By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations and its partners have launched a four-year project to provide durable solutions for people displaced by conflict and climate change in Somalia.
The multi-million project named ‘Saameynta (impact in Somali)’ will achieve durable solutions for more than 75,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and vulnerable host communities in Somalia, the UN said in a joint statement issued in the capital of Somalia.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula said finding durable solutions to protracted displacement in Somalia are desperately needed to enhance the livelihood situation of IDPs and their host communities.
“These IDPs are unlikely to return to their place of origin in the near future since their lands are now arid and unsuitable for farming or pastoralism.
“Under the intervention, the UN and its partners will work together with the government to implement the National Durable Solutions Strategy,’’ Abdelmoula said.
According to the UN, the project also seeks to decrease dependency on humanitarian aid, reduce poverty for thousands of impoverished individuals and promote IDPs integration in cities.
“Humanitarian assistance alone cannot address chronic issues such as mass displacement and recurrent droughts and floods. That is why durable solutions are a priority for the UN.”
He said Saameynta’s sole approach aims to leverage the values generated by planned urbanization and investment in order to provide affordable housing, employment opportunities and community assets such as infrastructure, irrigation facilities, markets and other locally identified priorities for communities affected by displacement.
Saameynta will also increase the self-reliance and access to sustainable basic services, including water, shelter, and health services for IDPs residing in the cities of Baidoa, Bossaso and Beletweyne.
According to the UN, there are an estimated 2.9 million IDPs in Somalia due to decades of conflict and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods.
It added of these, 2.2 million require urgent humanitarian assistance.
The project will also ensure the full participation of displaced women and girls living in overcrowded sites who continue to face a heightened risk of violence and harassment.
Saameynta comes at a crucial time as the displacement situation in the country has been further exacerbated by drought, closure of refugee camps in neighbouring countries and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.