Boost for drought efforts as UK announces $10 million aid support

The UK government has donated $10 million for humanitarian support to millions of Somalis facing food shortages amid a severe drought.

The funds, the UK embassy in Somalia said will be channelled through UNICEF, WFP and FAO to cater for food security, nutrition, water and basic health services in addition to resilience building programmes.

The announcement by the UK government comes barely a week after aid agencies appealed for $710 million to provide lifesaving assistance to 4.5 million drought-affected Somalis.

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 5.4 million Somalis are projected to be food insecure by July with at least 2.2 million of these plunging into acute food crisis.

Head of UK Department for International Development (DFID) Somalia Phil Evans said the funding will be critical in saving thousands of families who are trapped in the ongoing drought.

“The drought is affecting millions of Somalis, many of whom have had to leave their homes and livelihoods in desperate search of basic necessities. This funding will provide life-saving assistance to thousands of Somalis living in desperate conditions,” said Evans.

“The number of people at risk will continue to grow if nothing is done.  We have learnt lessons from the past and know that acting early saves lives and makes sense.”

Of the £8 million ($10 million) aid, £3 million is allocated to UNICEF while a similar amount will go to the World Food Programme (WFP). The Food and Agriculture Organisation will be allocated £2 million.

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