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Somalia: Overseas Aid

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to ensure that humanitarian relief funding to Somalia is reaching those who need it most. (141279)

In Somalia, DFID uses three principal mechanisms to ensure that humanitarian relief is reaching those who need it most. DFID is

only funding the most experienced international relief agencies;

obtaining regular and detailed reporting from the relief agencies, working with other donors where possible, backed up with visits in the field by DFID experts, where security permits;

supporting objectively targeted assistance, where possible, such as: emergency medical relief—people are assisted if they are seriously ill—or emergency nutritional support—where entry onto a feeding programme is decided on the basis of the weight and height of the child. There is less likelihood of abuse when entitlement is established in this way.

DFID provides a major proportion of our humanitarian funds to the International Committee of the Red Cross in southern Somalia, as they are experts at assisting victims of conflict and have good on-the-ground access.

During the drought in Somalia last year, DFID's humanitarian adviser for east and central Africa visited south central Somalia in April. Following this assessment, DFID was able to provide further targeted assistance.

As part of our ongoing humanitarian programme, DFID has committed £900,000 to International Medical Corps (IMC). Part of this support provides targeted assistance to malnourished children in the Bakool and Hiran regions.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of UK financial support for the Somali Transitional Federal Government. (141518)

DFID provides financial support to the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) through a strategic partnership with the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) and a separate UNDP Somali Institutional Support project. Between July 2006 and December 2007, DFID has committed £5 million to the UNDP partnership to support the achievement of reconciliation, stability and improved governance, rule of law and assisting Somali Diaspora to return and use their skills in public service delivery. Activities are being carried out with the TFG and with the regional administrations in Somaliland and Puntland. DFID has also committed £2.5 million to the Somali Institutional Support Project (SISP) which focuses on supporting the key functions and actions to be performed by the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs).

Both the UNDP partnership and the SISP have provided technical and financial assistance to the Offices of the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, Supreme Court and other institutions. In the absence of a fully trained civil service, this assistance is enabling the Transitional Federal Institutions to have some technical capacity to function and interact with key stakeholders including the Somali people. Achievements include helping re-establish the National Civil Service Commission and providing management and financial training to civil servants. The UNDP partnership agreement has also been effective in helping the re-establishment of the Somali police force in South Central Somalia, through the training of 1000 cadets and the construction of Armo Police Training Academy and Hargeisa Central prison.