The Displacement Crises in Somalia Over 700,000 newly displaced persons in 2017 adding to the 1.1million already displaced

Life was difficult for the people of Somalia prior to the onset of several drought crises, with chronic challenges of underdevelopment, financial crisis, and poverty. As a result of protracted conflicts and natural disasters, 1.1 million people had already experienced long-term displacement. As the current drought worsens, compounded by insecurity, another 739,000 people have had to flee their homes for survival.

A total of over 1.8 million displaced persons represent about 16% of the total population or put another way, one in six of the country’s population is now displaced. The continual cycle of conflict and natural disasters impacts lives in devastating ways. Somalis continue to live in uncertain times and cannot live stable lives. They are food insecure, have limited access to clean water, and incur increasing debt. Many live in cramped and difficult conditions and are in desperate need of shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs). Many families have faced multiple displacements, lost household items, livestock on which they are dependent, access to livelihoods and are travelling long distances to seek assistance.
Some of the most vulnerable IDPs are those people staying in spontaneous settlements. They do not have the option of staying with host families/friends and often face extremely poor living conditions and lack of access to water, food and social services. The high proportion of women and girls are often exposed to a number of protection issues. Spontaneous sites are often very basic forms of settlements where families have built rudimentary, makeshift shelters which are not durable enough to withstand longer periods of displacement, multiple displacements, and harsh climatic conditions.
The Shelter Cluster has 18 active partners across the country. Between March and April 2017, one such partner DRC, with funding from ECHO and material assistance from UNHCR, distributed NFI kits to disaster-affected populations in IDP camps in Baidoa. The NFI kits were comprised of 2 blankets, 3 mats, 3 bars of soap, 1 tarpaulin, 1 kitchen set and 2 jerry cans.
The Shelter Cluster estimates that approximately 70 - 75,000 households are in need of urgent shelter/NFI support particularly as cloth covered shelters offer little protection from the rains which have now commenced. The settlements are now prone to flooding which exacerbates the health risks at the sites.


The Shelter Cluster in association with the CCCM Cluster, has identified a range of responses to meet the specific needs of IDPs according to their needs:

  • Emergency shelter materials such as plastic sheeting and floor mats are required for spontaneous settlements along with non-food items such as kitchen and hygiene kits to replace what has been left behind.
  • The living conditions and infrastructure in the settlement sites can be improved by creating drainage channels, construction of fire breaks and raising the floor of the makeshift shelters (to mitigate flooding).

For Each 5,000 Households, the Shelter Cluster requires an estimated

  • USD 850,000 to provide critical emergency shelter and NFIs. Locally procured, in-kind materials or cash/voucher equivalent are both viable and quick options.
  • USD 60,000 to provide community tool kits (shared between 5 HHs) to promote site improvements and raise the standard of living conditions.


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