Wednesday June 30, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - Somalia announced that it had penned a deal with the World Bank on Wednesday that would provide Somalia with $445 million in grants for development projects and economic reforms.
The signing ceremony was overseen by Somalia's Minister of Finance, Dr. Abdirahman Duale Beileh, and Kristna Svensson, the World Bank's country manager in Somalia.
Dr. Beileh said that one of the first tasks is establishing an international developmental Association (IDA) project focused on education in Somalia. The $40 million project aims to provide top-tier education to at least 100,000 students - specifically girls - from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
The World Bank has noted that it would be the first financial investment of its kind in 30 years and marks a critical milestone for Somalia. Somalia's educational system was destroyed in the early 1990's after the collapse of the central government and never fully recovered. The World Bank estimates that only 20% of primary school-aged children attend school and that less than 40% of Somalia's educators are qualified to teach.
The project will directly address girls' enrollment restrictions by reducing the distance to schools and creating safe learning environments. The project will also train 6,000 teachers to improve the quality of instruction using digital technology.
World Bank Country Manager Kristina Svensson said that investing in Somalia's children is the key to developing Somalia.
"Investing in Somalia's children is the most important investment that can be made to help the country return to prosperity."
She added that empowering young girls would power the economic and political engines to ensure a stable Somalia.