UK Minister reiterates UK commitment to Somalia and the region’s response to the threat of Al-Shabaab .

UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP, visited Mogadishu this week where he underlined the UK’s continuing commitment to Somalia’s long-term security and stability, and the world’s poorest, with new UK support worth £21.8 million ($29.2 million).

In the first visit to Somalia by a UK government Minister since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – and the first visit since the UK created a single Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office to bring together diplomacy and development – Mr Duddridge met President Mohamed Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohammed Roble. They discussed the upcoming federal elections, including the importance of timely and inclusive elections, as well as progress on economic and security sector reform.

In discussions on UK support for Somalia’s operations against Al-Shabaab, the Minister announced new UK contributions to support the Somali Security Forces worth £1.6 million ($2.15 million) to counter the threat from roadside bombs.

The Minister met British troops training the Somali army, and reiterated UK support for the African Union in securing and protecting regional stability. He said that the UK would contribute a further £3.37 million ($4.5 million) for the Somali Security Forces engaged in joint operations with the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

The Minister also met development and humanitarian partners working to protect the resilience, health and stability of Somalia’s communities – and announced a comprehensive package of UK support.

This includes:

  • £3.8 million ($4.9 million) to help the thousands of Somalis recently displaced by catastrophic flooding. This is in addition to long-term UK aid-funded food assistance, emergency healthcare and shelter for the country’s most vulnerable
  • £5 million ($6.7 million) to support cash-based food assistance for approximately 123,000 vulnerable, food insecure people. This funding will be channelled through WFP Somalia
  • a further £8 million ($10.3 million) to support Somalia’s health services, with a focus on antenatal care and vaccinations. So far this year, UK aid has helped over 120,000 Somali women receive antenatal care, ensured a skilled birth attendant was present for the delivery of 90,000 babies, and vaccinated 100,000 children against the most common childhood killers

Background

  • the UK Minister for Africa visited Somalia on 8 and 9 December
  • view a biography of the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP
  • the further £3.8 million humanitarian funding for Somalis displaced by catastrophic flooding will support the provision of cash-based assistance to the most vulnerable and much needed relief supplies for the many thousands of Somalis recently displaced by catastrophic flooding. This is part of the UK’s £324 million 4-year humanitarian programme from 2018 to 2022 which also provides food assistance, emergency healthcare, nutrition, shelter, and protection for the most vulnerable
  • the further £8 million for the provision of health services, such as antenatal care and vaccination, in Somalia brings the UK’s total health spending from 2016 to 2021 to £96.9 million
  • the further £5 million ($6.7 million) to support cash-based food assistance comes from the UK’s Crisis Reserve, a £61 million funding package recently approved by the Foreign Secretary, targeting 12 countries with rising levels of food insecurity