Operation: Opération: Somalia



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
844,500  people in need were protected and provided with life-saving assistance during the drought emergency response
83,000  people were provided with multipurpose cash grants
36,700  Somali returnees were provided with unconditional and conditional cash grants for return and initial reintegration 
25,600  children enrolled in primary school, including 2,100 Yemeni refugees and 20,700 returnees
8,300  people were provided with livelihood opportunities
6,800 Somali returnees received long-term/permanent shelters
2018 planning figures
70% of primary school-aged refugee and asylum-seeking children will be enrolled in primary education 
70% targeted households whose needs for basic and domestic items will be met with multipurpose cash grants or vouchers
50% of returning youth (15-24) will be enrolled in certified livelihoods training
44% of Somali returnees (18-59) will have their own business or be self-employed 
35% of refugees and asylum-seekers will be targeted with own business/self-employed

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2017 2,187,585
2016 1,623,185
2015 1,188,631


[["Refugees",14567],["Asylum-seekers",14705],["IDPs",2116705],["Returned refugees",41479],["Others of concern",129]]
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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[55.30925953,69.833919642,99.153880316,165.91668118,118.079818567,186.38427484],"expenditure":[23.14684963,26.5332932,36.1882683,50.90649389,77.0882735,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[9.03116226,24.124382822,44.514196076,93.4138341,55.025162457,79.06649113],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,11.40125058,13.09633044,34.86243341,23.49323017,58.44954597],"p4":[46.27809727,34.30828624,41.5433538,37.64041367,39.56142594,48.86823774]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[5.57949325,7.83034228,19.02820407,29.51135868,43.41707683,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,3.1304473,6.92298829,8.31500207,17.82340434,null],"p4":[17.56735638,15.57250362,10.23707594,13.08013314,15.84779233,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Operational context

2017 was a year of challenges, shocks and resilience for Somalia’s people and institutions. In addition to weathering multiple acts of terrorism and the latest drought, Somalia narrowly averted a widespread famine - the cumulative effect of successive years of failed rains. The insecurity and recurrent threat of droughts pushed hundreds of thousands more into forced displacement during the year, adding to an already sizeable and vulnerable displaced population in search of protection, assistance and durable solutions. These setbacks further complicated efforts, investments and progress towards enabling stabilization, recovery and reconstruction across the country.

Population trends

The number of internally displaced people reached two million in 2017.
Some 36,730 Somalis returned in 2017. The majority returned from Kenya (35,400), followed by smaller numbers from Yemen (810) and Djibouti (520).
Furthermore, some 29,300 refugees and asylum-seekers were registered in 2017: 18,100 Ethiopians and 10,800 Yemenis, with smaller numbers of other nationals.

Key achievements

  • In Kismayo, UNHCR funded the construction of a viable settlement comprising 100 shelters, a school, a hospital, police station, and a market for returnee, IDP and host community families.
  • With over $ 27.7 million disbursed to 83,000 people (over 16,500 families) in 2017, Somalia was one of UNHCR’s largest operations delivering protection, assistance and solutions through mobile cash payments.  
  • In March 2017, the Puntland Parliament passed the Puntland Refugee Protection Act, which provides a framework for the Ministry of Interior to exercise greater responsibility and oversight for refugee status determination.
  • The protection as well as emergency shelter and core-relief item clusters were led by UNHCR.  Moreover, IOM and UNHCR co-led the camp coordination and camp management cluster. In addition to ensuring delivery of basic protection, assistance and solutions to IDPs, refugees and returnees in Somalia, the three clusters joined other clusters in contributing to the large-scale, coordinated inter-agency response to the famine and investing in reinforcing and building local capacity.

Unmet needs

  • Strong local and national institutions underpinned by a legal protection framework and systems that promote long-term security, social and economic solutions and guarantees are needed.
  • Further humanitarian, development and private sector resources are needed to maintain or supplement investments in healthcare, education and resilient livelihoods in agriculture, fisheries and livestock - three sectors of enormous potential in Somalia.
  • Capital investments and operating budgets to create conducive living conditions and a dignified environment for sustainable IDP and refugee returns.
  • Whilst SGBV prevention and response is prioritized to a large extent by both UNHCR and other actors, the investment is not sufficient.

Working environment

The protection and operational environment in Somalia is anticipated to remain complex in 2017 due to continuing insecurity in many parts of the country. The political and social structure remains challenging while public infrastructure and services remain underdeveloped, and the growth of economic activities is low. More generally, conflict and violence is expected to continue in some parts of Somalia due to the presence by non-State armed actors in southern and central regions, and other factors. This is expected to result in further internal displacement as well as in further restrictions of humanitarian access and higher risk exposure for UNHCR’s people of concern.

Nonetheless, while socio-political conditions in the country remain unpredictable, UNHCR will continue ensuring provision of protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers and IDPs as well  as the voluntariness of returns from the host countries, including enhance (re)integration projects benefiting all UNHCR’s people of concern including host communities. 

The Somali authorities at various levels have agreed to include specific interventions to support refugee returnees and internally displaced people in the three year national development plan (NDP) which is expected to be in place by January 2017. This will provide a platform for UNHCR to strengthen its engagement with development actors, in order to ensure conditions for sustainable return and (re)integration.  UNHCR will also develop a framework for partnerships and coordination to identify and facilitate durable solutions for people of concern, together with relevant ministries. 

The Government of Somalia continues to extend hospitality to all refugees and asylum-seekers. It also offers security escorts for convoys containing Somali refugees returning from Kenya, and provides land for returnees in some areas. 

Key priorities

In 2017, UNHCR will continue to focus on life-saving, protection and assistance activities, as well as durable solutions initiatives for people of concern, including:
•    strengthen the protection environment through capacity building for Government structures (federal and regional); 
•    strengthen RSD and registration capacity, including through verification exercises; 
•    provide protection, assistance and basic services for urban refugees, in line with the out-of-camp policy;
•    pursue durable solutions through resettlement and local integration initiatives; 
•    support and monitor voluntary returns of Somali refugees from Kenya, in line with the “Tripartite agreement governing the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees living in Kenya” and the guidance provided by the “Tripartite commission for the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees living in Kenya”;
•    enhance reintegration activities and promote self-reliance and income-generating activities;
•    provide basic services and infrastructure in areas of return benefitting refugee returnees, IDPs and host communities;  
•    support peaceful coexistence through community-based projects;
•    promote durable solutions for IDPs through local integration, facilitate voluntary return to areas of origin and support reintegration through awareness-raising;
•    advocate for permanent land tenure for IDPs and returning IDPs.

UNHCR will also maintain emergency response capacity as needed. 

Lack of timely or inadequate funding would affect all people of concern to UNHCR in Somalia (refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs and returnees), including with respect to access to protection, basic services, education and livelihoods. The planned sustainable return of refugees would also be jeopardized by inadequate or delayed funding, and urgent support is required in particular to strengthen basic infrastructure in return areas.  Funding shortfalls for UNHCR’s operations would affect NGOs and other agencies that rely on the coordination and information provided by UNHCR in terms of shelter, education, prevention and response to SGBV as well as, protection and return monitoring.