The humanitarian situation in Somalia is critical and there is a high risk of further deterioration. The UN has reported that a higher proportion of people in Somalia require relief assistance than in any other country in the world, with 43 per cent. of the population (3.2 million) requiring assistance in 2008. Nearly one sixth of the children in southern and central regions are starving, displacement is very high and ongoing and normal lives are severely disrupted.
The UK contributes substantially to humanitarian responses and committed approximately £27 million during 2008, making the UK the second largest bilateral humanitarian donor. UK funds were also used through our support to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and through our contributions to the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO).