Former Middle East economic powerhouse Iraq to write off Somalia's debt
CAIRO, Egypt - Former Middle East economic powerhouse Iraq has expressed desires to write off Somalia's debt which has been accumulating for years, as the Horn of Africa nation continues to push for debt relief as it seeks to revamp various sectors that are instrumental in the resuscitation of the economy.
Zayd Saban, the Director of the Horn of Africa and Sudan Department of the Arab League said he has already received a memorandum from Baghdad in which Iraq has requested to cancel the debt which has affected the country for several years now.
During an interview with MENA over the weekend, Saban said previous meetings in the Arab League have prioritized writing off Somalia's huge debts as a sign of cooperation and improved ties within the member states. Somalia is a member of the Arab League.
According to Somali figures, the total amount of Mogadishu's debts towards Iraq was approximately 187 million US dollars, until December 2019. The country is still not able to finance its own budget and is currently targeting $230 million to finance the $967 million budget.
The director made reference to the Arab League and United Nations conference held last month to review means of supporting Somalia's capabilities in the face of climate change. Saban noted that the conference resulted in the launching of several unprecedented initiatives for supporting Somalia.
Somalia has been depending on well-wishers to finance her own budget but in recent months, domestic revenue collection has improved following dethroning of Al-Shabaab from various strategic towns. The government is now fully controlling the towns which used to generate a lot of revenue for Al-Shabaab extortionists.
The country is also toiling to push for debt relief following significant progress made in fulfilling some of the guidelines established by the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. Somalia has also experienced relative political stability for the last few months following a smooth transition.