It's the country’s first attempt in three decades to aggregate information on donor money and spending.May 6th · 1 min read
Somalia has launched a portal through which the public and international donors and partners can get information on how donor money is utilised as a step towards instilling transparency.
Managed by the Ministry of Planning, Investment and Economic Development; the platform known as Aid Information Management System (Aims) launched last week is the country’s first attempt in three decades to aggregate information on donor money and how it has been spent.
In an interview with The EastAfrican, Somalia’s Planning Minister Gamal Hassan said the portal at http://aims.mop.gov.so/ will help provide more accurate data on sectors that have benefited more from donor funding, and indicate whether the money has been used effectively.
For example, more than 650 projects were started or scaled up in 2019 alone, he ministry said.
“These projects were funded by a large number of partners. The Federal Government of Somalia wants to enhance transparency and accountability and through this platform, we can ensure that our stakeholders are aware of how we use ODA (official Development assistance).)”
Somalia has largely been donor-dependent as it shakes off decades of insecurity. It also relies heavily on remittances from the diaspora as its tax base is still too small to run the economy.
Officials say Somalia received about $1.9 billion in Official Development Assistance last year, including $934 million in humanitarian support, with development aid reaching $924 million.
Some of the key donors include the World Bank, the UK, European Union and Germany, who jointly provided about half of the country’s development aid in 2019, or $500 million.
The US alone gave Somalia about half of the humanitarian aid in 2019, official records show.
Recently, the country qualified for debt relief under an arrangement known as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
Under this, the IMF and the World Bank’s International Development Association ruled Mogadishu eligible for debt reduction from $5.2 billion as at 2018 to $557 million once it reaches the HIPC Completion Point in about three years’ time.
That Point will be pegged on Somalia maintaining a macroeconomic stability, reducing poverty and putting in place a set of reforms focused on fiscal stability.