UAE and UK announce Dh 11.6 million joint funding for Somalia

WAM LONDON, 1st May 2013 (WAM): Dh 11.6 million (?2 million) of joint funding to help Somalia tackle the issue of sexual violence in conflict is to be announced today by United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and British Foreign Minister William Hague, at the end of bilateral talks at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, according to a statement issued early today.

The new funding, agreed during the first State Visit to the UK by the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, comes ahead of a major London conference on Somalia on 7th May at which tackling sexual violence will be discussed. The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) is a top British priority, supported by the UAE.

The Federal Government of Somalia has publicly committed to improving the lives of women in Somalia, addressing the problem of sexual violence and combating the impunity which surrounds these terrible crimes. The ?2 million (?1 million each from the UK and UAE) will provide support to the Federal Government, including training and capacity-building and help for them to deliver PSVI recommendations due to be made by the United Nations Team of Experts when they visit Somalia later this year.

Commenting on the announcement,His Highness Sheikh Abdullah said: “The UAE applauds the UK’s strong leadership in bringing countries together to tackle the unacceptable prevalence of sexual violence in conflict situations. Through this contribution, the UAE is delighted to be able to support the Somali government in its efforts to protect and empower women.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “Women and girls in Somalia have suffered acutely from sexual violence as a result of the conflict. I am pleased that through the UK’s close partnership with the United Arab Emirates we can go some way to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to address this issue and improve the lives of women and girls.” The funding will be used to build the Federal Government’s capacity to tackle the issue of sexual violence and to support the Federal Government in delivering on recommendations due to made by the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict’s office following an assessment of the issues in Somalia by a Team of Experts. PH WAM/MMYS