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The Project Completion Note (PCN) on the Somalia Port Modernization Project (Credit 1723-SO, approved in FY88) prepared by the Africa Regional Office, was reviewed by the Operations Evaluation Department (OED). The credit, in the amount of US$22.6 million equivalent, was approved on February 17, 1988 and closed on June 30, 1995, with US$8.75 million undisbursed.

The project objectives were to improve cargo handling capacity and performance at Somalia's three major ports by improving management systems and procedures complemented by related physical investments. To this end, the project comprised: (i) the provision of cargo handling and other equipment; (ii) construction and upgrading of port facilities; and (iii) training, technical assistance and consulting services.

The project objectives were not achieved. Procurement of equipment and execution of the civil works were well advanced, and some of these investments were put into service, but implementation was not completed by the time disbursements were suspended in March 1991, following the outbreak of hostilities. About 80 percent of the technical assistance had been completed by then; however, it was largely ineffective due to the consultant's inability to recruit competent staff for the different assignments. Some components, such as the repair of Mogadishu port breakwater, and the preparation of a National Transport Study, were not started.

Following the collapse of the government and the deteriorating security conditions, all project contractors and consultants were, however, evacuated during 1991. The PCN reports that many of the companies contracted for works or goods delivered, or to be delivered, were not fully reimbursed for their services.

Since the project objectives were not achieved, OED rates the outcome as unsatisfactory (no outcome rating is given in the PCN). OED rates institutional development impact as negligible, and sustainability as unlikely. Bank performance is rated as satisfactory. These are in line with PCN ratings. Under normal conditions, a project that has disbursed over 70 percent of the credit funds should have been treated in a full implementation completion report. However, in view of the special situation in Somalia, OED finds the brief PCN to be appropriate. No audit is planned.

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