Somalia: Mogadishu left reeling as climate and conflict spark rural exodus
By Moulid Hujale
The number of Somalians being pushed out of the countryside and into the capital Mogadishu has reached an unprecedented high, putting pressure on the city’s already poor infrastructure and threatening its faltering recovery from three decades of conflict.
More than 800,000 internally displaced people dwell in informal settlements across Mogadishu, according to the office of the mayor. They are crammed into makeshift shelters with little or no sanitation and limited access to the most basic services. There are “critical” levels of malnutrition, according to an assessment by Somalia’s food security and nutrition analysis unit.
However, with funding from donors including the UK government and EU, the local authority has been trying to strengthen its urban resilience capacity to absorb and integrate the city’s mass displacement camps. The Mogadishu municipality established a dedicated durable solutions unit in the mayor’s office and last year developed a policy for internally displaced people.
Somalia’s overall humanitarian situation remains critical, with more than 5 million people in need of assistance according to figures jointly released by the UN and federal government of Somalia. The recent flooding in many parts of the country, which affected over half a million people, has compounded the already dire humanitarian crisis.