The republic of Somaliland launched an international appeal on Wednesday for $2 billion to urgently deliver humanitarian and livelihood support.
The appeal comes after a huge fire destroyed the main market in the capital Hargeisa, wiping out t an estimated 5,000 small, medium, and large family businesses and therefore devastating the local economy.
“We are launching for a combined $2 billion to urgently deliver humanitarian and livelihood support to an estimated 5,000 small, medium and large family businesses,” Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said in a statement issued in English.
He said the fire in one of the largest markets in the Horn of Africa had caused losses estimated at $2 billion, or around 60 percent of Somaliland’s gross domestic product.
Its GDP in 2020 was just over $2.9 billion, shrinking 3.1 percent from the previous year largely because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to official figures.
An investigation team is looking into the cause of the fire and its report is expected to be disclosed to the media in the next few days, he further said.
“This is an emergency of the highest magnitude and time is of the essence,” he said.
Several countries including Britain, which once ruled Somaliland as a protectorate, and neighboring Ethiopia and Djibouti have offered support and sympathy over the disaster.
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