(20-11-23) LONDON — The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, along with his delegation, arrived in London, United Kingdom, last evening. This visit marks a significant step in Somalia’s active participation in global dialogues, particularly focusing on the pressing issue of food security.
The Global Food Security Summit, co-hosted by the United Kingdom, Somalia, and the United Arab Emirates, and supported by the Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFFchild), aims to intensify efforts to prevent famine, strengthen food systems’ resilience, and save lives in the face of global challenges. This summit is a critical platform for discussing strategies to mitigate food shortages and disasters worldwide.
Keynote speeches will mark the opening of the summit, featuring prominent figures such as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, UAE’s Minister for Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri, and Sir Chris Hohn of CIFF. The event expects representatives from over 20 countries, including Somalia, the UAE, Brazil, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, highlighting its global reach.
The UK has announced several significant commitments at the summit, including:
- Up to £100 million to respond to food security crises in hunger and malnutrition hotspots like Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Sahel, Afghanistan, and Malawi. This funding will support essential programmes, including food, nutrition, and cash assistance to vulnerable households.
- An additional £100 million to build resilience against climate shocks and improve food security for vulnerable families in Somalia, aiming to prevent future humanitarian crises.
- The establishment of the new CGIAR UK Science Centre.
- An extra £16 million contribution to the Child Nutrition Fund.
President Mohamud’s participation in this summit underscores the criticality of the humanitarian situation in Somalia, which he is expected to address comprehensively in his speech. Furthermore, his schedule includes several high-level meetings, starting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. These dialogues will primarily focus on Somali-specific issues, encompassing security challenges and development strategies.
In a press conference, Abdikadir Ali Dige, the Director of Villa Somalia Communications, detailed the President’s visit agenda. The discussions will notably address the ongoing conflict against Al-Shabaab and broader counter-terrorism efforts in the region. Additionally, President Mohamud, leveraging Somalia’s position as a member of the United Nations Security Council, will advocate for support in lifting the arms embargo on Somalia as part of the country’s national plan.
This summit represents a pivotal moment for Somalia, showcasing its commitment to addressing global challenges while focusing on national security and developmental needs.