World Bank OKs 1st direct financing to Somalia in 27 years

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The World Bank is providing direct financing to Somalia’s government for the first time in 27 years, calling it a “milestone” in the reconstruction of the Horn of Africa nation long shattered by fighting.

A statement says the bank’s board of directors has approved $80 million in investment programs to help Somalia’s federal government “mobilize and redistribute the resources needed to rebuild the country after three decades of conflict.”

The World Bank five years ago re-engaged with Somalia through the Multi-Donor Partner Fund. Since then it says Somalia’s government has “made progress in building institutions and improving economic performance.”

The federal government remains fragile and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group remains a deadly threat.

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Somalia is seen as the world’s most corrupt country, according to Transparency International’s latest global index.

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