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Somalia parliament approves $1 billion annual budget

Somalia’s lawmakers approved a $1 billion budget for the 2024 Financial Year, with most of the funding expected to come from development partners in the form of loans and grants, as the country struggles with instability which has rocked it for three decades.

On Saturday, the Upper and Lower Chambers supported the budgetary estimates, giving President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud more time to fix the economy which has been struggling due to worldwide recession.

The Finance Bill was backed by 186 members from both Houses, with three members abstaining from voting. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been pushing for an ambitious development plan, citing improved security as the major reason why investors should return to the country.

Mohamed Farah Nur, the chairman of the budget in the House, presented insights on the budget while asking members to support the Bill. According to him, a fixed budget of 569,666,048 dollars, and a capital budget of 509,655,736 dollars totaling 1,079,315,784 dollars.

The budget exceeds the one for 2023 by $62 million, making it the most expensive budget to be presented in the house in as many years. Somalia is in the rebuilding process and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and World Bank have already noted the process in terms of fiscal discipline.

Bihi Iman Egeh, the Finance Minister of the country, expressed his gratitude to members of parliament for supporting the budget, adding that the country will strive to invest in development in compliance with international best practices.

“If we successfully navigate the debt forgiveness process, we will make history as the first country granted permission to continue receiving crucial help and aid. No other country has been granted this privilege. The approved budget is poised to contribute significantly to Somalia’s efforts in securing debt relief, marking a critical milestone for the nation”, Egeh said.

Somalia is trying to rebuild following years of civil war and Al-Shabaab menace which have grounded economic activities. The country is in the middle of a progressive war against Al-Shabaab, making major milestones in the process.

Source: Garowe Online