The PMPF is vital to the Puntland Government’s multi-faceted anti-piracy strategy and consistent with the UN’s urgent calls to action. The international community has repeatedly requested that the Puntland Government and other regional authorities increase their efforts to establish security and the rule of law. With the generous support of friendly countries and the endorsement of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Puntland has established the PMPF as one of the primary instruments to answer these calls.
The PMPF’s humanitarian assistance work is closely linked to its efforts to counter piracy and bring stability to the region. The PMPF’s humanitarian efforts include: the delivery of relief supplies, medical supplies, food and water; refurbishment of hospitals and medical clinics, including mobile clinics to serve remote areas; and improvements to road, airports and other critical infrastructure. The PMPF also uplifts local communities through providing training programs that teach valuable skills. Improving stability and security in the region helps to ensure the safety of those engaged in urgent humanitarian efforts.
Puntland’s Steadfast Commitment to Combating Piracy
The Puntland Government is committed to combating piracy off the coast of Somalia and has achieved real progress in this endeavor. In 2010, the Puntland Parliament passed Somalia’s first and only Anti-Piracy Law, specifically addressing piracy crimes. There are currently over 200 pirates and piracy suspects awaiting trial in Puntland jails. This represents the largest concentration of jailed Somali pirates in over 20 countries, according to U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Since the enactment of this important piece of legislation, the Puntland Government is pursuing a multi-pronged approach to combating piracy that includes: the creation of a professional coastal force to fight piracy and protect the region’s maritime resources; a targeted public awareness campaign aimed at discouraging new piracy recruits and helping to rehabilitate reformed pirates; job training programs to teach reformed pirates new skills; and livelihood projects and economic development initiatives to revitalize coastal communities.