Published On: Mon, Mar 26th, 2018

Somali refugees not yet free to move about in the region

Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Djibouti, and Yemen — home to about 900,000 Somali refugees — are still struggling to ease movement of refugees, integrate them into national development programmes and give them access to services and jobs.

This is mainly because international partners that support the Nairobi Action Plan created in March last year, are constrained by funding other programmes elsewhere, among them security and environmental degradation.

European Union Special Representative in the Horn of Africa, Alex Rondos, said that much as the economic bloc has provided 400 million euros for the 2017/2018 period, this is but a complementary.

“Supporting education for refugees and self-reliance programmes are fundamental in averting radicalisation, but the region must address the root causes of forced displacement,” said Mr Rondos.

The World Bank and International Development Agency have put aside a budget of $20 million for Djibouti, $50 million for Uganda and $100 million for both Kenya and Ethiopia.

At a two-day meeting in Nairobi of ministers from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) to take stock of the progress made since the special summit on Somalia refugees was held in March last year, Mohamed Affey, the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somali Refugee Situation, said the host countries have assisted in the return of 114,000 in the past one year.

“The Nairobi Declaration is a strong statement of regional resolve to provide protection and deliver durable solutions for 844,000 Somali refugees as well as over two million internally displaced people inside Somalia, “said Mr Affey.

The assessment report shows that Djibouti is leading in providing education to refugee, as it continues to operate an open door policy and has given more freedom of movement to the refugees.

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