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EU launches 9 new projects in support of Civil Society and Human Rights in Somalia

Today, the European Union (EU) jointly with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of the Federal Government of Somalia launched 9 new Civil Society projects.

These projects will be implemented by 7 international agencies and 11 local non-governmental organizations. The projects are worth EUR 8 million and aim to support effective civil society engagement for the achievement of Peacebuilding and State-building Goals of the Somali New Deal Compact.

Through this new funding from the EU, the role of civil society to contribute to a stable foundation for peace and state-building processes will be enhanced. They will do this through community-based reconciliation processes that restore trust between communities and address root causes of conflict and long-standing grievances, while increasing accountability.

"The EU has a long-standing relationship and cooperation with civil society organizations and other non-state actors in Somalia using a variety of financing instruments and programmes at its disposal. In the framework of the thematic programme for Civil Society organizations and Local Authorities (CSO-LA) and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) in the period of 2012 - 2015, the EU invested over EUR 20 million in the civil society in Somalia. As a result, the EU was able to play a key role in supporting the establishment and consolidation of the civil society actors and in capacitating them to make informed contributions to policy decisions in the areas of governance and human rights protection.," said the EU Ambassador and Special Envoy to Somalia, Michele Cervone d'Urso.

He further noted the role of the civil society for the development of a responsive, inclusive, transparent and accountable governance of the State and the importance of building a partnership between the State institutions and the civil society for a stable, inclusive and prosperous Somalia.

In his introductory remarks, Honourable Abdirahman Yusuf Ali Aynte, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, noted that "the Federal Government welcomes EU support to strengthen civil society. We believe a vibrant civil society contributes towards a strong, peaceful and democratic Somalia".

The civil society representatives underlined that "civil society together with the Government and international community should undertake a concerted effort to coordinate interventions on the ground. This will speed up progress on reconciliation and state-building and re-galvanize civil society to play an active role in the 2016 electoral process and beyond".

The launch was also attended by the Minister for Information, the State Minister for Interior and Federal Affairs, the PS Ministry of Justice, representative from the Ministry for Internal Security of the Federal Government of Somalia, along with the Attorney General and a Member of Parliament. The Ministers of Reconciliation and Constitutional Affairs of South West Interim Administration (ISWA, the Ministers of Information and Interior of Galmudug as well as the Deputy Governor of Benadir and the ACU focal point for Jubbaland were also present.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of EU Delegation to Somalia.
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