AFRICA/SOMALIA - London Conference: "I hope in a true international coordination on Somalia" says Bishop Bertin

Thursday, 11 May 2017 famine   collaboration  

Mogadishu (Agenzia Fides) - "I expect greater involvement of the Somali diaspora, while better coordination and a unified approach of the international community would be desirable" says Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, commenting in an interview with Agenzia Fides, the start of the International Conference on Somalia today, May 11, in London.
"I have the impression that the various international actors on Somalian issues will not put the rebirth of the Somali State at the center of their action. However, I expect support from new President Mohamed Abduhalli Mohamed and the new government that has been in office for a few months", says Mgr. Bertin.
The situation of the Somali population is dramatic because of the drought that has hit the whole Horn of Africa. Six million Somali people are at risk of hunger, whose survival depends on international aid.
"It is here that I expect a greater involvement of the Somali diaspora", says Bishop Bertin. "The expatriated Somalis have the possibility to effectively and urgently reach their people who are in the different areas of the Country".
The diaspora, among other things, has greater chances of allowing money to reach the Country thanks to the traditional Channels of Hawala, while those who resort to international banking circuits are faced with long antiterrorism controls. "I myself - reports Mgr. Bertin - find it difficult to transfer funds to Somalia. For example, in March I asked for a transfer of 20,000 euros for the urgent distribution of food for the people affected by famine in the north of the Country. After long bureaucratic procedures, it finally arrived. Perhaps this sort of obstacle should be addressed in London", concludes the Bishop. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/5/2017)