By Mohammed Dhaysane and Magdalene Mukami
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Friday nearly $50 million in education funding in Somalia.
In a statement, the U.S. embassy in the Somali capital of Mogadishu said the five-year program "aims to increase access to quality education and support accelerated learning for out-of-school children and youth who have been persistently left behind."
Dubbed "Bar Ama Baro", or Teach or Learn, the program brings funding for Somali education by USAID to $65 million.
"USAID is currently supporting a $10 million project implemented by UNICEF and a $5 million contribution to the Girls’ Education Challenge program managed by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development," the statement added.
Somalia welcomed the announcement, saying: "More goodies & goodwill when governance is well driven."
– Norway helps Somalia clear external debt
Norway also stepped in to help Mogadishu clear its external debt by promising to provide Somalia 3.135 billion Norwegian Krones (roughly $329 million) in form of a bridging loan.
"#Somalia is an important partner country for #Norway. Debt relief is essential if Somalia is to continue its stabilisation & reform efforts. This is why Norway will provide a bridging loan of NOK 3,135 billion," the country's embassy to Somalia said on Twitter.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide said the loan would be an important contribution to promoting reform and stabilization in Somalia.
A third of Somalia’s debt is owed to the multilateral development banks including the World Bank and African Development Bank as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).