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Somalia Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      One of the world's poorest and least developed countries, Somalia has few resources. Moreover, much of the economy has been devastated by the civil war. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and seminomads who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood make up about 70% of the population. Crop production generates only 10% of GDP and employs about 20% of the work force. The main export crop is bananas; sugar, sorghum, and corn are grown for the domestic market. The small industrial sector is based on the processing of agricultural products and accounts for less than 10% of GDP; most facilities have been shut down because of the civil strife. The greatly increased political turmoil of 1991-93 has resulted in a substantial drop in agricultural output, with widespread famine. In 1994 economic conditions stabilized in the countryside but may turn worse in 1995 if civil strife intensifies after the UN withdrawal.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $3.3 billion (1994 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:

    • National product per capita:
      $500 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      NA% (1994)

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:


        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

    • Exports:
      $58 million (1990 est.)

        bananas, live animals, fish, hides

        Saudi Arabia, Italy, FRG (1986)

    • Imports:
      $249 million (1990 est.)

        petroleum products, foodstuffs, construction materials

        US 13%, Italy, FRG, Kenya, UK, Saudi Arabia (1986)

    • External debt:
      $1.9 billion (1989)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate NA%

    • Electricity:

        prior to the civil war, 75,000 kW, but now almost completely shut down due to war damage; note - UN and relief organizations use their own portable power systems

        NA kWh

        consumption per capita:
        NA kWh

    • Industries:
      a few small industries, including sugar refining, textiles, petroleum refining (mostly shut down) (1994)

    • Agriculture:
      dominant sector, led by livestock raising (cattle, sheep, goats); crops - bananas, sorghum, corn, mangoes, sugarcane; not self-sufficient in food; distribution of food disrupted by civil strife; fishing potential largely unexploited

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $639 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $3.8 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $1.1 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $336 million

    • Currency:
      1 Somali shilling (So. Sh.) = 100 cents

    • Exchange rates:
      Somali shillings (So. Sh.) per US$1 - approximately 5,000 (1 January 1995), 2,616 (1 July 1993), 4,200 (December 1992), 3,800.00 (December 1990), 490.7 (1989),

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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