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International Development Secretary calls on the global community to ‘end the cycle of crisis’ in Somalia

Penny Mordaunt tells donors that despite success at averting a famine last year, drought is still a serious threat in Somalia.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will tell an audience of global donors today that while swift action last year saved thousands of lives and held-off famine in Somalia, “the job is not yet done”.

At an event co-hosted by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Development Secretary will praise the efforts of the international community in 2017 – but call for continued global support for the 5.4 million people in need living in Somalia.

Six years ago Somalia was ravaged by a deadly famine which killed 260,000 people – half of those who died were children.

With extreme weathers and an unprecedented fourth consecutive year of poor rain forecast for the country, Ms Mordaunt will today deliver the stark warning that half the population is still hungry and at risk of disease – and will call on global partners to generate innovative ideas for building long-term resilience to drought.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“Last year the UK stood up and called for international action at a landmark conference to agree critical help for the people of Somalia. Together, we helped avert a famine and saved thousands of lives.

“But drought continues to haunt Somalia, where today half the population is hungry and at risk of disease. The job is not yet done.

“Drought and famine do not have to go hand-in-hand. We must harness the potential of new ideas to build future-proof resilience against drought – and end the cycle of crisis.

“We cannot let the world forget Somalia. It’s not just the right thing to do – we are all less safe when hunger and poverty are free to feed extremism and mass irregular migration.”

The International Development Secretary will today announce a further emergency package to get urgently needed medical, nutritional, health and livelihood support to the country, including to 54,000 children who will be treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

The package will be distributed before the end of March 2018, to ensure urgent delivery of these life-saving services.

UN humanitarian chief and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said:

“Last year, more than US$90 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund were released to mitigate against the worsening food security situation in Somalia.

“Thanks to generous and timely contributions from the UK and other donors, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund is this year already programming $22 million for life-saving support. The CERF is also stepping up quickly with complementary, time-critical and life-saving funding which will help minimize further displacement of people in Somalia and other risks caused by the drought.”

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