UK pledges further support to address humanitarian needs caused by drought in Somalia

Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Priti Patel travelled to Mogadishu on 28 January 2017 where she re-affirmed the importance of the UK’s partnership with Somalia. The Minister met the Speaker and Interim Head of State, Professor Mohamed Jawari, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Somalia, Peter de Clercq, AMISOM leadership, humanitarian partners and civil society, to discuss how to drive forward progress on building a stable Somalia and address the pressing humanitarian challenges currently facing the country.

During her visit, the Minister announced that the UK government will provide £10 million additional humanitarian funding to address immediate needs following deteriorating drought conditions in Somalia. This support will be delivered through three UN agencies (WFP, UNICEF and FAO) and will go into providing food security, supporting nutrition and basic health services. This is expected to provide a significant boost for those affected by the drought.

UK Secretary of State for International Development Ms Priti Patel said:

“Millions of people in Somalia are currently living in desperate conditions as drought threatens lives and instability, which is why Globally Britain is stepping up support to save lives and provide basic food, clean water and nutrition.

“The UK is playing a leading role in the international response to the ongoing drought in Africa, where 60 million people are already in need of support globally.

“Where UK aid is saving lives in Somalia, it is also bringing much needed stability, which firmly in the UK’s interests.”

The UK is one of the largest and longstanding humanitarian donors to Somalia with an existing £179 million four year humanitarian and resilience-building programme (2013 – 2017). The current support will be delivered through three UN agencies (WFP, UNICEF, FAO) and will provide about 25% uplift to DFID’s regular humanitarian and resilience programming for 2017.

  1. Currently UKaid is supporting 16,000 households with emergency food, treating starving children, access to basic health care services, providing clean drinking water and shelter for displaced families.
  2. In November 2016, DFID provided support to a further 6,500 households with nutrition services and clean drinking water for a further 50,000 people.
  3. Early warning signs indicate that severe drought conditions are present across the Horn of Africa with Somalia most affected. Other regions are also experiencing the driest period since 2001, and current vegetation conditions, malnutrition and food insecurity indicators now mirror or surpass those observed during the 2010/11 drought that led to the first famine of the 21st century. The current drought adds to an existing humanitarian caseload of 4 million people in need of assistance across Somalia (including 300,000 malnourished children
  4. The Department for International Development’s humanitarian programme in Somalia aims to save lives, reduce food insecurity and build the resilience of vulnerable. The programme has four overarching objectives.
  • provide flexible multi-year funding for relief programmes, targeting the most vulnerable;
  • Build resilience of chronically vulnerable Somalis by strengthening livelihoods and assisting in the graduation from emergency aid;
  • Promote greater accountability and more effective use of resources in the humanitarian system;
  • Build an evidence base for humanitarian action, using innovative approaches to monitoring and evaluation.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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