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State Dept. Facts on U.S. Assistance in Somalia

07 May 2013

Office of the Spokesperson
May 7, 2013


U.S. Assistance in Somalia

U.S. assistance to Somalia aims to: help develop a stable government; ensure Somalia is not a safe-haven for terrorists; respond to and mitigate humanitarian crises; combat piracy; and prevent instability in Somalia from destabilizing the region. On January 17, 2013, the United States formally recognized the Federal Government of Somalia as an acknowledgement of the recent political and security gains in Somalia. Thanks to the hard-won successes of Somali and international security forces in Somalia, U.S. assistance reaches some areas previously inaccessible due to security concerns. The U.S. strategy in Somalia focuses primarily on supporting the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somalia’s National Security Forces (NSF) and supporting stabilization and development opportunities.

The United States is committed to assisting Somalia. At the second London Conference on Somalia on May 7, Deputy Secretary William J. Burns announced plans to provide, subject to Congressional notification, an additional nearly $40 million for Somalia. Since 2009, the United States has provided over $1.5 billion in assistance to Somalia, including $545 million in FY 2012. The U.S. Government hopes to continue substantial financial support to Somalia in future years that will support Somalia’s progress and transition to longer-term development. U.S. foreign assistance programs support security, development and humanitarian objectives, as outlined below.

Security Assistance – Security assistance is focused on two key efforts: support for peacekeeping operations, including the provision of training, equipment, and transportation to the troop contributors to AMISOM, and support to security sector reform activities and related mentoring, training, equipment, and logistical support for the NSF. Programs support the international community’s ongoing Security Sector Reform effort by building the capacity of civilian authorities to oversee Somalia’s new security institutions. As part of its stabilization strategy, the United States maintains operational support and capacity development of conventional weapons destruction programs in northern Somalia. The United States utilizes law enforcement, military, development, and public diplomacy expertise and resources to support the efforts of Somalia and other regional partners to build and sustain their own counterterrorism capabilities.

Development-related Assistance – U.S. assistance supports stabilization activities, democracy and governance, education, health, economic growth, and institutional capacity building in line with U.S. and Somali priorities. Assisting Somalis in the reestablishment of viable governance institutions is essential to support post-transition efforts, alleviate the humanitarian suffering there and in neighboring countries, and to reduce the appeal of extremism and piracy. In addition, U.S. assistance supports local authorities and private sector groups to improve the enabling environment for investment, generate more productive employment, and improve livelihoods in the targeted regions.

Humanitarian Assistance – The United States continues to provide needs-based humanitarian assistance in response to the ongoing emergency. These interventions include food assistance, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and livelihoods programming to address immediate needs and, where appropriate, build the resilience of vulnerable households to recurrent shocks.