Somaliland: SDF and Minorities in Sool

Somaliland  Development Fund to which UK Aid, Embassy of Denmark, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Norwegian Embassy and  Kingdom of the Netherlands contribute is making a difference to the lives of many people in Somaliland . In an earlier allocation of funds for pre-1991 regions and those created by successive Somaliland administrations for political and resource allocation reasons Sool received 5 %  of Somaliland Development Fund.  A summary of allocations posted in Somaliland Developlemt Fund website  shows  that US $ 3, 797379  has been allocated for health and education projects in Sool . This means Somaliland Development Fund allocation for Sool has increased by 500 percent. The increase means more political capital for  Saleebaan Isse, the Minister for Health,  who hails from Las Anod. His ministry will manage the health  budget allocated for Sool, and he will take credit for negotiating a  far better deal for Sool than  the previous allocation from SDF.

What makes the new SDF  allocation different from the earlier one is that more funds have been centrally allocated. Those funds will benefit ministries and agencies based in Hargeisa.  This makes  comparison of  funds by region difficult but SDF Joint   Steering Committee is  commendable  for publishing details about fund allocations.

A major task awaiting Sool politicians in Hargeisa is to translate fund allocation increase for Sool  into  projects that benefit all social groups in Sool particularly occupational social groups.
In a report posted in a Somali website cobblers and ironsmiths   in Las Anod complain of shortage of metal “as  scrap metal is exported”  in addition to denial of their right to benefit from Somaliland Business  Fund grants.  “ We  provide services society needs, and yet people from major clans discriminate and insult us, and we have no access to opportunities  for applying business grants for traders and shop owners”   an ironsmith in Las Anod told a reporter.
The plight of minorities in Sool is not different from that of minorities in other parties of Somalia.
Somaliland Development Fund Joint  Steering Committee   can introduce mechanisms that prevent   major clans from denying   minority clans the right to have an access to development  assistance  and business development grants.
Liban Ahmad