Somalia PM flies to US for IMF and World Bank forum as $18 millions missing
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khaire has on Wednesday night, October 16 left Mogadishu for the United States of America [USA], Garowe Online reports.
The PM’s office has confirmed that Khaire and his delegations will attend annual World Bank and IMF meetings with topics under discussion include securing debt relief and arrears clearance for Somalia.
This year’s IMF and World Bank summit comes amid a surge in financial and budgetary scandals and lack of accountability in the long-chaotic Horn of Africa nation that has been lack of effective Government since 1991.
In a report released last week, the office of Somalia’s auditor general said $18 million from the European Union, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations did not pass through the treasury’s account at the central bank in 2018.
The report added that Turkey gave Somalia $20 million in cash in last year alone, but there was no independent audit trail for it and warned the risk that external assistance intended to rebuild Somalia was not banked intact in the Treasury single account.
A former World Bank official, who worked on Somalia, said the audit showed that Somali financial systems remained weak despite pressure on donors to funnel more money through the government budget.
Early last year, in an interview with the UK's Financial Times, the prime minister, Hassan Ali Khaire called on the international community to write off Somalia's external long-standing debt arrears estimated $4.6 billion.
To qualify for the debt cancellation, the current Federal Government of Somalia needs to convince the IMF, which would possibly convene its board of directors to review the country's progress.
Since the onset of the civil war nearly three decades ago, Mogadishu has not made a service or amortization payment, making it impossible to access loans from the IMF.