There is an urgent need for international companies wishing to relocate and invest in Somalia to consider the conditions of the wider society they are choosing to operate in, ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies and IRDG said in a joint oral statement at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The two organizations said that the climate for foreign investment in Somalia proves difficult since the country had broken out into civil conflict and tribal warfare in 1991, under which the effects of the fighting are still heavily affecting the country’s economic and social progress.
“With this, Somalia has an extensive history of humanitarian issues, falling under harmful disease outbreaks which only worsened with the arrival of COVID-19, food uncertainty, internal displacement of around 2.6 million people, ongoing warfare and civilian conflict coupled with wear institutional structures in place for the protection of its citizens,” said Lara Hamidi, principal researcher at ImpACT International.
“It is of utmost importance that foreign investment companies such and members of the world bank group, including the International Finance Corporation, are encouraged to improve their understanding of the major humanitarian crisis taking place,” she added.
“These powerful actors influence to create great change when and promote a wider culture of human rights in the country.”
ImpACT International and IRDG called on international companies to provide opportunities to domestic businesses and provide employment to the local community to improve the current unemployment rate of 13.10%.
The two organizations also urged the Human Rights Council and its member states to recognize this concern and help create an environment under which businesses wishing to operate in Somalia recognize the ongoing fragility of the humanitarian crisis and operate with respect.
The Horn of Africa nation has faced renewed instability in recent months, with long-running election delays and an ongoing row between its president and prime minister sapping attention from an insurgency waged by Al-Shabaab jihadists.