EU gives US$13m for returns, UN helps internally displaced in Benadir

May 29, 2017

Internally displaced people work together on environmental clean up as part of RE-INTEG cash for work initiative

A new $13 million EU funded UN project, launched at the end of May, aims to support the reintegration of internally displaced people in the Banadir region of Somalia, by improving access to housing and land rights, generating employment and promoting better political and social inclusion.

Funded through the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the project, called RE-INTEG, will run over a three-year period in the Banadir region, which includes Mogadishu. It will be implemented by the Regional Banadir Administration in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), and UN-Habitat, as well as in partnership with non-governmental agencies such as Somali Women’s Development Centre (SWDC), Somali Innovation Development Organisation (SIDO), and Cooperazione e Sviluppo (CESVI). 

Over 1.1 million people, or nearly ten percent, of the Somali population are internally displaced.  Another one million Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries. Mogadishu is home to nearly 400,000 internally displaced people, over one third of the overall internally displaced population in Somalia. About 55% of IDPs are concentrated in two of Mogadishu’s outlying districts, resulting in one of the highest IDP concentrations across the African continent.

Living conditions in the IDP settlements in Mogadishu can be dire, and forced eviction is an ongoing serious issue, with 47,000 IDPs forcibly evicted in Mogadishu in 2016 alone. IDPs are also at greater risk of gender based violence (GBV) - 75% of recorded GBV incidents take place in IDP settlements.  Food insecurity and malnutrition rates among IDP populations are amongst the highest in Somalia, and internal displacement has resulted in social exclusion, marginalization and discrimination.

The three-year RE-INTEG project aims to improve the lives of IDPs through better housing and land rights access, and greater social inclusion through community outreach.

The project will also generate income through cash for work, environmental care and employment programmes that support long term reintegration, and to provide legal assistance and gender based violence prevention through mobile clinics and police training.

Alongside its support to these activities, UNDP will provide solar energy infrastructure to improve health and education facilities, and train internally displaced people in social and renewable energy entrepreneurship.

Peter de Clercq, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, said the project would not only support the IDPs with basic needs, but will also help boost incomes and livelihoods.

“It looks at the whole range of issues that will help IDPs fully integrate into society, and become normal residents of Somalia’s big cities,” Mr. de Clercq stated.


Selene Biffi, UNDP Project Manager, RE-INTEG

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