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Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of his Department’s personnel are based in Somaliland; and if he will make a statement. (94042)

There are currently no DFID personnel permanently based in Somaliland. When required, and security permits, DFID officials based in Nairobi and London travel to the region.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much bilateral development assistance has been provided by the UK to Somaliland in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (94043)

Many programmes and projects that DFID supports in Somalia benefit, but are not specific to, Somaliland. However, we estimate that about 30-40 per cent. of our bilateral development assistance to Somalia benefits Somaliland. The UK’s total bilateral programme in Somalia in 2003-04 was £4.0 million; in 2004-05 it rose to £5.3 million; and in 2005-06 is provisionally recorded as £18.8 million. DFID’s support to Somaliland is channelled through UN agencies and NGOs. The following are some examples:

support to the Africa Educational Trust for an independent examination centre and for improved access to affordable forms of basic education;

support to UN-HABITAT to strengthen and expand urban planning and capacity building of local councils;

support to UNDP’s Rule of Law and Security (RoLS) programme to upgrade Mandera police academy through building training facilities for high ranking officers and to establish women and children's desks in police stations to ensure broader access to justice for women and children; and

support via an EC programme, implemented by Interpeace (formerly WSP-International), that provided comprehensive support to preparations for parliamentary elections in Somaliland in 2005. The programme played a major role in ensuring that Somaliland’s elections were peaceful and democratic.