NAIROBI, October 28, 2020 – Security sector reform and economic recovery are key priorities for a post-COVID-19 Somalia, according to the latest World Bank economic analysis. .
The 5th edition of the Somalia Economic Update, Impact of COVID-19: Policies to Manage the Crisis and Strengthen Economic Recovery, says three decades of armed conflict have contributed to poor economic outcomes and the marked decline in quality of life, destroying infrastructure and interrupting public service provision. As Somalia also faces locust invasions and devastating flooding, the analysis notes that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has not only undermined or delayed the reform process to address these challenges, but further added to the complexity of the country’s recovery.
While insecurity has taken a heavy toll on the country, the report acknowledges that securing Somalia has been, and will continue to be, expensive. The security sector accounts for one-third ($107 million) of the expenditure of Somalia’s federal government; eight-of-10 government employees are employed in the security sector, amounting to 48% of the federal government’s wage bill. International partners are estimated to spend around $1.5 billion each year on Somalia’s security sector, support which the report notes is unlikely to be sustained at this level. Partners have urged the federal government to build its own capacity and financing strategy.
With the goal of making the security sector able, accountable, affordable, and acceptable to Somali society, the government has embarked on an ambitious security sector reform process, which includes improved governance and public finance management. The report examines the government’s ongoing security sector reforms, and discusses economic policy options for sustainably financing a secure Somalia.