Germany and Somalia
Enlarge image (© dpa)
Given the decades-long civil war in Somalia and the disintegration of the Somali state, resulting not least in the absence of functioning central state institutions in the country, one can hardly speak of bilateral relations in the conventional sense (absence of development cooperation; very little trade; no tourism; no cultural or scientific exchange). Without a significant improvement of the situation in Somalia, this is, unfortunately, unlikely to change in the near future.
Somalia's lack of fully operational state institutions and the non-implementability of development projects and other measures have forced Germany to suspend bilateral development aid and financial cooperation with Somalia for the time being. For years, however, Germany - together with its partners in the EU - has been engaged in efforts to support peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
The EU by far remained Somalia's principal donor in 2009, with Germany providing about 20% of all means devoted to Somalia-related activities. Current efforts focus on rebuilding basic functioning state institutions (including justice and police institutions) and the rule of law in Somalia.
Reacting to the political progress under the new Somali government that has been in power since the fall of 2012, Germany has for the first time in over 20 years appointed a new Ambassador to Somalia. H.E. Mrs. Margit Hellwig-Bötte presented her credentials to the President of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in February 2013.
For many years, Germany has also provided substantial funding for humanitarian and transitional aid. In 2011 and 2012, measures worth approximately 35 million euros (45.5 million US dollars) were conducted through various implementing agencies, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Care International, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Ongoing projects focus on rural development and agriculture, water supply and health care as well as food aid (in particular for internally displaced persons - as a result of the civil war and flood and drought victims). Among the German organizations involved are the Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and Welthungerhilfe (German Agro Action).
Economic relations are practically non-existent owing to the lack of proper conditions for doing business.