To Know How to Survive without Aid, Ask Somaliland the DIY Nation

Somaliland among states with limited recognition

Somalilandsun: For three decades, Somaliland has been locked out of a club that confers countries’ ultimate necessities: diplomatic legitimacy, and with it, money. If recognized, the nation could apply for World Bank loans. It could benefit from bilateral aid agreements, and take a seat at the United Nations. Without a doubt, being unacknowledged has cost the territory during its crucial early years.

But today the global system is in disrepute, with once taken-for-granted norms shaken by rising nationalism, go-it-alone leaders, and now a worldwide pandemic. Some Western governments, including the Trump administration, are arguing for steep cuts to aid spending. That trend seems all but sure to continue, now that developed countries are focusing their resources on COVID-19 crises at home.

While Somaliland goes it alone, neighboring Somalia offers a stark illustration of a world where foreign assistance falls short, often seeming driven as much by donors’ interests as locals’ needs. Although pumped full of foreign aid, foreign expertise, and foreign guns, Somalia’s government can barely control its capital city. Powerful militias govern much of its territory, and the country is near the bottom of global rankings for almost every measure of the quality of life. Continue Reading How a DIY nation has made it this far