U.K. Pledges $280 Million of Aid to Somalia for Arms, Food

The U.K. has pledged 180 million pounds ($280 million) to help Somalia tackle the threats of famine and al-Qaeda, something Prime Minister David Cameron said was essential to British security.

Britain will provide 35 million pounds to a fund to improve security and governance, including sending military experts to help develop the Somali army, and 145 million pounds for famine relief.

The announcement came at the close of an international conference hosted by Cameron to encourage support for the African nation, which has become a base for al-Qaeda and piracy.

“This is not just vital for Somalia, this is vital for Britain, for our national security,” Cameron told reporters. “If we ignore it, we will be making the same mistakes in Somalia that we made in Afghanistan in the 1990s.”

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