Support for returnees

Carrying whatever possessions they can, women arrive at a camp for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) established next to a base of the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) near Jowhar

Since the 1990s, some two million Somalis have been displaced by civil war, the violence committed by the Al-Shabaab terrorist militia, and hunger. According to United Nations figures, about half of them have left the country and 1.1 million are internally displaced. More and more refugees who have gone to other countries are now returning to such safe areas – over 32,000 in 2015.

The communities they come to are now faced with competition for scarce resources between local people, displaced people and returnees. If conflict is to be averted, all groups must have a chance to find work and sufficient food.

The BMZ supports a project operated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia in order to give the various population groups better prospects. Kismayo is home to 70,000 displaced persons and 3,000 returnees – together, they account for almost one third of the city's total population.

Based on cooperation with Somali partner organizations, the project offers vocational training to all inhabitants. They can train to be electricians, cabinetmakers or tailors, for example. People who want to start a small business are provided with seed capital, advice and continuous counselling. Special support is being given to young people and women who head a household.

The programme includes infrastructure reconstruction work in the region, for example on roads, bridges, and water pipes, to give displaced people and locals income opportunities quickly. By working together, the different groups also get to know each other better.

The programme also helps to make fallow land available for agricultural use again, which will create jobs and income opportunities in the long term.

Some examples of results so far

  • In the city of Kismayo, 11 wells were repaired and 78 new latrines were built.
  • 368 young people and women took part in vocational training courses. 80 of them received business start-up capital.
  • Eight community groups received donkey carts which they can use for waste collection in residential areas.

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