High level commitee of the Special Financing Facility SFF between Somalia and Norway was held in Mogadishu
The first meeting of the High Level Committee of the Special Financing Facility (SFF) between Somalia and Norway was held in Mogadishu on 26th November 2013 under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Finance and Planning, Mohamud H. Suleiman.
This meeting was followed by the Oversight Board meeting on the 27th November 2013 which was attended by high level representatives from the Somali Parliament, the president’s office, international donors and organizations including the EU, UK, the World Bank and the UN.
At the High Level Committee meeting, the Ministry of Finance and Planning updated the meeting on the progress of the SFF. It was reported that the main focus during the first three months had been on strengthening control mechanisms and improvement of payment process for civil service salaries. The first preparations for the small-scale project window of the SFF have also begun.
The Special Financing Facility (SFF) has been operational for three months and has supported the payment of civil service salaries. Currently, a total of 1,639 civil servants from 11 different government institutions have been paid their salaries through the SFF. It is further anticipated that by January 2014, another 9 government institutions will be brought on board with a total of 3200 civil servants being paid their monthly salaries through the SFF.
The SFF is an effective financial instrument and the first practical demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to the principles of the New Deal. This effort strengthens the fiduciary framework for recurrent costs and allows for policy dialogue on key PFM reforms.
During the Oversight Board meeting, the representative from the Central Bank of Somalia briefed the meeting on the reform process at the Central Bank. The Minister of Finance updated the High Level Committee meeting that Mr. Bashir Isse Ali was in the process of being appointed as the interim Governor of the Somali Central Bank. A permanent Governor is to be recruited soon in close consultation with representatives from the International Community.
The Government of Norway emphasized that the SFF is based on continued commitment by the Federal Government to sound economic governance, and continued progress in establishing systems to provide transparency and accountability of revenues and expenditures.
Norway underlined its concern over the abrupt resignation of the Central Bank Governor, and the circumstances surrounding it. Norway urged the Federal Government to work with the International Community to help ensure the credibility of the Central Bank. Norway also referred to the commitments of the Federal Government to work on cross-cutting issues including equitable participation of women and fighting gender disparities as set out in the Somali Compact.
The meetings also discussed how the SFF would transition when the World Bank’s Multi Partner Fund is established in 2014. It was agreed that the SFF is important to prepare and build a basis for a larger multidonor fund and the World Bank Fund would be likely to take over the financing of civil servants salaries.