Prime Minister proposes "Marshall Plan" for Somalia

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Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, addresses the general debate of the seventieth session of the General Assembly.

Somalia's Prime Minister has proposed a "Grand Development Plan" to rebuild his country and empower its people.

Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said the initiative would be like a “Somalia Marshall Plan," a reference to the United States aid programme that revitalized Western Europe following the Second World War.

Speaking in the UN General Assembly on Thursday, he said the focus will be on rebuilding roads, schools, hospitals, ports, airports and markets.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Prime Minister said Somalia must rebuild its state institutions and infrastructure.

He said this is critical for Somalis, especially young people, to feel that they have a stake in government.

"The bulk of our population is under the age of 30. They are the future of our nation. It is from them that we are borrowing today’s resources and for them that peace will pay its ultimate dividend. We must find a place for them in leadership; and we must create jobs and opportunities for them. They need the kind of opportunities and challenges that drive all young people around the world to succeed. We need to provide incentives for them to have a choice to move away from extremism. This Grand Plan, Development for Somalia, akin to a Somalia Marshal Plan, will create countless opportunities for our youth to invest in their own future."

Somalia also intends to prioritize its national security forces who are battling an active insurgency.

 The Prime Minister said soldiers put their lives on the line yet are "underpaid, underfed and under-equipped."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'11"

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