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EU-funded project seeks to help displaced Somalis

Saturday September 9, 2017


MOGADISHU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's Benadir Regional Administration (BRA) has officially started implementation of a 16 million U.S. dollars project funded by the European Union to assist displaced people to integrate into communities in Mogadishu, officials said on Friday.

The EU-funded project, directly aligned with the National Development Plan of Somalia, will benefit displaced people and host communities alike, through the provision of employment opportunities.

"With this project, the EU shows the importance that it attaches to affording opportunities to people who have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict or drought," Head of Cooperation of EU Delegation to Somalia Pilar Palmero said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

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The project which will be carried out in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, will provide greater access to basic services such as affordable housing, protection, GBV prevention, legal assistance and improved livelihood opportunities.

In total, it is expected that more than 84,000 people will benefit from this project. "We fully support its belief of the economic and social benefits that displaced people can bring to the communities hosting them," Palmero said.

According to the UN, displacement from rural to urban areas due to drought and conflict has placed considerable strain on Somalia, with Mogadishu hosting the largest concentrations of IDPs in the country.

More than 400,000 IDPs were based in Mogadishu prior to the drought, and the urban area has received nearly 200,000 newly displaced by drought and conflict over the past year.

The displaced are struggling to get access to water, food, basic services, protection, secure housing and livelihood opportunities.

"This (project) is particularly important for marginalized groups as it can strengthen governance linkages that connect IDP settlements to the districts, and districts to the municipality, ensuring good practices for planning and delivery in these settlements," said George Conway, Country Director of UNDP Somalia.

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