Somali salaries safe thanks to IMF deal

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to continue funding a $400m (£320m) aid package to Somalia, vital for the government to pay the salaries of civil servants and the military.

The announcement follows last week’s much-delayed presidential election.

For many months the country’s leading politicians were involved in a bitter dispute which led to election delays and potentially dire consequences if the IMF funding had been switched off.

But with the new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud now in office, the IMF has agreed to keep making the payments for the next three months.

That will give it time to consult with the new government, which needs to carry out economic reforms.

A three-year deal which was agreed in 2020 with the World Bank and the IMF should see Somalia’s massive $5bn debt reduced to around $500m by next year.

Somalia’s international partners have welcomed Sunday’s election of President Mohamud, with many hoping it will draw a line under the long-running political crisis that has distracted the government from dealing with the Islamist militant threat and the drought.

The UN says more than three million Somalis are at risk of severe famine.


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