The International Development Secretary met with members of Hendon’s Somali community today to hear their views on how to create a more peaceful, prosperous and secure Somalia ahead of a major international conference next month.
Visiting Hendon’s BritSom community centre with Hendon MP Matthew Offord, Justine Greening pledged to present their recommendations to the London Somalia Conference as she answered questions about Britain’s £80 million a year development programme in Somalia.
Speaking from the BritSom Centre, Justine Greening said: “British Somalis across the UK have tremendous links back to family, friends and businesses in Somalia.
“Their time, energy and support is vital to help Somalia recover from two decades of conflict. I’m here because I want to hear people’s views on that recovery.
“Britain’s development effort is investing in peace and opportunity by helping Somalis to rebuild their country. We want to work with the Somali government, but also with Somalis living here in the UK, to strengthen the economy and governance so Somalia can become a more prosperous and safe country”.
The UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will co-host the international conference on Somalia in London on 7th May. The conference will provide international support for the Government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after 2 decades of conflict.
Britain has pledged to spend £80 million this year and next to tackle the root causes of poverty and conflict in Somalia. By 2015, our aid will help build up key government services, help 45,000 people to get a job and help 165,000 people access the schools, latrines, roads and health clinics they need to pull themselves out of poverty.
During the 2011 famine in Somalia, Britain’s aid helped over 300,000 people receive the food rations they needed to stay alive, vaccinated more than 1 million children against measles and gave many more safe water to drink. Britain also provided seeds and fertiliser and helped farmers to keep their livestock alive.
Notes to editors
1. Pictures of Justine Greening’s visit to the BritSom centre are available from DFID’s press office.
2. BritSom centre was established in 2008 as an organisation dedicated to the advancement of the Somali people in Britain. More information available here: britsom.org
3. Click here for more information on DFID’s development programme in Somalia.