The UK is providing vital aid to Somalia in response to its growing
risk of famine – as climate change threatens to make such crises more
Andrew Mitchell, the UK Minister for Development, announced the new
support on a visit to Somalia – his first overseas visit since his
The funding will tackle drought, food insecurity, gender-based
violence and boost climate resilience, reaching over 480,000 of the
country’s most vulnerable people. New funding will also help Somali
troops in their fight against al-Shabaab.
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to worsen, with 300,000
people projected to be in famine by the end of the year and 1.8 million
children at risk of malnutrition.
The UK is working with the UN and NGO partners to address this
humanitarian crisis, providing life-saving health and nutrition support,
cash transfers to buy food, safe drinking water, and ensuring those
displaced by drought will receive emergency assistance shelter.
The funding will also protect children from violence and exploitation
and provide women subject to gender-based violence with mental health
The Minister for Development, Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP said:
Somalia faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world,
with millions of people in desperate need of aid, including over half a
million children under 5 years old who are at risk of death.
I visited Somalia in 2011 at the height of famine and I was appalled by the loss of life.
The UK is committed to providing urgent support
to the most vulnerable who are in the most desperate need. But we cannot
act alone. The international community needs to do all it can to stop
famine, and also to help the country be better prepared for such
disasters in the future.
During the 2-day visit to Somalia, Minister Mitchell met Somalia’s
President and other government figures, as well as partners, to discuss
how to meet immediate humanitarian needs, and better prepare for future
crises such as extreme weather.
He also witnessed first-hand the impact of the drought on vulnerable populations.
Working with international partners and NGOs, the UK is stepping up
humanitarian efforts to meet the most immediate needs while better
equipping Somalia for future crises.
The UK has deepened its relationship with Saudi Arabia to meet urgent
humanitarian need. This new partnership with Saudi Arabia has seen £1.7
million of the UK’s humanitarian funding package matched by Saudi
Arabia’s KSRelief. This will provide a boost to the World Food Programme
and will go towards food security and famine prevention programming.
The UK is also expanding this work with partners including Germany
and the World Bank to put in place innovative disaster risk finance and
insurance arrangements, particularly towards agriculture investments and
drought response. This is part of the World Bank’s Horn of Africa DRIVE
project and will deliver long-term financial protection for Somali
communities and help them be better prepared to deal with the impact of
During his 2-day visit, Minister Andrew Mitchell confirmed:
- £6.7million in humanitarian aid funding which includes health,
nutrition, water services, food security assistance and support for
victims of gender based violence
- £1.7 million aid match funding with Saudi Arabia’s KS Relief fund that will go towards the World Food Programme
- £3.8 million (matched by Germany) as part of the Global Shield
initiative for a programme combining support to improve the livelihoods
of pastoralists with access to financial services and insurance against
- £3 million in funding which was previously announced at the UN
General Assembly to support the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
This funding will increase the provision of support services to victims
of emergency gender-based violence, and will provide sexual reproductive
health support to women in new internally displaced person (IDP) sites.
This funding plans to reach over 34,800 women
- £1.5 million to the United Nations Support Office in Somalia
(UNSOS) trust fund to support Somali troops in the fight against
This package of support takes the UK’s total humanitarian, health and
nutrition funding for Somalia this financial year to nearly £61.2
million. The UK has committed to spending a total of £156 million in
humanitarian support for crises in East Africa this financial year.
Roughly 50% of Somalia’s population require humanitarian aid with
300,000 people projected to be experiencing conditions akin to famine by
the end of the year. When famine last occurred in Somalia more than
250,000 people died – the majority young children.
Conflict and climate extremes including flooding and drought are the
key drivers of suffering in Somalia and the East Africa region. There
have been 5 successive failed rainy seasons and there are concerns for
the upcoming March to May season. More than 68 million people in need of
life-saving aid across the wider East Africa region.