The UAE is investing millions in Somali schools to prevent children falling into a life of piracy and crime, a senior government official will tell an international conference.
Somalilandsun – By helping to fund Somali schools, hospitals, and businesses, the UAE hopes to give kids an alternative and aims to “get to the root causes of piracy”, the two-day International Piracy Conference in Dubai will hear.
The UAE is also putting money into drought and flood relief so that Somalis are not forced into piracy because of the country’s disastrous economy.
Planned investments include building clinics and hospitals, developing the infrastructure of some existing hospitals and setting up field hospitals, as well as rebuilding as schools, medical and educational centres.
In his speech, Ambassador Mahash Saeed Alhameli, the director of the International Security Cooperation Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will outline how the UAE has pledged $50 million so far this year to the Somali government and has given much more for schools, health and disaster relief to stop another generation of Somalis from taking up piracy.
However, he will also outline the UAE’s major investments in patrols in the Indian Ocean to stop pirates, including donating five patrol ships to the Seychelles to prevent the islands being used as a shelter by Somali gangs.
The third International Piracy Conference, which takes place in Dubai on Wednesday and Thursday, will bring together global experts to figure out how best to beat piracy, especially off the coast of Somalia.
It follows hundreds of incidents of piracy in recent years, although the numbers of attacks are decreasing as heavily armed patrols escort cargo ships through the Indian Ocean.
Ambassador Alhameli will tell the conference that, over the past year, the UAE has used many techniques, including “piracy prosecutions, directing humanitarian assistance to address the root causes of piracy”, adding that there was evidence to suggest that this “comprehensive approach” is paying off.
On the military and security front, the UAE has already given $1 million to the United Nations international piracy trust fund, the ambassador will tell the conference.
The UAE has also joined the “Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia” to patrol the coastal Indian Ocean.