Turkey denies cutting off cash aid to Somalia
A Somali traffic police officer stands at a Mogadishu junction in a vain effort to regulate cars and traffic movements in Mogadishu. Turkey has rejected it stopped direct budgetary support to Somalia.The Turkish government has made it clear the direct cash aid it provided to the Somali government in the second half of 2013 was handed over to their counterpart appropriately, underlining that it has been working in order to offer similar aid within this year too.
“In accordance with the Somali president’s request, along June-December 2013, a monthly cash budget support has been provided to Somalia by our country in order to make a contribution to the urgent budget needs of the Somali Federal Government,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement released on Feb. 16.
'Intentional news reports'
The ministry noted it released such a statement upon “intentional” news reports that may lead to “wrong interpretations” concerning Turkey’s assistance to Somalia.
“Since there are no banking services in Somalia, the said cash budget support was transported to Mogadishu through a courier and was handed over to the Somali Federal Government by hand by our embassy in Mogadishu, in line with procedures,” the ministry said.
Ankara’s statement was prompted by news reports that said Turkey had stopped direct budgetary support to Somalia. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Reuters direct budget support payments stopped at the end of 2013.
“The necessary information regarding the cash budget support to Somalia has been shared with the international community from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, our cash budget support took place in the budget information published by the Somali Federal Government,” the ministry said.
“Within the framework of our comprehensive assistance strategy for Somalia, our efforts are underway to provide budget support to the Somali Federal Government in the year 2014, too,” the ministry said, unlike what the Turkish Foreign Ministry official, speaking anonymously with Reuters, said earlier.
When asked whether there were plans to restart payments in 2014 or whether talks were taking place over resuming direct budget support, the Turkish official told Reuters in Ankara, “We have no such plans at this stage. It is not on our agenda.”
The ministry statement openly reflected Ankara’s disappointment as it expressed “sadness over efforts of devaluating its activities that have been admired by the Somali people and the international community” through such ill-intended news reports.