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The ongoing civil conflict in Somalia means that many residents of the country remain trapped in a long-term protection crisis where armed conflict, insecurity, and natural disasters frequently trigger the displacement of thousands. In 2019, conflict triggered 188,000 new displacements, mostly in the south-eastern strongholds of armed group al-Shabaab. Overall, six million Somalis were in need of humanitarian assistance and protection as of December 2019, representing a 36% increase compared to late 2018.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in settlements in Somalia continue to face serious risks, including forced evictions and gender-based violence. Forced eviction is one of the main triggers of secondary displacement in the country, with over 264,000 evictions recorded in 2019. The prevalence of these forced evictions is linked to widespread tenure insecurity, disputes over land ownership, and the reclaiming of state property, particularly in urban areas. They usually occur without notice, and often involve violence and the destruction of housing.
Extreme weather patterns, in particular drought and floods, are a further trigger of primary and secondary displacement in Somalia. These events exacerbate humanitarian needs and undermine the resilience of displacement-affected communities. Erratic rains in 2019 resulted in the poorest harvest since detailed recordkeeping began in 1995, eroding food security gains and leading to drought in different areas of the country. Soon after, floods affected 547,000 people, including 370,000 who were displaced to urban areas, putting further pressure on resources in a number of already over-crowded settlements across the country.
DRC is among the international NGOs with the largest presence in Somalia, with country-wide programming implemented through six main offices in Baidoa, Dollow, Bossaso, Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu, as well as sixteen sub-offices. DRC is therefore able to respond rapidly and flexibly to recurrent crises and the needs of refugees, IDPs and migrants.
DRC’s key areas of response include protection, food security and livelihoods (FSL), resilience, durable solutions, WASH, shelter, non-food items (NFIs), camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), and access to security and justice. Danish Demining Group (DDG) focuses on mine action and armed violence reduction (AVR), mine risk education, and conflict analysis.
DRC responds to conflict and disasters across the country with multisector interventions. DRC’s emergency interventions include cash and in-kind assistance - or a combination of the two - while protection (case management, protection monitoring, sexual- and gender-based violence prevention, child protection) is either integrated based on risks and needs analysis, and in coordination with government agencies and other partners.
With the aim of contributing to peace and stabilisation in fragile parts of Somalia, DRC implements a security & justice project in line with the Somalia National Development Plan on strengthening police and civilian access to justice institutions.
DRC’s durable solutions programme ensures physical, material and legal safety is achieved through a combination of protection, livelihoods, and basic needs programming, coupled with an emphasis on governance.
To improve accountability and dialogue with beneficiaries, DRC/DDG has been managing an innovative SMS communication project in Somalia since 2011. The SMS feedback system allows for communication with recipients of aid in difficult-to-access areas. In 2020, DRC/DDG began using the platform to share Covid-19 prevention measures and information with beneficiaries.