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Humanitarian Watch

EU-funded project seeks to help displaced Somalis

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MOGADISHU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — Somalia’s Benadir Regional Administration (BRA) has officially started implementation of a 16 million U.S. dollars project funded by the European Union to assist displaced people to integrate into communities in Mogadishu, officials said on Friday.

The EU-funded project, directly aligned with the National Development Plan of Somalia, will benefit displaced people and host communities alike, through the provision of employment opportunities.

“With this project, the EU shows the importance that it attaches to affording opportunities to people who have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict or drought,” Head of Cooperation of EU Delegation to Somalia Pilar Palmero said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The project which will be carried out in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, will provide greater access to basic services such as affordable housing, protection, GBV prevention, legal assistance and improved livelihood opportunities.

In total, it is expected that more than 84,000 people will benefit from this project. “We fully support its belief of the economic and social benefits that displaced people can bring to the communities hosting them,” Palmero said.

According to the UN, displacement from rural to urban areas due to drought and conflict has placed considerable strain on Somalia, with Mogadishu hosting the largest concentrations of IDPs in the country.

More than 400,000 IDPs were based in Mogadishu prior to the drought, and the urban area has received nearly 200,000 newly displaced by drought and conflict over the past year.

The displaced are struggling to get access to water, food, basic services, protection, secure housing and livelihood opportunities.

“This (project) is particularly important for marginalized groups as it can strengthen governance linkages that connect IDP settlements to the districts, and districts to the municipality, ensuring good practices for planning and delivery in these settlements,” said George Conway, Country Director of UNDP Somalia.

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Humanitarian Watch

More Than 130 Somali Refugees Repatriated from Yemen

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GENEVA — In a joint operation funded by the United States, the U.N. migration and refugee agencies have repatriated 134 Somali refugees from war-torn Yemen.

A refugee boat carrying 73 men and women and 61 children left the Yemeni port of Aden on Monday and is to arrive Tuesday at the Somali port of Berbera. It is the third voluntary return of Somalis organized by the International Organization for Migration and U.N. refugee agency since September.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said some previous efforts had to be suspended in the past few years because of the risks involved in organizing an operation such as this in a war-torn country.

“Despite security difficulties there and the fact of divided authorities, we were still able to get into an area around Aden that has not always been accessible to humanitarian aid groups and manage this transport,” he said.

The U.N. migration agency reports the Somalis came to Yemen in search of a better life, but got caught up in the conflict and often were subjected to abuse by smugglers. The IOM began organizing the voluntary returns in November 2016. Since then, the agency has helped 1,845 Somalis return home.

Millman told VOA Somali refugees receive a reintegration package to help them restart their lives when they arrive home. He said they often receive a grant of $1,100 so they can start a business, buy a cow, or invest in some other form of livelihood. That acts as a big inducement for refugees to voluntarily return, he noted.

“It is a strong sweetener because the stigma of going abroad and failing is so great that we find this is a very effective way of lubricating I guess is the best word, this process,” he said.

Millman said the cash grant ends up being less expensive for the donor than the cost of keeping a refugee or migrant in detention in Europe. He noted that the repatriation project is funded by a $4.4 million donation from the United States.

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Humanitarian Watch

Somalia faces yet another famine

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Somalia is facing its second major famine in six years.

Under the shadow of that threat, one aid group is making a difference for the many Somalis who have lost loved ones and their homes.

When it struck in 2011, the Turkish Red Crescent was among the first international aid groups to help. And it hasn’t left Somalia since.

TRT World’s Editor-at-Large Ahmed al Burai, has more.

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Humanitarian Watch

9 dead, more at a risk as drought ravages Somalia

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A severe drought has claimed the lives of at least nine people in Somalia’s Galkayo District, media reported.

The state broadcaster, Mogadishu Radio, quoted Galkayo Mayor Hersi Yusuf Bare giving the statistics while warning that the situation could get worse.

“The destitute people I met at Harhaar pastoral land are deeply susceptible to the effects of the famine generated by the severe drought,” said Mr Bare.

“So far, nine people have died in the areas visited, a sign that many more were vulnerable,” he added.

The mayor said the severe weather conditions had displaced thousands from Galkayo, which lies some 750km north of the capital Mogadishu.

He stressed that many nomadic people had been forced to migrate as the drought continued to decimate most of their livestock.

The generally insufficient rains in the southern and central Somalia have severely diminished the local food supplies.

UN agency OCHA on August 31 stated that malnutrition had reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia.

“Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations,” OCHA was quoted saying in ReliefWeb .

“Overall, some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.”

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