British High Commission
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23rd July 2011
For Immediate release.
UK MINISTER FOR AFRICA VISITING HARGEISA
SOMALIA: UK Minister for Africa Visiting Hargeisa
Britain’s Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham MP, is today visiting Hargeisa. His visit is the first to a Somali city by a British Foreign Office Minister for over three years, and follows the visit of International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell last February.
Ahead of the visit Mr. Bellingham said, “Somalia really matters to the UK. We are playing a leading role in mobilising the international response to the current grave humanitarian crisis. During my visit I hope to look to long term systemic challenges, to how we can partner in nurturing Somali stability and development, to enhance resilience to humanitarian crises. That will only happen when all Somalis, both inside and outside of Somalia, including in the UK, come together to support a process of reconciliation and an enduring political settlement.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. Mr Bellingham’s visit is the first by a Foreign Office Minister to a Somali city during the current Government. The last British Foreign Office Minister to visit was Kim Howells in 2008.
2. During his visit in February 2011, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced an increase in aid to help build peace and stability, from £26m in 2010/11 to £80m in 2013/14.
3. In response to the current humanitarian crisis the UK has announced further emergency humanitarian aid that will provide assistance to 500,000 people inside Somalia, as well as 130,000 Somalia in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya and 100,000 Somalis in Dolo Ado Refugee Camp in Ethiopia. The UK continues to scale up its response, but also needs others to do more urgently.
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