Denmark to send 75 million kroner aid package to Somalia

Today, at a conference in London, Denmark will announce that an aid package of 75 million kroner will be given to Somalia to help the country develop and improve

The foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), and the development minister, Christian Friis Bach (Radikale), will announce today that Denmark will contribute 75 million kroner in development aid to war-torn Somalia.

Søvndal and Bach are in London participating in an international conference on Somalia co-hosted by the country's newly-elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. The conference features leaders from more than 50 countries and international organisations.

“Lately, the developments have been positive [and] the militant Islamic group Al Shabaab is on the defensive. But Somalia still faces massive and serious hurdles, exemplified just last weekend with the suicide bombing in Mogadishu,” Søvndal said in a Foreign Ministry press release. “We cannot forsake our progress, and this immediate aid package will be used for security, the justice system, the government and education.”

“In London, we will propose a common goal [for Somalia] regarding vital areas such as security and governmental affairs as well as improving the lives of Somalis in all regions. That is what our ‘here-and-now’ aid package will be used for. The vision is a Somalia in which terrorism, piracy, conflicts and chaos will be replaced with optimism and development,” Bach said in a press statement.  

Opposition party Dansk Folkeparti (DF), however, said that it is wrong to “experiment” with Danish tax money by sending it to Somalia.

“The regime's military and police forces have a very bad reputation as being extremely violent and therefore I can’t make heads or tails of this decision,” Hans Kristian Skibby, DF’s development spokesman, said in a press statement.  

The UN has recently approved a support mission to Somalia called UNSOM which will arrive in the country on June 3 and stay for at least a year. The UN operation will work in co-operation with the 18,000 peacekeeping troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) who are currently keeping al-Shabaab at bay.

It was just last week that Somali pirates released Danish hostages after more than two years in captivity