UK announces further humanitarian support in response to El Niño in Somalia

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Flooding along the Shabelle River in Somalia caused the displacement of around 250,000 people earlier this year. ©FAO
Flooding along the Shabelle River in Somalia caused the displacement of around 250,000 people earlier this year. ©FAO

The British Embassy Mogadishu announces almost $7 million to support the humanitarian response to El Niño in Somalia.

  • British Embassy Mogadishu announces £5.5 million of humanitarian funding for El Niño response in Somalia.
  • UK support will provide vital health, nutrition, water and sanitation to some of Somalia’s most vulnerable flood-affected communities.
  • The UK has also announced £7.4 million drought insurance protection for Somalia.

The British Embassy Mogadishu has announced almost $7 million (£5.5 million) of additional funding to support the ongoing humanitarian response to El Niño in Somalia.

In the last month, heavy rains and flooding in parts the country have impacted over two million Somalis, with more than 700,000 people displaced from their homes.  

This much needed additional humanitarian assistance will offer life-saving support to those affected by the floods including food security assistance, health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation. The heavy rains and flooding in Somalia come after two years of protracted drought and associated humanitarian impacts.

The new humanitarian funding comes as the UK announced £100 million of support to countries vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, at COP28 on 3 December. This included £7.4 million to support the Federal Government of Somalia’s access to drought response insurance cover over the next three years through African Risk Capacity (ARC), which will provide rapid payouts to vulnerable communities if rains fail.

Speaking about the innovative drought insurance cover, Minister of State for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said:
Somalia faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with the devastating effects of climate change hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Extreme weather can be catastrophic – and it’s vital that Somali communities are protected and prepared.

This funding will provide rapid and targeted support where it is needed most, if rainy seasons fail over the next three years. This long-term approach will help Somalia to better plan and prepare for the risk of drought, part of the commitment by the UK and its partners to build climate resilience across the continent.

This support extends a ground-breaking partnership with the Africa Development Bank which brings innovative new crisis financing mechanisms to Somalia for faster responses to save lives. 

Recognising the urgency of the challenges posed by climate change, which forces 26 million into poverty every year, the UK also joined calls at COP28 for bolder collective action to protect the lives, health and livelihoods of those most impacted by climate change.

UK Development Director to Somalia, Damon Bristow, said:
As Member States meet in Dubai at COP28, El Niño flooding in Somalia is a stark reminder of the impacts of climate change today on vulnerable countries. If global temperatures continue to rise, countries like Somalia will continue to experience more frequent weather extremes with disastrous human impacts without affected adaptation.

This new funding announcement will be crucial to ensure affected communities are reached with timely support. We have committed to support prevention measures as well the response to the crisis.

**Notes to editors: **

You can follow UK activity in Somalia on Twitter/X and Facebook (@UKinSomalia) or at www.gov.uk/world/somalia/news   
UK humanitarian support to Somalia for 2023 and 2024 now stands at £53.5 million. In May 2023, the UK Minister for Africa announced £48 million of humanitarian funding in response to the effects of climate change. Read more: UK pledges support for over a million people in East Africa – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  
During the UK-hosted Global Food Security Summit, the UK announced up to £100 million in humanitarian funding to countries worst impacted by food insecurity, including Somalia: UK summit to boost food security through science and innovation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
The UK announced £100 million to support vulnerable countries tackling climate change on 3 December 2023 at COP28. Read more: £100m for vulnerable countries tackling climate change – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For further enquiries, contact:

Georgina Woodhouse-Hills, Head of Communication, British Embassy Mogadishu, +254 114 878 117, georgina.woodhouse-hills@fcdo.gov.uk

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