Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Khaire Saturday suspended a World Bank-funded development deal signed between Finance Minister Abdirahman Beyle and representatives of three regional states and Banaadir Regional Administration.
State news agency SONNA reported the PM suspended the agreement ‘for further review and inclusion of all states.’
The PM’s intervention followed public uproar with Somalis online complaining of discrimination of other regions in development projects. Earlier Saturday, Beyle announced the signing of a $112 million urban infrastructure development agreement for Baidoa, Mogadishu, Kismayu and Garowe.
The World Bank approved a $112 million grant December 9, 2019 ‘to deliver prioritized infrastructure in Somalia’s cities and strengthen municipal government capacity.’
The global lender said the Somalia Urban Resilience Project (SURP) II will support infrastructure investments in strategic cities such as Mogadishu, Garowe, Kismayo and Baidoa.
It added it was also laying the groundwork for expansion to cities in the States of Galmudug and HirShabelle to achieve national coverage.
The financing for the Somalia Urban Resilience Project (SURP) II includes a $50 million IDA (International Development Association) and $62 million co-financing from the Somalia Multi-Partner Fund (SMPF).
IDA is a division of the World Bank which offers low cost loans and grants to heavily indebted countries. Somalia qualified for IDA financing in 2018.