Saudi Arabia, UK sign $5m deal to help fight malnutrition in Somalia

Saudi aid agency KSrelief and the UK on Monday signed a $5 million cooperation agreement with UNICEF to help tackle malnutrition in Somalia.

The deal was signed by KSrelief General Supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and British Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell at the agency’s headquarters in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

KSrelief and the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will each contribute $2.5 million to UNICEF.

The funds will provide access to nutrition services, water and personal hygiene supplies in 15 high risk areas of Somalia, benefiting 101,000 children.

The deal is within the framework of joint humanitarian and relief projects between the Kingdom and the FCDO to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people.

The announcement was made as part of the second annual UK-Saudi Strategic Dialogue on Humanitarian Aid and International Development, which also discussed “providing more aid into Gaza and encouraging progress toward peace in Sudan,” the FCDO said in a statement.


The two countries have already committed $22 million in joint funding, delivering vital aid and providing famine relief and humanitarian support in Somalia and Sudan.

Other cooperation programs through KSrelief and the Saudi Fund for Development were expected to be delivered in Sudan, Yemen, Bangladesh and Ukraine, the FCDO said.

“We look forward to enhancing our technical experience and capacity building by building upon the strong foundation established during our previous dialogue, which presents an invaluable opportunity to solidify our future direction, explore new areas of cooperation and further demonstrate the transformative potential of our partnership,” Al-Rabeeah said.

“Officials from both sides are actively identifying promising opportunities for further collaboration. KSrelief sees immense potential to leverage our respective strengths in areas like health interventions, education infrastructure development and livelihood creation programs.”


Mitchell said: “The UK is working with Saudi Arabia and other partners to support those whose lives have been affected by conflict around the world.

“I am delighted to be in Riyadh to agree a way forward to scale up significantly joint funding which will go a long way to supporting those people and communities who need it most, building on today’s announcement in Somalia and looking to further support people in Yemen, Ukraine, Sudan, as well as the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

“I also discussed the need to bring the conflict in Gaza to a sustainable end with my Saudi partners. The UK remains focused on achieving an immediate pause in the fighting, securing the release of hostages and ensuring aid reaches those who need it.”

In separate talks, Al-Rabeeah and Mitchell discussed matters of common interest related to relief and humanitarian affairs around the world, ways to enhance cooperation and topics included in the Second Strategic Dialogue for Development and Humanitarian Aid between the two countries.

The Saudi Fund for Development will also sign a deal with Mitchell during his visit to strengthen cooperation in line with the UN sustainable development goals.


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