The World Bank announced on Wednesday that it would send $80 million in grants to Somalia to help the African country enact economic reforms. According to Reuters, this is the first time in almost 30 years that the World Bank has approved any type of funding for the Somalia government.
In 1991, the World Bank officially ended its relationship with Somalia, citing increased tribal violence. In 2003, the organization voiced its plans to provide support to Somalia, especially focused “on HIV/AIDS and livestock programs,” in conjunction with other nongovernmental agencies. However, these plans did not include lending money to the Somalian government.
According to Reuters, the World Bank’s board of directors agreed on two aid projects. The first is the “Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing Project,” which accounts for $60 million. The other is the “Domestic Revenue and Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project,” which will utilize the remaining $20 million.
“[The projects] represent a milestone in Somalia’s development and reconstruction,” a World Bank official said in a statement.