Italy: A friend of Somalia

AXADLETM / EDITORIAL – Italy has stepped up its efforts to send emergency aid to people affected by floods in Somalia’s Hirshabelle state.

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The Italian government has again demonstrated solidarity with the Somali people after Ambassador Dr. Alberto Vechi provided donations consisting of medicines, blankets, detergents and other equipment such as utensils and plastic sheets.

Flood victims not only cope with displacement, but they are also vulnerable to outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and dysentery. Children are most susceptible to these diseases.

Dr. Vechi handed over the timely donation to the Disaster Preparedness Committee of the Federal Government of Somalia. Italy has committed funds to the health sector in Somalia.

Through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Italy has provided “a contribution of EUR 3 million to support the cooperation between the UNFPA and the Ministry of Health and Human Services of the Federal Government of Somalia.” Hospitals in Banadir and Jowhar will benefit from the donation, which aims to increase capacity in the Somali healthcare sector.

It is noteworthy that the Department of Medicine at the former Somali National University headed a highly regarded medical school whose graduates are known for their selflessness and passion for lifelong learning.

Their medical expertise helped Somalis live through difficult times as state collapse hit health services hard throughout Somalia.

As Somalia has federal structures, Italy can add more value to its assistance to Somalia by reviving the technical cooperation from which the federal Member States can benefit.

This cooperation may take the form of vocational training schools, the re – establishment of Italian language cultural centers similar to that in Mogadishu before 1991.

These centers may be based on local universities. Italy financed the main infrastructure – the road and the seaport – on which the Nugaal and Bari regions of the state of Puntland depend to recover from the effects of the civil war, of which large-scale internal displacement has been the most challenging.

Somali people are grateful to the people and government of Italy for their generosity and unwavering friendship.

* © 2019 Garowe Online *

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