MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
HUMANTARIAN ASSISTANCE TO SOMALIA
The Australian Government will provide a further $5 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia. The funding will be delivered through the United Nation’s Somalia Common Humanitarian Fund to provide Somalis in need with emergency food, water, sanitation, shelter and medical assistance.
This contribution brings Australia’s total humanitarian and state-building assistance for Somalia to $15 million in 2014.
A combination of delayed rains and ongoing conflict has had a devastating impact on food security in Somalia. Almost three million people require humanitarian assistance and over 200,000 children under five are acutely malnourished. There are 1.1 million internally displaced people in Somalia and one million Somali refugees in neighbouring states.
As well as responding to urgent humanitarian needs, supporting stability and state building in Somalia is consistent with Australia’s strategy to combat global terrorism, piracy and people trafficking. Enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Rim also helps to protect major Australian trading routes.
Australia supports the African Union and United Nations missions working with the Federal Government of Somalia to help build security and consolidate state institutions. Australia welcomes the recent territorial gains made by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) against the Al Shabaab terrorist organisation and we are working in the UN Security Council to ensure that military gains are accompanied by humanitarian and livelihood benefits for Somali citizens. Australia urges AMISOM and the UN missions in Somalia to cooperate closely with humanitarian actors to facilitate humanitarian access to those in need.
On 13 August, Australia joined the other members of the UN Security Council on a visit to Somalia, where the Security Council stressed the importance of the international community’s continued political, security and humanitarian support for Somalia’s state building and reconciliation processes.
Foreign Minister’s Office: Catherine McDonald +61 478 488 874
Gabrielle Young +61 408 275 340