UK pledges assistance worth $2M towards countering IED attacks by Alshabaab and a farther $21M towards humanitarian assistance to Somalia
Minister for Africa for the UK Government James Duddridge visited Baidoa, the capital of the South West on Tuesday.
The Minister was accompanied by British Ambassador to Somalia Ben Fender, the Minister met with South West President Abdiaziz Lafta Gareen and officials from his administration.
The two sides discussed issues security, political and military assistance, and the President of South West’s demand to redouble supporting forces.
The UK Minister for Africa and the President of South West have jointly inspected the British Army training base in the South West area near Baidoa airport.
The British troops are based in Baidoa and are taking part in training and supporting the forces of the South West Administration.
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
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.
- £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
- £5m ($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
UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, said:
The UK is a proud partner on Somalia’s journey towards stability and security – from British troops training alongside the Somali Army, to the life-saving UK aid programmes that are safely delivering babies and vaccinating against disease, as well as providing those in desperate need with food assistance.
We remain committed to African efforts to secure and protect regional stability, and today I can announce new UK support to those working alongside the African Union’s peacekeeping mission here in Somalia. Working together, we can tackle the forces who threaten stability across East Africa and around the world.
Notes to Editors:
- The UK Minister for Africa visited Somalia on 8 and 9 December
- A biography of the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP, can be found here
- The further £3.8m 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 £324m four year humanitarian programme from 2018 to 2022 which also provides food assistance, emergency healthcare, nutrition, shelter, and protection for the most vulnerable
- The further £8m 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 £96.9m
- The further £5m ($6.7 million) to support cash-based food assistance comes from the UK’s Crisis Reserve, a £61m funding package recently approved by the Foreign Secretary, targeting 12 countries with rising levels of food insecurity