News story

UK announces emergency humanitarian assistance for Somalia

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

The UK announces support to provide food, water, shelter and urgent medical assistance for hundreds of thousands of Somalis affected by drought, flood and conflict.

The UK is to provide food, water, shelter and urgent medical assistance for hundreds of thousands of Somalis affected by drought, flood and conflict - including those forced to flee their homes as a result of violence.

Nearly 1.5 million people in Somalia have been displaced by violence in recent years. The UN estimate that 2 million people - more than a quarter of the entire population - are in need of emergency aid.

The UK Government will provide:

  • Emergency assistance to treat acute malnutrition in over 65,000 children, provide food aid to 8,600 people and tents and shelter for 8,000 households.
  • Safe drinking water to 93,000 people and improve hygiene conditions for over 250,000 people to help prevent diseases.
  • Access to basic healthcare for more than 120,000 people, 13,000 pregnant women and essential vaccinations to over 300,000 children and 134,000 women of child bearing age.

International Development Minister, Stephen O’Brien said:

“The people of Somalia are suffering dreadfully as a direct result of extreme poverty exacerbated by extreme violence. We will not turn a blind eye to this suffering.

“Over the next year more than 700,000 of the most vulnerable Somalis will benefit from emergency UK aid. We will provide food, clean drinking water and vital medical supplies to starving children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

“The UK Government fully recognises the challenges and tremendous dedication of humanitarian staff delivering life-saving aid in Somalia.

“Our position is clear; the neutrality, independence and impartiality of humanitarian assistance must be respected. Unhindered access must be allowed for humanitarian agencies and people in need.”

In December the UN launched a new humanitarian appeal for Somalia. The UK government confirmed its assistance following a meeting with the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia in London today.