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Somalia: Overseas Aid

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports he has received on the situation of British aid workers in Somalia; and whether all British aid workers known to be working in Somalia are accounted for. (218323)

The UK Government work in close liaison with the Somalia non-governmental organisation (NGO) consortium who maintain a register of all international aid workers present in Somalia. They also circulate frequent security reports which highlight any incidents involving international aid workers.

One UN-contracted British aid worker was kidnapped on 1 April 2008. The UK Government are working with United Nations (UN) authorities to secure his release. Otherwise all British aid workers are accounted for under the auspices of the Somalia NGO consortium and UN agencies. The UK Government have no resident presence on the ground and any staff visits are subject to rigorous security clearance.