Efforts to tame the impact of the ongoing drought in Somalia got a boost this week with the announcement of a £30 million UK aid targeting up to one million people facing starvation in the Horn of Africa nation.
The UK embassy in Mogadishu said Wednesday in a statement the UK government will channel at extra £30 million to support efforts by UN agencies to provide lifesaving assistance to one million people facing starvation in Somalia.
The announcement follows a visit to Somalia by the UK Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson last week. Stephenson called for sustained international support to alleviate the suffering of millions of Somalia who have been trapped in a vicious drought.
“Somalia is being crippled by drought and millions of people are in desperate need of lifesaving food, clean water and treatment for malnutrition,” said Stephenson adding the UK was at the forefront of the humanitarian response in the country.
According to the UN 4.2 million Somalis are facing acute food shortage with a further 1.2 million on the verge of malnourishment due to successive poor rains and failed harvests. The global body appealed for $1.08 billion in January to provide food to millions facing starvation and starve off famine in 2019.
The UK embassy noted the extra £30 million which is an addition to £38 million which the UK is already providing in Somalia ‘will also provide vaccines for livestock – which Somali farmers rely on for their livelihoods to stop cattle dying from disease and starvation’.
The newly appointed UK minister also held talks with Prime Minister Hassan Khaire and toured the UK supported Somali military training academy in Baidoa.