Qatar has stressed that it will continue to be a key supporter of Somalia and will spare no effort in providing the necessary assistance to the country, noting that it has provided aid to the Somali federal government in several areas.
This came in a statement delivered by HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi at the Ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) Contact Group on Somalia, held in Mogadishu.
HE al-Muraikhi said that Qatar has supported the development of security capacities, economic empowerment, and job creation programmes for young people in Somalia and the trust fund for peace and reconciliation. He added that Qatar has implemented development projects including schools, hospitals, clinics, homes for the poor and income-generating projects.
He pointed out that Qatar Red Crescent Society and Qatar Charity have provided humanitarian aid and carried out development projects worth $200mn, including the construction and rehabilitation of government buildings and roads connecting the capital Mogadishu to the cities of Jowhar and Afgooye.
HE al-Muraikhi reiterated Qatar’s continued support for the government of Somalia and the Somali people to realise their hopes and aspirations to build their nation, ensure a prosperous future for next generations, and preserve Somalia’s unity and sovereignty.
He stressed the importance of this ministerial meeting, pointing out that the participation of Qatar comes within the framework of its firm commitment to support Somalia in co-operation with international and regional organisations.
HE al-Muraikhi said that the Ministerial Contact Group reflects the commitment of member-states to support Somalia, in line with the outcome of the Final Communique of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Istanbul in April 2016, and in accordance with the decisions of the Council of Foreign Ministers, the last of which was the resolution adopted at the session in Dhaka in May 2018 to call on the Contact Group to convene a meeting under the chairmanship of Qatar in Mogadishu to assess the progress made by the Somali people and government.
Al-Muraikhi said that Somalia had made notable progress in security, as well as in political, administrative, and humanitarian development. He stressed that Somalia must hold onto those gains to overcome the other critical challenges facing the country, such as terrorism and violent extremism.
He added that despite the progress made in facing extremists groups, terrorist attacks continue to take place at a high rate. Al-Muraikhi referred to the attack that took place earlier this month reiterating the condemnation of such criminal acts. He noted that such attacks aim to undermine stability and national unity, and called for intensifying efforts to eliminate them.
He said that the difficult humanitarian condition in Somalia is another great challenge faced by the country. Al-Muraikhi noted that millions of Somalis were in need of aid, especially as natural disasters, like the floods in the south of the country in May, take their toll on the people. He also said that the food security condition has become critical with communicable diseases spreading. Al-Muraikhi stressed the urgent need to provide aid to deal with this humanitarian crisis and noted that millions of Somalis remain in need of aid, praising the positive role played by countries that provided urgent food and medical aid following the floods.
He stressed the important role the international community can play in supporting Somalia in this period, particularly the role the OIC members can play. He added that such support can be in line with national efforts aimed at reforming and building the country’s institutions.