Japan to resume direct aid to Somalia

May 31, 2013

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Japan will resume direct aid to Somalia, focusing on improving socio-economic conditions, maintaining law and order and invigorating industries, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday (May 31st), Japan's Kyodo News International reported.

Japan has already pledged $55.4 million in aid to Somalia through various international organisations, but will now begin direct aid in order to "contribute to Somali nation-building in earnest", Abe said at a meeting with Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and other dignitaries on the side-lines of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

Mohamud and Abe will co-chair Special Conference on Somalia in Yokohama on Friday.

"The stability of Somalia is important for the stability and prosperity of East Africa and indispensable for solving Somalia's piracy problem fundamentally and ensuring the safety of one of the world's major maritime arteries, which connects the Indian Ocean with the Red and Mediterranean Seas," Abe said.

Japan will help create employment for Somali youth by nurturing fisheries and other industries in Somalia, with the added hope of encouraging bilateral trade and investment, he said.

Mohamud thanked Abe for hosting the Somali conference and the two leaders agreed to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.

"We have made progress in Somalia, however, the challenges are enormous." Mohamud said. "Since my country is moving to recovery and development, our young people urgently need vocational training in agriculture, livestock, fishing, health and education services and I would like Japan's assistance in these areas as well as infrastructural support such as roads, ports, airports, irrigational infrastructural and more importantly support in security."

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