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Volume 542: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2012

Thanks to British aid and support, the lives of hundreds of thousands of Somalis have been saved, but insecurity and drought continue to threaten lives, as I saw during my visits in recent months to Puntland, Mogadishu and Dolow, and to Hargeisa in Somaliland.

The Somalia conference, which my right hon. Friends organised, was a huge success with great hoo-hah, but now that the press caravan has moved on can the Secretary of State assure us that Somalia and its desperately sad situation remain central to his concerns?

My hon. Friend is entirely right to identify the conference on Somalia organised by the Prime Minister as the beginning and not the end of the process. Certainly, there will be an absolute commitment across Whitehall to drive forward the results of that conference and make them meaningful on the ground in the way that my hon. Friend describes.