The United Kingdom’s secretary of state for international development visited Somalia over the weekend to see British-funded aid projects and to announce a new aid package for the troubled country for 2012.
Andrew Mitchell, who visited Gedo on Jan. 28 and Puntland on Jan. 30, said 55 million pounds ($86.5 million) will be provided for food, water, medicine and agricultural support. Funding will be coursed through “trusted” U.N. and international nongovernmental partners of the Department for International Development.
Mitchell also announced new British support for the country’s health services. Twenty million pounds will be allotted for improving healthcare services for women and children in Somalia. New U.K. funding will also be available for the Mines Advisory Group, which demolishes dangerous explosives and ammunition from past conflicts in Somalia.
Mitchell’s visit comes ahead of a high-level conference in London on February, when representatives from more than 50 countries and agencies will discuss issues relating to famine, piracy and terrorism — issues that led Somalia to its current state.
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