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Somalia: Deep concern over reports of the unannounced destruction of IDP settlements

02 Jan 2018
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Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

The Deputy Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr Peter de Clercq, has expressed deep concern over reports of the unannounced destruction of internally displaced persons (IDPs) settlements, along with humanitarian infrastructure, in K13, Kahda District of Banadir, Mogadishu.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of evictions, without prior notice, of internally displaced persons, in Banadir region. Some of these displaced people have walked long distances from different parts of the country fleeing drought and conflict. On 29 and 30 December, over 23 IDP settlements, housing over 4,000 IDP households, were destroyed. Personal property and livelihoods have also been lost as people were not given time to collect their belongings before the destruction started. Families, including children, women and the elderly are now living in the open,” said de Clercq.

In addition to engaging with authorities to ensure a solution for the newly displaced people, humanitarians are mobilizing resources to provide life-saving assistance to the affected people. “I am equally concerned that when everyone is seized of the agenda of improving the lives of Somalis, humanitarian and development installations are being senselessly destroyed, including schools, latrines, water points, sanitation centres, shelters and other related investments generously supported by donors,” said de Clercq. “I call upon all parties to protect and assist all civilian people who have fled conflict and drought and that have already suffered so much. Humanitarians stand ready to cooperate with and support the authorities in this regard.”

Throughout Somalia, more than two million people are now displaced due to drought and conflict, including one million newly displaced in 2017 alone. These people constitute one-third of the 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Malnutrition rates in Somalia are surging, and have reached emergency levels in some locations, especially among internally displaced people. Displaced people lack adequate access to food, shelter and basic services, and also face the most serious protection-related risks, such as physical attacks, gender-based violence — particularly rape, sexual exploitation and abuse — and restrictions on movement.

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan requires US$1.5 billion to provide life-saving aid to 5.4 million people in desperate need - of which US$70 million are needed for life-sustaining assistance to IDPs living in settlements, as well as refugee returnees, locally integrated IDPs and vulnerable host communities.