Cameron meets Birmingham’s Somali community, calls on European countries for aid


 `Britain has provided over £90 million aid for 2 million people in the region

25th July 2011: Reacting to the catastrophic situation in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, Britain has provided over £90 million of aid to help more than 2 million people in the region. Britain has also urged European countries to meet its generosity to provide help to those affected.
The call came during Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell meeting with members of Birmingham’s Somali community.

They were there to listen to their concerns about the famine in Somalia and neighboring countries. They discussed the substantial British aid effort and what more could be done internationally to help those suffering in the region.

The Prime Minister and Andrew Mitchell talked to Somalis from Birmingham at the Muath Centre about the famine in Somalia, how they have been affected and what Britain is doing to help.   

The Prime Minister said: “In Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia we are now seeing the most catastrophic situation in a generation and that’s why the global community needs to take urgent and decisive action.

“Britain is leading the way. We have provided over £90 million of aid which will help over 2 million people in the region, providing them with much needed food, drinking water and shelter and today I’ve been talking to the Somali community about how we can ensure that aid reaches those that need it most.

“But much more is needed and that’s why I’m urging other European countries to match our generosity so that we ensure all those affected get the vital help they need”.

Andrew Mitchell said: “The women I met at Dadaab a few days ago, their feet bloodied by weeks of walking to reach this refuge, told me harrowing stories of their journeys. Some had been robbed, others encountered violence. Some had even lost their children to hunger on the way.

“I was horrified by what I saw and was eager to talk to the Somali community in Birmingham today about what Britain is doing to help.”

This meeting follows Andrew Mitchell’s visit last weekend to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya where he met Somalis forced to leave their homes in order to survive.

Jehangir Malik, Director of Islamic Releif, said: "Islamic Relief commends the swift and generous response of the UK government to the desperate situation in East Africa and welcomes the leading role our government is playing in marshalling the international response.  The British public have also been incredibly generous in their support of the DEC appeal.

“Islamic Relief is there on the ground providing life-saving food, water and medical care in one of the most challenging situations we have ever faced.

"We are also working closely with all our partners including the Somali community in the UK to make sure we raise as much as possible and deliver help swiftly to as many people as we can."

The British Government’s lifesaving emergency assistance for more than 2 million people in the Horn of Africa includes a new package of support for drought victims bringing Britain’s overall response to £90.25 million which will provide emergency assistance to: 500,000 people in Somalia, including treatment for nearly 70,000 acutely malnourished children.

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