UK announces £25 million aid for internally displaced Somalis

In a significant move to address the plight of internally displaced Somalis, the British Embassy in Mogadishu has committed an additional £25 million in funding.

The aid will focus on supporting those vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, aiming to enhance living conditions, provide access to basic services, ensure land tenure security, and offer life-saving humanitarian support in the face of climate-related shocks.

The announcement, made on December 13 by UK Development Minister Andrew Mitchell during the Global Refugee Forum, constitutes a substantial portion of a £40 million pledge dedicated to assisting refugees and internally displaced individuals globally.

The emphasis is placed on those most severely affected by the consequences of climate change.

Speaking at the Global Refugee Forum, Minister Andrew Mitchell underscored the urgency of the situation, noting that the number of people forcibly displaced due to conflict or crisis has surged from 89.3 million in 2021 to 108.4 million in 2022, with estimates projecting over 110 million this year.

Mitchell stated, “Today’s package will provide host countries with the support they need to help whole communities to thrive while also reducing the risk of exploitation. Together, we can ensure that refugees can live in safety and dignity with the education and skills they need to return home when conditions allow them to do so.”

The latest funding commitment from the UK is anticipated to offer crucial support to more than 500,000 of Somalia’s most vulnerable individuals over the next five years. The aid will be delivered through the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the existing Danwaadag program, which focuses on assisting displaced Somalis.

This funding will not only provide immediate humanitarian aid, including food, hygiene, and water, but will also work towards enhancing informal settlement conditions and securing greater land rights for displaced individuals, thereby mitigating the risk of forced evictions.

Celestin Frantz, Chief of Mission at IOM Somalia, emphasized the importance of building resilience in communities affected by displacement, particularly in light of the recent floods in Somalia.

“The recent floods in Somalia have emphasized the importance of enhancing the resilience of communities affected by displacement in light of increasingly unpredictable challenges,” Celestin Frantz added.

Frantz praised the commitment of the British Embassy in supporting durable solutions through the Danwaadag program, a consortium led by IOM that collaborates with various partners at different levels of government, the UN system, and international and local NGOs.

This new funding reinforces the UK’s role as a key partner to Somalia and will enhance the Federal Government of Somalia’s capacity to develop durable solutions to climate change, addressing its tangible consequences for the Somali people and safeguarding lives and livelihoods.

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