Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Urgent action is needed to meet Somalia’s acute humanitarian needs

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 7 September 2022.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Somalia.

Thank you President,

I’d like to start by thanking SRSG Swan and our AU briefers today.

I congratulate Somalia on the successful completion of the electoral process, and the peaceful transition of power to President Hassan Sheikh.

The UK stands ready to support President Hassan Sheikh’s government to deliver its ambitious agenda and realise his vision of “a Somalia at peace with itself and the world”.

I will focus my remarks today on three subjects: the humanitarian situation; security; and reconciliation.

First, President, urgent action is needed to meet Somalia’s acute humanitarian needs. As Under-Secretary-General Griffiths has warned, after four consecutive failed rains, Somalia faces famine on a scale greater than we last saw a decade ago. The window to prevent it is closing rapidly.

We recognise the efforts of Somalia’s Drought Envoy and of the “system-wide scale up,” but the response must be sustained and prioritised.

On our part this financial year, the United Kingdom has contributed $180 million to respond to drought in the Horn of Africa. We call on all partners to do what they can to step up their humanitarian support to prevent famine.

Secondly, President, the UK welcomes the high priority that the new Somali government has placed on security and on the fight against Al-Shabaab. We join others in extending our condolences to those who suffered and were killed as a result of the Hyatt hotel attack.

We are also proud to provide funding to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia and the Somalia Trust Fund. We encourage other Member States to join us in this, so that Somali forces can develop the capacity and capabilities they need to end the threat of Al-Shabaab.

However, military effort on its own will not be enough. The upcoming renewal of the mandate of UN Assistance Mission in Somalia and the 751 sanctions regime will be an opportunity for this Council to set out how these tools can work most effectively alongside ATMIS to support Somalia and defeat Al-Shabaab.

Finally, President, we urge Somalia’s political leaders to work together to agree and implement national priorities and solve shared problems. Working together, and with support from their partners, we are confident that Somalia can defeat Al-Shabaab and advance peace, stability and prosperity for the benefit of all Somalis and the region.