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The African Development Bank (AfDB) signed two grants for $28.8 million for road and water supply projects to improve livelihoods in Somalia and boost resilience.

The bank noted that the grants confirm sustained efforts, especially by the African Development Fund, to tackle fragility in the Horn of Africa.

They comprise $11.99 million for the Kismayo Baidoa urban water project and $16.86 million to partly finance a $66.7 million road.

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Somalia’s deputy finance minister, Abdullahi Sheikh Ali, signed for his country and Nnenna Nwabufo, deputy director-general, East Africa signed for the Bank Group.

Present at the event were Somali ministers for public works, housing & reconstruction, and energy and water resources, along with representatives from South West and Jubbaland states and the International Organisation for Migration.

The bank plans to launch the two projects in mid-September, noted Nwabufo while recognising the contributions of the EU, the Italian government, and critical commitments by the Somali government.

The road project, which will rehabilitate 355km of regional road networks, will also provide assistance to improve the capacities of public agencies.

It is expected to boost productivity, improve living standards, increase inter-regional trade, cut the cost of doing business and create jobs, especially during implementation.

The Kismayo Baidoa urban water supply project will bolster the quality of life, inclusiveness and resilience through increased access to safe water, as well as improved sanitation and water delivery services in Kismayo in Jubbaland state and Baidoa in South West state.

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The two projects will be implemented within the framework of the multi-Partner Somalia infrastructure fund managed by the Bank. They are also consistent with the key objectives of Somalia’s National Development Plan.

The Bank’s total approved and ongoing portfolio in Somalia is about $143.7 million, spanning governance, institutional support, capacity building, agriculture, transport, and social sectors.