The United Nations hopes a 100-day plan will be agreed at a conference on Thursday to help Somalia build up security forces and restore stability after nearly two decades of anarchy. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the U.N. special representative for Somalia, said in an interview he hoped the international donors meeting in Brussels would provide a clear plan to combat the east African country’s problems as well as urgent funding.

Organisers say at least $165 million is needed to improve security in Somalia, which has functioned without a central government since 1991 and is mired in conflict. Piracy has also become a big threat to international shipping off its coast. “We have to start by being determined to help Somalia, to signal that it is no longer business as usual,” Ould-Abdallah told Reuters late on Tuesday.

He hoped for agreement on “what can we do in the next 100 days to help the new government … through concrete support in the area of security … in the development area, by giving young people a job and by providing assistance”. “This has to be done quickly and in a time frame which strengthens the new government,” he said. “We expect it to happen after this conference.”

The conference will be hosted by the European Commission and chaired by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Chairman Jean Ping. The EU promised on Wednesday to provide at least 60 million euros to help Somalia.

Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, a former Islamist rebel leader, was elected in January at U.N.-brokered talks and is widely seen as the best hope for restoring stability.



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