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USAID Returns to Somalia After 28 Years

The United States Agency for Development (USAID) has announced return to Somalia after over 28 years since it closed shop on January 5th 1991.

A statement from the US Department of State described the return as a milestone in US development relations with the restive Horn of African nation.

“Establishing a USAID Mission in Mogadishu is an important milestone in the deepening U.S. development partnership with the Somali people, made possible by the Somali government’s commitment to meaningful reform and re-engagement with the international community,” said part of the statement.

The statement added that the move is aimed at driving Somalia to a self-reliant journey.

“Establishing a Mission also underscores USAID’s commitment to supporting the people and Government of Somalia to maintain momentum in their Journey to Self-Reliance,” added the statement.

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The USAID Mogadishu Mission is to be led by Jeffrey Bakken.

A career member of USAID’s Senior Foreign Service at the Minister Counselor level, Bakken worked in overseas development assistance for more than three decades since 1993.

Meanwhile the USAID Administrator Mark Green on Monday announced nearly $185 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia to address life-threatening food insecurity and acute malnutrition and deliver safe water and emergency health care services to people affected by ongoing conflict and prolonged drought.

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Washington said it remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian and protection crisis in Somalia.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, providing nearly $672 million since the start of Fiscal Year 2018.

The support provides emergency food assistance and safe water, and addresses acute malnutrition and urgent health needs.

Somalia is currently facing emergency levels of hunger, with an estimated 1.7 million people experiencing life-threatening food insecurity and requiring immediate food assistance.

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