Famine in Somalia

Neil questioned the Secretary of State for International Development on how Britain can help avert famine in Somalia.

Neil: What steps her Department is taking to tackle famine and food insecurity in Somalia.

Priti Patel (International Development Secretary): The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to avert a famine in Somalia. Our additional £110 million of aid will provide food, water and emergency services for more than 1 million people. I think all Members of this House will recognise that we are witnessing Somalia experience an absolutely devastating famine right now, but UK aid is making an enormous difference.

Neil: I thank the Secretary of State very much for her comments. Up to 3 million people are at risk of starvation in Somalia. It is important not only to get the food in, but to make sure it goes to the people who really need it. I would just like to press her a little bit more on how we can physically get the food to those who most need it.

Priti Patel (International Development Secretary): My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise this issue. First and foremost, I would like to commend all the partners and agencies working in Somalia in quite terrible, difficult and harrowing conditions. We work with a range of trusted and experienced partners in a country that is very difficult; there is no doubt about that. I have met many of them, as have my DFID teams and officials in country. Our priority, as I have said, is to get emergency food and water to the people who need it, and we are working with a range of agencies to do exactly that.

 

You can read the full exchanges in the House of Commons at this link.