Wadajir leader skeptical of progress on Somalia debt relief process

Outspoken opposition politician Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame has questioned recent government claims that Somalia was making progress in its debt relief drive.

Citing a report by the Somali Auditor General on 2018 government finances, Warsame pointed out that there was a large sum of money missing from funds received by the government as donations from the international community members in 2018.

“The audit reveals that the European Union (EU), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) donated to the federal government of Somalia a combined $38,259,559 dollars in 2018.  The Audit also reveals that of that amount, $19,872,827 dollars reached the National Treasury, whereas $18,386,732 dollars are missing,” the Wadajir party leader said.

Warsame explained that one of the conditions Somalia must meet before its debts could be written off by lenders was transparency.

Pointing to the fact that nearly half of the donor funds received from Saudi Arabia, the European Union and UNOPS in 2018 were missing, Warsame asks how Somalia was making progress on the process.

“Transparency and reliability are requirements for debt relief. So if that amount of money is missing even without an independent auditor general, and with no political consensus, how did we make progress?”

Somalia has been determined to complete a road-map set out for debt relief as the country attempts to get back on its feet.

With positive feedback from the World Bank and other international organizations, the government has repeatedly asserted it was close to pulling it off.