Somali Federal Government Resumes Development Projects in Puntland State

Following a period of political tensions, the Somali federal government has restarted development projects in Puntland State, which had been previously halted.

On Monday, Somali Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mohamud Abdirahman (Benebene), announced that the Puntland administration had initially suspended these projects but has now permitted their resumption.

Expressing enthusiasm, Minister Benebene stated, “We are very excited to see the resumption of the Barwaaqo and Somalia Food System Resilience Project (SSRP) projects in Puntland, which signifies a renewed commitment to improving the livelihoods of our people. These projects are crucial for fostering sustainable development and ensuring a resilient future for all regions.”

Launched in January 2023, the Barwaaqo project focuses on comprehensive water management and infrastructure development. Similarly, the Somalia Food Systems Resilience Project (SFSRP), initiated in June 2023, aims to strengthen food systems across the federal member states, ensuring food security and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.

Highlighting the federal government’s stance, Minister Benebene added, “The Federal Government of Somalia, under the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, is committed to depoliticizing humanitarian and development endeavors across the nation. We are dedicated to ensuring that these projects are implemented with utmost transparency and equity, reaching those in need without any political considerations.”

Despite being intended for all Federal Member States, Barwaaqo and SFSRP faced implementation halts by Puntland State, according to the federal government.

Just a day ago, Puntland regional state leader Said Abdullahi Deni called on Somalia’s international partners to establish a new mechanism enabling multilateral development banks to directly provide humanitarian support, development aid, and budget support to Puntland. This request comes amid escalating political conflict between Puntland and the federal government.

In a letter to the international community, President Deni accused the federal government of politicizing donor assistance and budgetary support intended for Puntland through multilateral development banks.

Back in March, the Puntland administration withdrew its recognition of the Federal Government of Somalia, insisting that changes to the Somali constitution be approved via a popular referendum. Nonetheless, the political conflict between Puntland and the federal government predates the approval of these constitutional amendments.

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