Somaliland: Denmark opens a Project Office in Hargeisa

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Dannish flag flies high in HargeisaMinistry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark – On August 6th Danida opened a project office in Somaliland stepping up the Danish contribution towards a more stable Somalia. The office is the first Western bilateral office in Somaliland. The initiative makes Denmark one of the first donors to support locally-defined development needs in the region.

On the the opening of the project office in Hargeisa the Danish Minister for Development Corporation, Christian Friis Bach, states:

With the opening of the project office in Somaliland we are taking an important step in supporting fragile states. The development coorporation in fragile states is risky; however, the willingness to take risks is crucial in order to kick start the development in these countries, where the need is also the gravest.”

Denmark is contributing with 112 million Danish kroner over the next four years to Somaliland with an objective to contribute to a more stable Somalia capable of handling its own security and promoting a stable economic and social development. The fund will among others be used to set up a Somaliland fund, which will support development priorities defined in the national development plan for Somaliland. Focus will be on the continuous development of public institutions, the democratic process, strengthening of the private sector as well as supporting locally based development initiatives.

The Minister for Development Corporation further explains:

“The administration in Hargeisa has shown the willingness to lead the people of Somaliland towards reconstruction. Denmark is acknowledging this effort by enhancing the development support to Somaliland. Placing a Danish programme coordinator in Hargeisa, enables Denmark to have a daily dialogue with the people and the authorities of Somaliland, which will improve support to and monitoring of Danish supported activities.”

Background

Monday 6th August a Danish Programme Coordinator started setting up a Danish development programme in Somaliland in close cooperation with the local authorities. Thereby, Denmark is the first western country to open a project office in the regional capital, Hargeisa.

Since the collapse of Somalia in 1991 that left the country in a devastating economic, social and humanitarian crisis for more than twenty years, Somaliland, in North-western Somalia, has made great progress in terms of creating stability and development. A locally based peace-and democratisation process has created increased stability and state-like structures including a constitution and government institutions are being developed.

Besides development aid, Denmark is implementing a range of projects targeting Somalia under the Peace and Stabilisation Fund, which the Government set up for the purpose of working in fragile states.

Further Information

Marie Haug Pedersen: marhou@um.dk

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