NAIROBI, A regional summit on refugee situation in Somalia on Saturday proposed the establishment of a trust fund to help the reconstruction of the Horn of Africa nation.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who hosted the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Summit on Somalia said mobilization of financial resources is a crucial component in the re-building of social and economic infrastructure in Somalia.

“In this regard, I propose the establishment of a Trust Fund for the reconstruction of Somalia under the auspices of IGAD,” Kenyatta told leaders from Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

He told international humanitarian agencies to relocate back to Somalia as the Horn of Africa nation embarks on reconstruction path.

Kenyatta said the trust fund would mobilize resources for the provision of adequate housing, education facilities, healthcare centres and livelihood activities among others.

“I urge international community to join us in this initiative. Now that Somalia is stabilizing we must, all, stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Kenya hosted IGAD summit that brought together Eastern African heads of state to discuss the situation of Somali refugees in the region, as the threat of pervasive drought and food insecurity in Somalia looms.

The East African nation’s role as host is marred by its continued insistence on closing Dadaab refugee camp, host to over 300,000 Somali refugees, by May.

Kenyatta said the remittances from Somalia’s Diaspora can be tapped as part of a framework for rebuilding.

“We are informed by the World Bank that in 2015, Somalia received 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in remittances, which is almost a quarter of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.

The Kenyan leader told the summit that there is also an available solution in the utilization of accelerated resettlement to third countries, as stipulated in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

“It is my hope that partner countries will open their doors to increase their resettlement quarter for Somali refugees,” he said.


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