Somalia: UK announces £21m in response to 2018 drought risk

Press Releases
By British Embassy Mogadishu
UK Secretary for International Development Penelope Mary Mordaunt

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The UK’s International Development Secretary traveled to Somalia on Sunday 21 January, for meetings with the Federal Government of Somalia, international partners, and civil society.

This was Ms. Mordaunt’s first visit to Somalia as International Development Secretary.

During the visit, Ms. Mordaunt heard about how UKaid helped those most impacted by Somalia’s extreme drought, by providing life-saving water, food, and healthcare. This unprecedented response helped avert famine in 2017 and saved many thousands of lives.

International Partners briefed Ms. Mordaunt on the extreme and challenging climate conditions the country will continue to face in 2018. Low levels of forecasted rain threaten crops and livestock, leaving half the Somali population hungry and at risk of disease.

Without sustained relief and recovery there is a real risk of famine in the near future. Ms. Mordaunt pledged an additional £21 million on behalf of the UK in response.

This will fund immediate lifesaving aid, including:

• Screening and treatment for 130,000 children at risk of life-threatening acute malnutrition;
• Providing nutrition support for over 300,000 vulnerable people;
• Maintaining access to water and improved sanitation for over 155,000 people;
• Food security and livelihoods support to approximately 40,000 beneficiaries;
• Vaccinations for 12.5 million goats against respiratory tract diseases, benefitting over 2 million pastoralists

The International Development Secretary said:

“The devastating consequences of drought in Somalia remain a major concern. The UK led the global effort to avert famine last year, but the country is facing further difficult conditions in 2018. The job is not yet done.

“I am very clear that this is not just Somalia’s problem. The whole world is less safe when instability, poverty and extreme weather triggered by climate change are left to feed extremism and mass migration.

“This is why the work we are doing here is so important, with British troops helping develop Somali forces, with world-class diplomats delivering a peaceful future and aid workers providing life-saving water and food. This is why the international community also needs to step up their support to Somalia before more innocent lives are lost.”

In meetings with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre and Minister of Finance Abdirahman Duale Beyle, Ms. Mordaunt reflected on progress since last year’s Somalia Conference in London. Ms. Mordaunt reiterated the UK’s commitment to continue to work with Somalia to tackle the causes and consequences of instability, and stressed the importance of further action in 2018.

During a roundtable discussion with civil society and private sector representatives, Ms. Mordaunt also discussed ways to include youth, women and marginalized groups, including disabled people, in the restoration of democracy in Somalia.

Notes to Editors:

• In 2017, the UK led the international response to Somalia’s drought, with life-saving water, food, and healthcare, saving many thousands of lives. The UK provided £170m humanitarian funding, to prevent famine. This included providing over 1 million people with access to safe drinking water, and over 1.5 million people with emergency food assistance.

• In addition to this £21m, a further £40m will be provided as planned in 2018 to sustain the relief and recovery effort, totaling £61m already planned for the 2018 response.