EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs
EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs (Reuters)

A diplomatic spat has erupted in Brussels between a high Somali official and the EU commissioner for development over the level of foreign aid given to the wartorn African country.

Fawzia Yusuf Adam, Somalia's minister of foreign affairs and deputy PM, said that her country had received "nothing from the European Union - only promises".

Reacting to earlier remarks by Adam, EU commissioner for development Andris Piebalgs told IBTimes UK exclusively: "I'm very upset because that is false.

"The political process starting in Somalia is not only because of political abilities but investment in different parts of Somalia which brings people to support the federal government," he said during a private meeting at the European Development Days in Brussels.

"We have a substantial development project in parts of Somalia. We disburse nearly €50m and the biggest parts goes to areas such as Somaliland, Puntland, in education, rural development, healthcare, access to water. Lots of money being invested.

"She's right we don't channel any money to federal government but that's because in order to use that you need public finance management and an accountability system and today that's not the case," he went on.

"I pledged to work with the government as close as a I can and I will honour it. We bring very substantial support to Somalia, although we don't channel any money through the government."

The European Commission provides development aid in Somalia under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The total allocation for Somalia for the 2008-13 period is €521m.

The EU support supports Amisom (the African Union Mission in Somalia), which aims to create the conditions for peace and stability, and has channelled €594m into it.

Adam said that Somalia had been pledged €1.8bn in a conference in September but claimed "so far, we have received nothing".

"We ask European countries to honour their pledge," she said. "We are looking forward to see that [for it to be] realised for development reconstruction and security.

"During the previous transitional government, €200m was pledged in 2010 but we never received it. We want friends to honour their pledge so that we can build our country."