People whose lives have been upended by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, drought and food shortages in East Africa, and conflict in Syria will be among those to benefit from £36 million in UK humanitarian funding announced today.
The announcement comes on World Humanitarian Day of the United Nations (UN) as parts of the globe come under increasing strain from lasting effects of the pandemic, the increasing impact of climate change, and conflicts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
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"In 2022 millions more people are now in desperate need of humanitarian support," Minister of State for South and Central Asia, North Africa, UN and the Commonwealth and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said in a media release on Friday.
In Ukraine and Poland, where the majority of Ukrainians who have fled the conflict have travelled, £15 million in UK funding will support up to 200,000 of the most vulnerable impacted by Russia’s invasion. This includes children, older people and those with disabilities. International aid organisation Mercy Corps will work with grassroots civil society groups to provide emergency assistance to cover basic needs, including food, water and sanitation, psychological support and childcare services.
In East Africa, where severe food insecurity threatens over 48 million people, the UK has allocated an additional £14 million to the countries on the frontline of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. This new spending, which will work immediately to save lives and prevent more people experiencing famine-like conditions, includes:
- A £5 million boost to the UK Somalia programme, which is providing life-saving health, nutrition, food security and water and sanitation assistance to over half a million people in some of the most vulnerable families.
- £6 million for the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund which will provide vital assistance to under-funded emergencies across Ethiopia, including drought and conflict-affected regions.
- £3 million in emergency humanitarian funding to the World Food Programme, Sudan, helping reach approximately 120,000 vulnerable people with food assistance.
"In the Horn of Africa, around 700,000 people are experiencing famine conditions – and in Somalia over 386,000 children are projected to be severely malnourished and at risk of death by the end of the year. UK aid in east Africa is providing life-saving support to the most vulnerable people in the hardest hit countries. We must now bring new stakeholders to the table to strengthen our international action towards the world’s worst humanitarian crisis today," Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford said.
The UK is also announcing a £7 million package to support Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict to Lebanon, delivered through the World Food Programme. This funding will help provide more than 150,000 people with food, water and nutrition. This is part of the UK’s pledge to provide up to £158 million earlier this year at the Brussels Pledging Conference for the Syria Crisis, which will support food production, protect women and girls from violence and ensure humanitarian access to the North East of Syria, where the situation is deteriorating.