Somalia is a strategically important country for the UK, with numerous historical and trading links, and is situated within a set of interlocking regional conflicts sometimes described as the “arc of instability”. There is a UK National Security Council (NSC) strategy for the country, which the aid programme supports. The UK has played a major role in some of the key peace-building and state-building processes in Somalia over the past decade.
Our Somalia review assesses the performance of the UK aid programme in tackling conflict and reducing fragility in Somalia, focusing mainly on the period from 2011 onwards. We examine the evolution of the overall approach, and review a selection of bilateral programmes managed by the Department for International Development (DFID) Somalia and projects funded through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and its predecessor, the Conflict Pool. Given the highly insecure environment, much of the aid programme is managed remotely from Nairobi in neighbouring Kenya. We look at the effectiveness of the delivering mechanisms in overcoming access constraints.
Overall we found that UK aid was making a positive contribution to state-building and stability in Somalia in extremely challenging circumstances and awarded a green-amber score. We also made eight recommendations for improvements.