Firm condemnation, and an appe al to the international community to address with determination the challenge of Al-Shabaab fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, not least to avoid serious consequences in the Horn of Africa. These were the sentiments expressed by Minister Frattini after the cowardly terrorist attack at the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu.
Italy is a convinced supporter of the African Union (AU), which sees 6000 AMISON troops deployed to fight the fundamentalist Islamic militias. The aim of the action is to prevent the collapse of the Somali institutions and promote stability in the region. The Italian Government will go on helping to consolidate Somalia’s government and ministry structures and train its public security and border police forces. Italy is also helping to meet the needs of the Somali people with humanitarian aid and by re-opening hospital and medical structures in the capital.
Italy has already allocated 1 million euros to the Somali security forces, while our Finance Police are conducting a training programme for border police officers. A training programme for Somali police officers, which will be conducted by our Carabinieri, is being put together in Kenya, through the AU. Italian is currently engaged in joint EU/USA/AU initiatives in a number of African and other capitals to press for aid to strengthen the AMISON forces and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG)
Italian financial aid for the transitional Somali institutions since 2009 totals 27.2 million euros. The sums already allocated can be broken down as follows: 4 million euros for the Somali security forces; 5 million for the AU peace mission (AMISOM); 1.7 million for the Somali Government (Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign, Interior, Finance and National Security Ministries); and 8.3 million in humanitarian aid through UN agencies and through the emergency channel.
In spite of the political instability and the state of the security conditions, Somalia is and remains a priority country for Italian Development Cooperation. Our Cooperation Department has maintained a close focus on this country which, at the end of 2009, had about 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and about 1.2 displaced persons. A country to which, between 1981 and 2009, Italy provided donor aid totalling approximately 755 million euros.
Italian Development Cooperation’s strategy seeks to follow a double approach. This entails, on the one hand, providing assistance for the population and, on the other, supporting the fragile government institutions, in coordination with the initiatives put in place by the international community. In the medium- to long term, the Reconstruction Development Programme, drawn up by UNDP and the World Bank, and the Joint Strategy Paper, drafted along with the most active members of the European Commission in Somalia and with Norway, are of particular relevance.
Somalia is one of the countries that benefits from the funds made available through the Missions Decree. Through this, the Italian Government authorises cooperation initiatives in areas suffering humanitarian crises and conflicts. In 2009, about 5.5 million euros were earmarked for Mogadishu. The resources agreed thus far for 2010 amount to about 3 million euros and will be used for initiatives that help relieve the worst problems in the shelter, water, health and education sectors.
The help provided by Italian Cooperation for the health system is particularly significant. This envisages on-going support, through UNOPS, for 12 hospitals located in Somaliland, Puntland and central-southern Somalia. The aim is to provide services and improve the availability of and access to health care in the selected areas for the refugee and resident population.