British Aid Money Goes a Long Way in the Former British Somaliland Proctectorate
Recently there’s been a lot of discussion in the media about how £480,000 (USD $744,400) worth of British humanitarian aid supplies found their way into the wrong hands in former Italian Somalia. Earlier this month, the United Kingdom Department for International Development acknowledged that its partners in Somalia lost the supplies during raids by terrorists between November 2011 and February 2012. The popular media loves to paint the entire Horn of Africa as a land of danger and intrigue, a place where pirates rule the seas and warlords compete for desert kingdoms.
The press seems much less interested in writing about former British Somaliland Protectorate. When we get mentioned at all, we’re usually depicted as a quaint region where nomads tend to their camel herds, money-changers ply their trade on downtown street corners and men spend their afternoons chewing khat and arguing about politics. The peace, stability and total reconstruction of the country by its citizens, as well as successful recent events, such as Hargeisa’s sixth annual Book Fair or the reopening of its international airport, go largely unnoticed.
While the international community has provided millions of dollars in aid to one failed regime after another in Somalia, the people of Somaliland have learned to make do with less – a lot less. Here at Edna Adan Hospital, in the capital of Somaliland, we can show you how to get the most out of your aid Pound, Dollar or Euro.
In 2001, Edna was in the final stages of construction of her new hospital and wondering how she was going to get the equipment and supplies she needed to open the facility for patients. She received a huge boost from the British Government, who donated medical equipment to the value of £30,000 and which consisted of thirty hospital beds which are still being used today; thirty baby cots that have held over 14 thousand newborn babies; an operating table; theatre lights; and sterilizers that have been used for thousands of Caesarian sections and other operations. The impact of that gift is still being felt and appreciated today, thirteen years later.
In addition, Edna was also assisted to send key staff members to Addis Ababa to be trained at the Black Lion Hospital and the Fistula Hospital. These trainees have all returned and are now training others and keeping the operating theaters running smoothly.
As a former Colonial Development and Welfare Scholar herself, Edna has never forgotten the generosity of the British taxpayers and she is grateful for their continued support. As a teaching and referral hospital, our facility has various needs, but one that Britain and its citizens could help with is our need for long-term English instructors to help us teach our students and staff. If you have experience teaching English as a foreign language and are able to commit to a one or to a two-year term, you will find an enthusiastic group of young professionals who are eager to learn English.
For more details, please use the form on our Contact Page.
Here are photos from a recent visit to Edna Hospital by a delegation from the United Kingdom.