of finance, hosted the country portfolio performance review (CPPR) over two days with fruitful discussions between the Bank and government officials and federal member states including the project implementation units.
According to the World Bank, the meeting came at an opportune time as the country moved toward the HIPC Completion Point.
The global lender said the objectives of the CPPR were to assess challenges to project implementation and how to find ways to accelerate the implementation of impactful development projects to deliver critical services to the people of Somalia.
Kristina Svensson, World Bank country manager for Somalia, said it is heartening to note that the country portfolio is performing well with no outstanding issues.
“We are eager to ensure this remains so, especially since there have been many lessons learned from the last ten years of Bank programs in Somalia. We believe that the action plan agreed upon will address the challenges effectively,” Svensson said.
Somalia’s Minister of Finance Elmi Mohamud Nur said the government is on track to further enhance the operational impacts of all projects and will use the lessons learned over time to improve current and future programs. Enditem