USAID chief becomes highest-ranking US official to visit Somalia in two decades

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“Throughout this time, the Somali people endured the unendurable — violence, fear, hunger, and disease — but they also came together to build something new — a foundation that would anchor a stable future for Somalia,” Shah said in a statement. “For years, USAID has been proud to stand by the reformers — the Somalis who fought for peace and a better life for the children. We have worked not only to meet emergency needs, but also to support long-term community efforts to rebuild the neighborhoods, rebuild livelihoods and rebuild their confidence in their government.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a Muslim member of Congress, separately met with Mohamud on Tuesday, fulfilling a campaign promise to his Somali-American constituents. Ellison traveled with the American Refugee Committee, a non-governmental organization based in his district, to discuss the status of Somali refugees and U.S. remittances. 

“We are at a critical juncture for the people of Somalia and their families in Minnesota and throughout the United States,” Ellison said. “The election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and a renewed U.S. relationship may be our best opportunity in decades to ensure peace and stability for the Somali people, and combat terrorism in the region. This visit provided an unparalleled opportunity to learn firsthand about issues facing the country, and the role the United States plays in promoting a stable Somalia.”