UK Announces $10 Million to tackle impact of drought in Somalia
The funding is expected to support almost 500,000 people in Somalia to access clean water and afford food supplies.
This kind of early preventative action is crucial, as was learned from the 2016/17 drought in Somalia when early action and funding led by the UK helped to narrowly avoid a famine.
Climate change is driving extreme weather events across the region, worsening pre-existing drought, while poor governance and ongoing conflicts in Somalia are displacing vulnerable communities and destroying livelihoods.
On a visit to East Africa, UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP, said:
For countries in East Africa, climate change is not a future problem – it is driving a humanitarian emergency right now. Catastrophic droughts and floods, paired with ongoing conflicts and poor governance in Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia, are creating a perfect storm in East Africa which risks pushing hundreds of thousands of people into famine.
The UK’s commitment to supporting our partners in East Africa is unwavering and we know that early action now can prevent mass loss of life. This funding package will provide vital assistance to almost a million people across the region, helping those affected to access clean water and healthy food.
British Ambassador to Somalia, Kate Foster, said:
The situation is extremely worrying, with millions of people in desperate need of lifesaving food and clean water. The UK is moving quickly to provide support with an additional $10 million of funding, as experience has shown that early, preventative action is vital to avoiding mass loss of life.
So far, the UK has provided £32 million in humanitarian funding this year, reaching over 1 million people with a combination of emergency and longer-term assistance.
The UK prioritised supporting communities affected by extreme weather events such as droughts as host of COP26 in Glasgow. As part of the historic agreement reached at the summit, wealthy nations committed to double the overall climate finance available for adaptation programmes.
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.