Turkey pays off portion of Somalia's IMF debt
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to assist the economy of the Horn of Africa country will see Turkey dip into its cash reserves, according to the Official Gazette.
As a result, Somalia’s debt will be reduced from $5.2 billion at the end of 2018 to $3.7 billion.
Turkey is among 116 countries that support contribution to debt relief as part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC) - a system established by the World Bank and IMF to help alleviate the debt burden from the world’s poorest countries.
Somalia’s Justice Minister Abdul Qadir Muhammad Nur expressed his gratitude to Turkey for the assistance.
"My heart felt gratitude to @RTErdogan for his continued support to Somalia, especially to the economic reforms which resulted in Turkey clearing Somali's IMF debt money, subtracting from money owed to Turkey by the IMF," he said in a tweet.
"Turkey remains to be a strong ally to Somalia’s progress," he added.
According to the IMF, nearly 70 percent of Somalis live on less than $2 a day and the country’s economic growth is barely keeping pace with its population growth.
Turkey has also established firm alliance with Somalia over the years and has invested heavily into the African country.
Somalia has received tonnes in aid from its Turkish ally, while Ankara has also provided medical care for the victims of terror attacks in the East African country.
"There is an offer from Somalia. They are saying: 'There is oil in our seas. You are carrying out these operations with Libya, but you can also do them here.' This is very important for us," Erdogan was cited as saying by NTV. "Therefore, there will be steps that we will take in our operations there."
Turkey also has a significant presence in Somalia and operates one of a number of foreign military training operations in the Horn of Africa nation long destabilised by conflict.