NAIROBI (AXADLE) The British Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP, today announced a $ 10.7 million package of British support for Somalis affected by extreme drought.
The funding will provide vital assistance, such as cash to buy emergency food supplies, and water to help vulnerable families across Somalia who are suffering desperately from the relentless drought. The aid is part of the British aid package of 16.5 million pounds to countries in East Africa that have been hit by extreme drought and floods.
The severity of the drought in Somalia continues to worsen, with over 90% of the country experiencing drought conditions. There are close to 5 million Somalis who are hungry and a further 3.5 million need emergency humanitarian aid this year due to successive bad rains and failed harvests. Another 2.6 million people have fled their homes due to conflict.
The funding is expected to support nearly 500,000 people in Somalia to access clean water and food supplies. This kind of early prevention is crucial, as learned from the 2016/17 drought in Somalia, where early action and funding led by the UK helped to avoid famine.
Climate change is driving extreme weather events across the region, exacerbating pre-existing droughts, while poor governance and ongoing conflicts in Somalia are displacing vulnerable communities and destroying livelihoods.
On a visit to East Africa, the British Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP, said that “For countries in East Africa, climate change is not a future problem – it is driving a humanitarian emergency right now. Catastrophic droughts and floods, coupled with ongoing conflicts and poor governance in Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia are creating a perfect storm in East Africa, which risks forcing hundreds of thousands of people into famine. “
“The United Kingdom’s commitment to supporting our partners in East Africa is unwavering, and we know that early action can now prevent the loss of human lives. This funding package will provide vital assistance to almost one million people across the region and help those affected. access to clean water and healthy food. ”
Meanwhile, the British Ambassador to Somalia, Kate Foster, said the situation is extremely worrying, with millions of people in desperate need of life-saving food and clean water.
“The UK is moving fast to provide support, as experience has shown that early preventive action is essential to avoid mass loss of lives,” adds Foster. “So far, the UK has provided £ 32 million in humanitarian funding this year and reached over 1 million people with a combination of relief and long-term assistance. “
The UK prioritized supporting communities affected by extreme weather events such as drought, hosting COP26 in Glasgow. As part of the historic agreement reached at the summit, rich nations pledged to double the total climate finance available for adaptation programs.
The UK is a long-standing supporter of Africa’s adaptation to climate change, with around half of the UK’s £ 2.7 billion adaptation budget between 2016 and 2020 spent in Africa.