British Ambassador to Somalia attends Hargeysa International Book Fair

Ambassador Concar said the UK is the largest international donor to Somaliland and that the longstanding UK commitment to the people of Somaliland is founded on diaspora and historic ties.

Ambassador Concar also highlighted the opportunity the November presidential election represents for Somaliland to reaffirm its ‘reputation as a beacon of democracy’ by holding a scheduled fair, inclusive election leading to an outcome accepted by the people of Somaliland. He said journalists had an important role to play in any democracy and encouraged political debate and respect for media freedom.

Speaking at the 10th anniversary book fair event, David Concar said:

It is right to remember the severe and ongoing drought afflicting the people of Somaliland. To help those most affected, the UK has increased its emergency aid to over $200m. This support has so far provided safe drinking water and food to some one million people and emergency healthcare to over half a million people, including tens of thousands of Somalilanders. I will shortly be seeing some of this work for myself

The Ambassador paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Sa’ad Shire and held meetings with President Ahmed Silanyo, political party candidates and graduates of the Chevening scholarship programme. He also held talks with Attorney General and Chief Justice on how UK supports to the security and justice sector.

The UK has been supporting technical preparations for the Somaliland elections, including a comprehensive and inclusive voter registration process. Britain also supports journalists to defend media freedom, and with the judges we support technical support on the swift, fair and lawful resolution of any disputes arising from the electoral process.

Ambassador Concar discussed during his visit how the UK is working with the government of Somaliland and others to build critical infrastructure and support the delivery of healthcare, education and other public services, including through the UK-led Somaliland Development Fund.

The UK supports health and education initiatives and is working to increase the number of women who give birth in the presence of medical professionals and to ensure more girls attend school. We are also helping to tackle the barriers to economic development in Somaliland by expanding the generation and distribution of renewable energy with the aim of cutting significantly the cost of electricity and increasing the number of Somalilanders with access to electricity.

Source: British Embassy Mogadishu.