Nairobi – British Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell MP, today announced increased support from the UK for Somalia, which will go towards improving security and living conditions for people on the ground.

The UK will triple development support to Somalia over the next three years, to create employment and other opportunities to give Somalis hope of a place where they can make a living in peace.

Announcing the conclusion of a global review of the bilateral development programme in the House of Commons, Andrew Mitchell said:

“We will focus our effort where the need is greatest, not only saving but transforming millions of lives by providing access to food, clean drinking water, basic healthcare and education.”

“We are increasing our efforts to tackle poverty in a number of conflict and fragile states. We know that no conflict or fragile state will achieve the Millennium Development Goals without significant extra help.”

The UK’s new bilateral programme for Somalia will promote long-term stability in order to transform the lives of the Somali people, by:

(i) responding promptly to the humanitarian needs of the people of Somalia;

(ii) working with communities in areas of relative stability such as Somaliland to strengthen peace and governance;

(iii) creating jobs long-term jobs;

(iv) improving access to better healthcare, especially for women and children.

The Head of DFID’s Kenya and Somalia office in Nairobi, Alistair Fernie said: “The aims of DFID’s programme in Somalia are to address the humanitarian effects of the conflict, consolidate local areas of stability and promote more legitimate government to build longer-term peace. Our increased aid will deliver results to the people of Somalia in spite of the difficult conflict circumstances. ”

UKaid in Somalia will provide at least 500,000 people a year with emergency humanitarian assistance. This will be used to treat severe malnutrition, increase child immunisation, and provide water and basic health care for communities in need.

UKaid will help create long-term jobs for 45,000 people. It will also improve health facilities, and train more doctors across the country so that Somalis get better access to healthcare, avoiding preventable deaths particularly among women and children.

To achieve these results, the UK government will continue to work through a range of trusted UN and non-governmental implementing partners, who are able to operate on the ground across most of Somalia, and whose work is subject to rigorous scrutiny.

Alistair Fernie added: “Progress and stability in Somalia are also vital for the security of the whole region, and for the UK. The results we hope to achieve in Somalia are not only delivered from the British people, they are also for the British people.”

Note to Editors:

1. UK aid allocations to help build peace and stability in Somalia could rise from £26m in 2010/11 to £80m per year over the next three years, depending on the results achieved by 2013/14.

2. UK aid is channelled through UN agencies and other well established and trusted partners, with tough safeguards to ensure that the aid is used properly on the ground. Our key UN partners will be the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

We may work with the World Food Programme (WFP) if we are convinced that their controls have improved. Although FAO and ILO scored poorly in DFID’s review of multilateral aid, evidence suggests that in Somalia they can deliver. We will monitor this closely.

3. We expect that most of our support to Somali NGOs will be through international NGOs.

4. UK Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell visited Hargesia on January 31, where he explained that 40 percent of UK’s aid to Somalia will go to Somaliland. Somaliland has shown that greater democracy and stable government are possible, even in this difficult country.

Source: British High Commission, Nairobi, Kenya