UN emergency fund releases 7 mln USD to strengthen protection for Somalis

The UN emergency fund has released seven million U.S. dollars in a bid to strengthen protection services to internally displaced people in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, UN officials said here Friday.

The resources are from the Somalia Humanitarian Fund to scale up life-saving and life sustaining assistance in the Horn of Africa country, the officials said.

The new funding will provide support for education, food security, health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and water and sanitation activities in the Daynille and Kaxda districts near Mogadishu, they said, quoting a press release issued here Friday.

These two settlements host the majority of the more than 120,000 displaced people, the press release said.

“The internally displaced in Somalia face enormous challenges, and timely and focused humanitarian support is essential to address their urgent needs. Many displaced people who will benefit from this allocation were evicted from settlements in the city centre, where they originally sought refuge,” said the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq.

The living conditions in these settlements have been described by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as deplorable; services are limited or non-existent and human rights violations are rife.

This is the second allocation to assist internally displaced people in Somalia this year. The first allocation of 7 million U.S. dollars was released earlier in July for internally displaced people in Baidoa and Kismayo, de Clercq said.

“Humanitarian actors remain committed to alleviate the suffering of displaced people, support livelihoods and catalyse durable solutions linked to development efforts aimed at breaking the cycle of protracted displacement in Somalia,” he said.

The statement of the humanitarian coordinator pointed to clan conflicts, military operations in southern and central Somalia, natural disasters and forced evictions as main drivers causing displacements across Somalia.

Currently, Mogadishu hosts some 400,000 internally displaced Somalis in more than 400 settlements; more than 36 percent of the estimated 1.1 million people who remain in protracted displacement across the eastern African country.

The emergency aid comes from the OCHA-managed Somalia Humanitarian Fund. Contributors to the Fund in 2016 included Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, the officials added.

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