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Somali parliament approves $17m to cover US military aid cut

Storyline:National News, Security

The Lower House has today approved a $22.5 million Supplementary Budget to cover military support deficit occasioned by withdrawal of aid to the Somali National Army by the US last December and a World Bank shortfall.

Finance Minister Abdirahman Beileh asked the House to approve to budget to allow the government pay salaries totaling to $17 million for the SNA.

“As you know, about 8,000 troops have not been paid their salaries because other governments stopped money paid to the military,” Beileh said. “We do not have to worry because the deficits have not been added to the 2019 budget. The amount is $17 million and the evidence is clear as indicate in our communication.”

The US withdrew its fuel and food support to the national army in December 2017 following reports that senior military officials had failed to account for fuel and food funds.

A second vote of $5.5 million was also approved by Parliament today. According to Beileh, the amount was from a shortage from the World Bank’s Recurrent Cost and Reform Financing Facility (RCF). The Finance Minister said the money had not been remitted to the government hence the shortfall.

RCF is a World Bank facility which enables the government provide credible and sustainable payroll, and to establish the foundation for efficient budget execution and payment systems for the non-security sectors in the Federal Government.

The Cabinet last early this month approved a $340 million budget of the 2019 fiscal period. Parliament is yet to debate it.