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Extra UK aid to help 800,000 affected by drought in Somalia

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Up to 400,000 children are at risk of death through starvation if urgent action is not taken now, Andrew Mitchell said today on a visit to Mogadishu, Somalia

Up to 400,000 children are at risk of death through starvation if urgent action is not taken now, Andrew Mitchell said today on a visit to Mogadishu - the first visit to the country by a UK government minister since 1992.

The International Development Secretary announced that Britain will supply vital aid, including extra food and medical supplies, to more than 800,000 women and children in Somalia, as figures show that half of those who have died during the famine in Somalia are children.

The UK’s new package of support to the UN organisation for children, UNICEF, will allow them to double the number of children they are reaching in their supplementary feeding programme. The £25m children’s package will provide:

  • up to 192,000 people with two months of supplementary rations
  • supplies to vaccinate at least 800,000 children against measles, plus 300,000 with polio vaccines, vitamin A and deworming
  • support to malaria preparedness, including provision of over 100,000 treated bednets, 50,000 malaria testing kits, and treatment capacity for 4,000 cases of malaria

Speaking in Mogadishu, Andrew Mitchell said:

“I came to Mogadishu today to see first-hand how Britain can best help people that have been hit by this devastating famine. Evidence of malnutrition is not just in the camps and feeding centres but on every street corner.

“The stark fact is that in southern Somalia the situation is deteriorating by the day. We could face deaths on a similar scale to those seen in 1991-2 if we do not act urgently now. This is a race against time.”

Find out more: read the full press release