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UK Minister visits Somalia to re-affirm partnership between the two countries

Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Priti Patel travelled to Mogadishu where she re-affirmed the importance of the UK’s partnership with Somalia. During her trip, Minister Patel met key Somali interlocutors as well as UN, Africa Union Mission in Somalia and humanitarian partners.

In advance of a London-hosted Conference on Somalia in May, Minister Patel’s visit was a timely opportunity to discuss how to drive forward progress on building a stable Somalia and how to address the pressing humanitarian challenges currently facing the country.

Whilst in Mogadishu, the Minister announced that the UK government will provide £10 million additional humanitarian funding to address immediate needs following deteriorating drought conditions in Somalia. This support will be delivered through three UN agencies (WFP, UNICEF, FAO) and will go into providing food security, supporting nutrition and basic health services. This is expected to provide a significant boost for those affected by the drought.

Minister Patel met the Speaker and Interim Head of State, Professor Mohamed Jawari, whom she congratulated on his re-election, recognising the important role he has played in Somalia’s recovery to date. The Minister also chaired a meeting with civil society where she underlined the UK’s commitment to helping Somalia strengthen its civil society, especially in relation to promoting women’s economic empowerment and their role in holding government accountable.

Speaking at the end of the visit, The Secretary of State said: Millions of people in Somalia are currently living in desperate conditions as drought threatens lives and instability, which is why the UK is stepping up support to save lives and provide basic food, clean water and nutrition. Building a secure, stable and prosperous Somalia is a top priority for the UK and while great progress has been made, significant challenges remain. Global Britain will bring the international community together in London to agree future support to Somalia, which is firmly in the UK’s interests.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British Embassy Mogadishu.