UK announces new support for people facing famine in Horn of Africa

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The UK Development Minister Vicky Ford has announced a new package of support for people affected by the worst drought in decades in the Horn of Africa.

Speaking at an event on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Horn of Africa at the UN General Assembly in New York, Ford announced £22.8 million to enable the UN and our NGO partners to continue lifesaving assistance through cash support; access to water and sanitation services; and the delivery of highly specialised health and nutrition treatment.

Ford called on the international community to act now to avert disaster, as concerns rise that a projected famine in Somalia could be worse than in 2011, when a quarter of a million people lost their lives.

Minister Ford said:

The drought in the Horn of Africa is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.  Almost half of Somalia’s population is in dire need of help – with 300,000 people forecast to be in famine by October if assistance is not provided immediately.

The UK is playing a leading role in the international response to this crisis. We are providing vital life-saving food security, health, nutrition and water support to half a million people across Somalia, backed up by the funding announced today.

If we are to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic drought which saw a quarter of million people die in Somalia a decade ago, the international community must act now.

This package of support takes the UK’s total humanitarian, health and nutrition funding for Somalia this financial year up to £52.8million.

The UK has allocated a total of £156 million in humanitarian support for crises in East Africa this financial year.

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