The United Kingdom announced a $7 million humanitarian aid package for Somalia’s most vulnerable people On Friday.
On June 14, 2023, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide $7.6 million this fiscal year, involving $6.3 million for the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF), as part of over $61 million committed to Somalia by UK Minister for Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
Last year, the SHF collaborated with local partners to assist 1,340,000 Somalis bedeviled by severe drought, to combat the spread of cholera and other diseases, and to increase famine preventive measures.
The majority of the SHF’s funding goes to international and national non-governmental (NGO) partners. Thus far in 2023, 71% of funding has been channeled directly to local NGOs for lifesaving assistance in Somalia’s most remote regions.
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.”
The United Kingdom contributed $1.9 million to humanitarian efforts in Somalia during the fiscal year 2022-2023. The SHF assisted 1.34 million people with multi-sectoral interventions in 2022. The Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) was established in 2010 as a multi-donor, country-based pooled mechanism to allocate funding for the most critical lifesaving interventions in Somalia. The SHF allows governments and private donors to channel their contributions into a single, non-earmarked fund to provide lifesaving assistance to those in greatest need. The UN estimates that nearly 72 million people in East Africa will require humanitarian assistance this year as a result of a combination of pressures caused by five seasons of failed rains, conflict, and flooding.