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UK announces $7 million new funding for urgent life-saving humanitarian aid in Somalia

Friday July 7, 2023

Mogadishu (HOL) - The UK has announced over $7 million to provide vital humanitarian aid to Somalia's most vulnerable on Friday.

On 14 June 2023, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide $7.6 million this financial year, including $6.3 million for the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) as part of over $61 million the UK Minister for Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, pledged to Somalia for the financial year 2023-2024.

Last year, the SHF worked through partners on the ground to support 1,340,000 Somalis affected by severe drought, curb the spread of cholera and other diseases, and boost famine prevention efforts.

The SHF allocates the majority of its funding to international and national non-governmental (NGO) partners. So far in 2023, 71 per cent of funding has been directly allocated to local NGOs for lifesaving support in the hardest-to-reach areas of Somalia.  

UK Ambassador to Somalia Mike Nithavrianakis said of the new funding to UN OCHA: "We're really pleased to be providing further, vital aid to Somalia's most vulnerable. We know what a difference targeted humanitarian assistance can make to communities most impacted by drought across Somalia. The UK remains a steadfast partner of Somalia and its people."

"Famine in Somalia has been averted for now through a concerted scale up of the humanitarian response. However, the crisis is far from over, as urgent and high needs persist," stated Mr. George Conway, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia ad interim.

"The unwavering support from the UK is critical in enabling our partners to sustain their lifesaving efforts and protect the hard-won gains of the humanitarian community."  

In the financial year 2022-2023 the UK provided $1.9 million to support humanitarian efforts in Somalia. In 2022, the SHF assisted 1.34 million people with multi-sectoral interventions.

The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) is a multi-donor, country-based pooled mechanism created in 2010 to allocate funding for the most urgent lifesaving interventions in Somalia. With the SHF, governments and private donors can channel their contributions into a common, non-earmarked fund to deliver lifesaving assistance to people who need it most.

Across East Africa the UN estimates that almost 72 million people require humanitarian aid this year due to a combination of pressures, following five seasons of failed rains, conflict and flooding.

Famine has been averted in Somalia, but humanitarian needs remain high; about half of the population are in need of assistance. The current Gu rains have improved access to water and pasture, but more uninterrupted rainfall is needed to alleviate the extended impact of drought.

The FCDO will host a conference at Wilton Park 17-19 July to bring together key stakeholders to look at how we can improve access to climate finance for Somalia and other countries facing the impact of climate change.