IOM says over 3.4 mln internally displaced in Somalia

  • World
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

MOGADISHU, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- More than 3.45 million people had been internally displaced in Somalia as of January 2024 due to multiple shocks, including drought, floods, and conflict, the UN migration agency said Wednesday.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the vast majority (88 percent) of internally displaced persons (IDPs) were living in IDP sites, and only 12 percent were residing among host communities.

"Of the 3.5 million IDPs identified in 2023, 84 percent were in urban areas, settled in approximately 4,000 IDP sites," the IOM said in its latest assessment report released in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

IDP sites in Somalia are informal settlements, mostly on privately owned land, and as a result, land tenure security issues are a major challenge, and IDPs are often at risk of forced eviction.

According to the IOM, as of January, some 155,710 returnees and 9.05 million residents in 17 regions and 10,999 assessed locations had also been mapped.

"The majority of returnees (81 percent) were residing in rural areas, and 19 percent were living in urban settlements. Returnees were mainly concentrated in the Bay and Bakool regions (44 percent and 32 percent, respectively)," the IOM said.

Somalia has experienced countless conflicts, episodes of violence, and natural disasters since the outbreak of the civil war in 1991.

This, the IOM said, has led to large recurring waves of forced displacement both within Somalia and to neighboring countries and beyond.

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