UK aid to provide life-saving support for up to one million people crippled by drought in Somalia



Up to one million people in Somalia will receive lifesaving food and clean water to help stop starvation and malnutrition thanks to new UK funding.


  • Somalia is one of the world’s poorest and most fragile states, compounded by climate shocks that severely affect the lives and livelihoods of millions.
  • Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson, has announced extra food and water for Somalia to help vulnerable families in desperate need.
  • He also met humanitarian partners to discuss how the international community can help Somalia build resilience to climate change.

Up to one million people in Somalia will receive lifesaving food and clean water to help stop starvation and malnutrition thanks to new UK funding announced today.

Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson has announced that UK aid will provide extra food, water and medicine to help vulnerable families in Somalia that are desperately suffering from relentless drought.

There are close to 5 million Somalis who are hungry and a further 1.2 million who face the risk of becoming malnourished this year due to successive poor rains and failed harvests. A further 2.6 million people have fled their homes, due to conflict and the dire humanitarian crisis.

During a visit to the country this week, Minister Stephenson announced that as well as providing food and water, UK aid will help build longer-term resilience to climate change and drought. An extra £30 million of UK aid support will also provide vaccines for livestock – which Somali farmers rely on for their livelihoods to stop cattle dying from disease and starvation.

Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson said:

Somalia is being crippled by drought and millions of people are in desperate need of lifesaving food, clean water and treatment for malnutrition.

The UK has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response, but more needs to be done. Britain, alongside the international community, is committed to providing immediate assistance and building Somalia’s ability to manage the crisis.

Somalia’s security is vital for stability in the region and is firmly in the UK’s national interest.

Minister Stephenson led a roundtable with humanitarian partners during his visit, where he discussed how the UK and international community can support Somalia to build their resilience to climate change and end their reliance on emergency aid.

Minister Stephenson met Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre and reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting Somalia reform on security, politics and developing Somalia’s economy.

He also travelled to Baidoa in Southwest State where he saw first-hand how the British Military is supporting the training of the Somali National Army at a CSSF-funded training facility.

While there, he met Southwest State President Abdiasiis Laftagareen and discussed the UK’s support for stability and security in the area.

Note to Editors

This new £30 million package of UK aid builds on the £38 million in humanitarian and resilience support which the UK is already providing in Somalia. This is expected to benefit over 1 million Somalis in 2019.

The extra support will help deliver vital food, medicine and water to the most vulnerable. DFID will work with UN partners to deliver this aid.

The UK is working on long-term resilience, to improve Somalia’s ability to cope with shocks and avoid repeated cycles of crisis and emergency response.

The UN’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia aims to help 4.2 million of the most vulnerable Somalis – nearly a third of the population – including 2.6 million internally displaced by conflict, drought, and floods.


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