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Speeches & Transcripts January 31, 2018

SVP Mohieldin speech at Launch of the Somalia Drought Impact Needs Assessment and Recovery and Resilience Framework

Remarks (as Prepared) by Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President, World Bank Group, at the Launch of the Somalia Drought Impact Needs Assessment (DINA) and Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF), Mogadishu, January 30, 2018


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests,

I’m very pleased to address all of you on behalf of World Bank Group, and I’m honored to be back in Somalia on this very significant occasion.

I would like to share my congratulations to the Minister of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development for his leadership, as well as our partners in the UN and EU teams.

Today marks a milestone in Somalia’s trajectory: For the first time in three decades we believe we have a comprehensive development analysis that offers an exit from a terrible cycle of repeated drought in Somalia -- a pathway to peace, stability, and resilience.

The Drought Impact Needs Assessment (or DINA) report highlights the impact of drought between 2016 and 2017.  It also underscores why we cannot afford -- ethically or financially -- to allow future droughts to threaten famine. Drought-related damages are estimated at $1 billion dollars and losses at $2.2 billion. Over 6 million people depend on humanitarian assistance. We cannot prevent poor rains, but with a smart recovery strategy we can reduce the impact of drought and help reduce dependence on humanitarian aid.

The DINA also highlights Somalia’s capacities and strengths. As we implement the Recovery and Resilience Framework (or RRF), we must look beyond household and community resilience. We need to also consider structural and institutional factors underlying broad-based economic resilience. Access to markets -- both domestic and international -- is key to making livelihoods sustainable. In this same regard, we welcome the promising trade agreement that Somalia recently concluded with Turkey.

At the same time, policy and institutional reforms cannot be underestimated. I would like to highlight one important reform: cash transfers through mobile money operators. These cash transfers can play a major role in humanitarian delivery. Mobile money itself is transforming the way people engage economically. A young and rapidly urbanizing population stands to benefit from digital entrepreneurship.

However, these technologies require a stable and robust policy environment, including fundamentals such as a national unique identifier, or ID. This will require high-level political commitment – as well as the commitment of businesses which can help implement it.

Of course, tangible investment is also required. As we know, Somalia is making progress towards fully normalizing its relations with the international financial system. We applaud the efforts made by this government and we will continue to work closely with you as you approach the next stage.

I want to underline what others have also said: it is significant that the DINA is launched jointly with the Humanitarian Response Plan (or HRP) for 2018. Side by side, the HRP and DINA highlight the collective efforts needed to reach collective outcomes.

Today, we join with Somalia, working as an integrated community, responding to immediate, medium-term, and long-term needs. This is a New Way of Working -- and Somalia is already adapting.

I would also like to recognize the strong collaboration between the Federal Government, the Federal Member States, and the Benadir Regional Administration. This represents a model for intergovernmental relations, and a demonstration of how Somali institutions can come together for the benefit of the Somali people.

We hope this collaboration continues into implementation, and helps Somalia achieve peace, stability, and resilience.

Thank you.