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PRESS RELEASE: DENMARK CONTRIBUTES ADDITIONAL DKK 20 MILLION TO SOMALIA’S FIGHT AGAINST THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Denmark is pleased to announce an additional contribution of DKK 20 million (approx. USD 2.9 million) towards the COVID-19 response in Somalia.

The contribution will support small and medium-sized enterprises in the portfolio of the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund to avoid bankruptcies and lay-offs while assisting the companies to Build Back Better and Greener while focusing on women and youth. In addition, the support will allow more companies to join the successful Investment Fund to expand the services and production of goods of Somali companies during the crisis.

Ambassador Ole Thonke stated:

“The Danish government engages actively in tackling the COVID-19 global challenge, both at home and with our contributions to the efforts of Somalia. Denmark has decided to provide a contribution of DKK 20 million through IFU for the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunity Fund to build SMEs resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the economic crisis due to COVID-19, the strengthening of SMEs and national production of daily goods (food, electricity, health etc.) is crucial to ensure living conditions of the population and to strengthen the economy and hence the stability in Somalia”

Background

The Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund (Nordic Fund) was created in 2018 by several Nordic investors, Shuraako, a program of One Earth Future and the Arsenault Family Foundation. The Fund is among the first commercial investment funds for Somalia. It is region and sector neutral, but with a special focus on building back better, green sustainable businesses, job creation and women/youth led businesses. The funding range is from USD $50,000 to USD $750,000 and the Fund provides a combination of loans and customized technical assistance. Currently, the portfolio consist of 41 approved loans of which 17 requested additional support during the Fund’s COVID-19 survey. Despite COVID-19, the overall performance of the portfolio has remained stable.

On Thursday, 12 November 2020, the Danish Parliament approved the third global COVID-19 emergency support package of DKK 385 million. With the additional contribution of DKK 20 million, Denmark is increasing the funding to the Nordic Fund by more than 50%.

This contribution comes in addition to the DKK 45 million for emergency health response provided through the Joint Programme on Local Governance (JPLG) and Somalia Stability Fund (SSF), announced on 24th April and support through the Durable Solutions Programme, announced on 22nd June 2020.

Contact: Deputy Head of Mission, Nina Berg, email ninber@um.dk

Read more about Denmark’s engagement in Somalia: http://somalia.um.dk  

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