Somalia made economic progress amid security challenges, UN envoy

The head of the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), James Swan has told UN Security Council that Somalia has made great process in improving the economy despite the security challenges.

Mr. Swan said that the Government has made “great strides” towards improving the country’s fiscal performance and strengthening governance, putting Somalia on the path towards economic recovery.

“This progress is set against a backdrop of an ongoing humanitarian crisis that remains “one of the most protracted in the world”, with 2.2 million Somalis facing acute food insecurity, and 2.6 million internally displaced, fleeing conflict and drought.” Swan told UN Security Council.

The UN envoy urged member states to urgently resource a Drought Impact Response Plan issued by the UN and Somali Government, which calls for funding of $686 million saying half of that sum has been secured.

In his first briefing to the world body since taking office, Swan told the council that despite encouraging developments, insecurity remained a serious concern in the country.

On war against terror, Mr. Swan noted the effectiveness of the collaboration between the UN and international partners, and the Somali Security Forces working with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has seen areas near the capital Mogadishu taken back from terror group al-Shabab in recent months.

However, Mr. Swan noted that terrorism remains a threat to progress, citing the deadly al-Shabab attack on the offices of the mayor of Mogadishu in July, which killed and injured several Government officials.

A more immediate concern for Mr. Swan was regional election in Jubaland province slated on 22nd August where a contested outcome could see an increased level of insecurity, which would not only put progress made in Jubaland in jeopardy, but also potentially undermine national priorities, including preparations for the 2020 elections