Somalilandsun – The Somaliland Development Fund to which UK Aid, Embassy of Denmark, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Norwegian Embassy and Kingdom of the Netherlands contribute is making a difference to the lives of many people in Somaliland . In an earlier allocation of funds for pre-1991 regions and those created by successive Somaliland administrations for political and resource allocation reasons Sool received 5 % of Somaliland Development Fund. A summary of allocations posted in Somaliland Developlemt Fund website shows that US $ 3, 797379 has been allocated for health and education projects in Sool . This means Somaliland Development Fund allocation for Sool has increased by 500 percent. The increase means more political capital for Saleebaan Isse, the Minister for Health, who hails from Las Anod. His ministry will manage the health budget allocated for Sool, and he will take credit for negotiating a far better deal for Sool than the previous allocation from SDF.
What makes the new SDF allocation different from the earlier one is that more funds have been centrally allocated. Those funds will benefit ministries and agencies based in Hargeisa. This makes comparison of funds by region difficult but SDF Joint Steering Committee is commendable for publishing details about fund allocations.
A major task awaiting Sool politicians in Hargeisa is to translate fund allocation increase for Sool into projects that benefit all social groups in Sool particularly occupational social groups.
In a report posted in a Somali website cobblers and ironsmiths in Las Anod complain of shortage of metal “as scrap metal is exported” in addition to denial of their right to benefit from Somaliland Business Fund grants. ” We provide services society needs, and yet people from major clans discriminate and insult us, and we have no access to opportunities for applying business grants for traders and shop owners” an ironsmith in Las Anod told a reporter.
The plight of minorities in Sool is not different from that of minorities in other parties of Somalia.
” The civil war not only had enormous, negative consequences for minority group members; in some cases, it increased the self-consciousness of minority groups [ who ] …were generally marginalized and sometimes even oppressed and exploited during the civil war from 1991 onwards”, wrote Dr Markus Hoehne. When it comes benefiting from development assistance, major clans in Somaliland put minority groups at disadvantage.
Somaliland Development Fund Joint Steering Committee can introduce mechanisms that prevent major clans from denying minority clans the right to have an access to development assistance and business development grants.