December 5, 2022 (MOGADISHU, Somalia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) commenced a three-day meeting to promote exchanges and foster collaboration between various national level actors working in the area of forced displacement and host communities in Somalia.
Participants for the workshop drawn from key government line ministries, departments and agencies, humanitarian and development actors, the private sector, and forcibly displaced persons.
In his opening remarks at this Somalia National Dialogue on Forced Displacement, the Prime Minister of Somalia, H.E. Mr. Hamza Abdi Barre, underlined that almost three million Somalis have been forced to flee their homes and their communities due to multiple factors including droughts, poor security. “This is indeed a saddening reality that we must address as a nation”, he said.
Prime Minister Hamza emphasised that many children were born in displacement with poor or no access to Education while missing out on their basic rights such as protection because of displacement.
The Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation of the Federal Government of Somalia, Mr Ahmed Mo’alem Fiqi on his part, reaffirmed that the Ministry of Interior is in charge of providing guidance and leadership, establishing policies and laws, coordinating issues in regard to assistance to refugees and displaced persons.
“We are committed as a government to finding a long-term and comprehensive solution for the IDPs while protecting their rights as citizens”, he noted.
Acknowledging the significant progresses made by the Government of Somalia in developing frameworks to address the root causes of displacement and barriers to solutions, Mr. Jacob Apollo, Protection Officer at IGAD, cited “this workshop seeks to strengthen collaboration, coordination and broaden partnerships to the government-led initiatives.”
Mr. Jacob Apollo added: “We are all in agreement that this is a timely initiative given the continued challenges resulting from forced displacement in Somalia and the pressing need to find sustainable solutions for the affected communities in the face of dwindling resources”.
Somalia Federal Ministries’ of Health, Education, Climate Change, Energy and Water as well as representatives of the Civil Society expressed their commitment to working with the Ministry of Interior Federal Affairs and Reconciliation’s National Commission of Refugees and IDPS on finding durable solutions for Somalia’s refugees and IDPs. Representatives of UNHCR and IOM also gave their remarks in a video message.
The World Bank, the European Union and the Sweden International Development Cooperation Agency financially supported this activity.
The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) stock population was estimated at 2,967,500 people as of October 2022. The IGAD region hosted 592,243 registered Somali refugees and asylum seekers, while Yemen hosted 69,900. Finding sustainable solutions for the longstanding challenge of displacement and ending the exclusion of affected persons is critical to Somalia’s peace and development trajectory.
The Heads of State and Government of IGAD Member States adopted the Nairobi Declaration, and its accompanying Plan of Action in March 2017, which proposed a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for the more than 900,000 Somali refugees as well as over a million IDPs within Somalia. The Declaration equally proposed to create an enabling environment for their re-integration when they return home.