Press Release 103/2013
Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala will participate in the Somalia Conference hosted by the UK in London on 7 May. The participants will include key leaders of the Horn of Africa area, donor countries, and aid organisations.
In recent moths, the development in Somalia has been positive, but the security situation in the country is still extremely fragile and the need for assistance is great. In London, efforts will be made to coordinate the plans of the Somali Government for developing the country with those of the donors. This is to ensure that the assistance will reach its targets and support the development of Somalia in the best possible way.
The particular topics of discussion will include the development of the security forces of Somalia, reform of the justice system, enhancement of public financial management, and promotion of political stability in the country.
Minister Hautala will attend a breakfast meeting concerning coordination of assistance and give Finland’s address in the part of the Conference concerning justice. Furthermore, Hautala has been invited to a high-level dinner hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Minister Hautala visited Somalia in April 2013 together with Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. The purpose of the visit was to deepen information about the situation in Somalia and to show support for the Government of Somalia in its efforts for the development of the country.
At the moment, Finnish annual support for Somalia amounts to approximately nine million euros. The sum consists of humanitarian assistance, bilateral projects and support provided to NGOs. The plan is to increase the Finnish support for development cooperation in Somalia from 2014.
In connection with the Conference, Minister Hautala will have bilateral talks with UK Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening.
The UK is organising the Somalia Conference for the second time. Minister for International Development Hautala participated also in the first Somalia Conference in London, held in February 2012.
Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché for the Minister for International Development, tel. +358 40 522 9869, and Helena Airaksinen, Head of Unit for East and West Africa, tel. +358 40 829 3412