The Hong Kong government approved a HK$4.9 million grant Thursday to be donated to relief efforts in drought-hit Somalia.

On the advice of the Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee, the government gave the grant to charity World Vision Hong Kong for providing relief to Somalian drought victims. The sum will be used to provide water, containers and filters in affected areas.

somalia draught
A woman walks in drought-hit Salaxley village. File Photo: UNSOM/Ilyas Ahmed.

“The committee hopes the grant will facilitate the provision of timely relief to the victims and help them restore their normal living,” the government said in a statement.

The World Health Organisation warned last month that more than 6.2 million people in Somalia require urgent humanitarian aid – half of the population. The country is at risk of its third famine in 25 years with more than 363,000 children facing acute malnutrition and 70,000 children needing life-saving support.

World Vision Hong Kong will submit an evaluation report and an audited account on the use of the grant after the project is completed.

Last year, the Hong Kong government released around HK$82 million worth of funds to relief organisations such as Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children and the Hong Kong Red Cross.

The amount was used to provide emergency relief to victims of major disasters occurring outside the territory, such as Haiti, Ecuador, India, Fiji and mainland China.

nepal earthquake
Gov’t fund provided earthquake victims in Nepal with aid such as solar lights and repair tools. File Photo: GovHK.

The Disaster Relief Fund Advisory Committee advises the government on the amount and disbursement of funds for disaster relief, as well as monitors the use of the grants.

It is chaired by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung. Its members include lawmakers Helena Wong, Ip Kwok-him and Kenneth Lau Ip-keung.

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Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.