The Shelter Clusters’ main target population was previously restricted to the internally displaced populations. However, since the beginning of the year 2016, the refugee return component has been added to the cluster coordination system. There remain an estimated 1.1 million protracted IDPs in Somalia, which has remained static for more than three years. Since the end of 2014 until August 2016, in total 50,152 Somalia persons have returned from both Yemen (28,458) and Kenya (21,694). 135,000 Somali refugees are projected to return to Somalia by the end of the year 2017. The needs of different categories of IDPs and refugee returnees vary. For IDPs, people who have been displaced for nearly two decades and those displaced more recently have different needs in terms of shelter solutions. Whereas for refugee returnees, the needs vary depending on whether the return they seek is urban or rural. Since the beginning of 2016, more than 98,000 persons have been assisted with emergency non-food assistance, needs arising mainly from displacements related to flooding, offensive, clan-conflict and evictions. More than 27,000 Refugee returns have also been assisted with NFI packages. Shelter Cluster has not been able to cover the emergency needs due to lack of funding and availability of stocks. Drought is expected to aggravate the situation further in Puntland and Somaliland.
The Shelter cluster strategy has three main objectives: Emergency, Transitional and Durable Solutions. A strong capacity building/coordination component has been embedded within all of the pillars. The cluster will continue to provide emergency assistance to newly displaced people affected by natural and man-made disasters (flood, fire, drought, conflict and evictions). It will distribute a minimum NonFood Item kit and an Emergency Shelter Kit (if necessary) for those in need through prepositioned stocks held across Somalia or through alternative modalities like cash/voucher systems where market systems function. The Shelter Cluster will continue to ensure that adequate mechanisms are put in place to ensure timely delivery of emergency assistance (standard inter-cluster needs assessment, standard reports, leadagency/shelter partners’ roles and responsibilities, infrastructure mapping activities…)
As durable solutions are not achievable in all protracted situations, there is also a need to stabilize the living conditions of these communities through a sustainable approach. Transitional shelter solutions that are relevant to the displacement situation, and which take into account prevailing tenure considerations will be provided in protracted IDP settlements that have traditionally been located in and around the urban centers of Somalia.
Under suitable conditions, durable shelter support will be provided for both IDPs and refugee returnees that are willing to locally integrate and those that are willing to return to their place of origin. In this regard, the Shelter Cluster (in strong cooperation with the Protection Cluster) will continue to advocate for more secure forms of tenure and work with the authorities to work towards more longer term solutions for the IDPs. In Puntland, Somaliland and certain regions of southern and central (Baidoa, Doolow, Kismaayo), the authorities have demonstrated the desire to address the IDP situation by providing land tenure. Humanitarian actors have started to work closely with the Jubaland State Authorities in a big relocation strategy in an attempt to stabilize the IDP situation and provide a strong foundation for investments for refugee returnees. The nature of this tenure varies from short term rights of use to the right to use and inherit land indefinitely. The Shelter Cluster will work closely together with the sector coordination structure regarding refugees to ensure complementarity in the shelter approaches. Settlement planning and strong integrated approaches will key to the success of any durable solution.
Sustainable shelter solutions are a strategic focus of the Shelter Cluster. The approach steps away from looking at housing as a product, but linking it more to process. A strong livelihoods strategy is embedded in this approach and could provide potential solutions in the urban context. The Shelter Cluster has identified 7 key concepts that show that “A shelter is more than a roof”. Since mid-2016 the Shelter Cluster has started pilots in different regions looking at local building culture and building back safer. The Shelter Cluster is broadening up its perspective, linking relief rehabilitation and development through the creation of cooperatives, vocational training and a strong livelihoods approach.
The Shelter Cluster will invest in a strong advocacy strategy to push towards sustainable shelter solutions with a strong emphasis on strengthening the public-private partnerships in the low-cost housing sector through a local area-based approach. The Shelter Cluster is looking at an overarching strategy that does not distinguish displacement affected populations like IDPs and refugee returns with the urban poor host communities. The specific objective should contribute to the NDP of the Somalia government and should complement other existing initiatives such as the JPLG (Joint programme for Local Governance UNICEF, UNHABITAT and UNDP) on governance, urban planning and other more development oriented projects. It also complements the more resilience oriented projects that humanitarian partners are implementing.
The provision of all shelter solutions will be preceded by consultations with women, girls, boys and men from the community on the proper layout of the site, plot demarcation, fire prevention and the provision of basic services, which will be addressed concurrently in coordination with the other relevant clusters (i.e. WASH, Health, Education and Food). In particular, the views of women and girls, specifically on protection needs, will be considered during the design of the shelter and planning of settlements so that a safe and secure environment can be created. SPHERE standards will help guide the process of shelter design. Community participation and ownership are underlying themes which are embedded in all cluster activities, with a strong focus on shifting away from contractor-driven to owner-driven approaches. The Shelter Cluster monitoring and evaluation framework will be used for project implementation purposes.
A main obstacle in Somalia remains access to the field and access to qualitative information. The Shelter Cluster has a strong focus on capacity building and promoting tools regarding remote management in Somalia, looking at a strong service delivery approach. Mobile technology has supported the accountability of the cluster to get field evidence data in a systematic way (mapping exercises, assessments, 4W monitoring…). General mainstreaming sessions and trainings will be organized in close partnership with the protection cluster in the following fields: HLP, assessments & analysis, site planning and the use of cash/voucher systems. The Shelter Cluster will further expand the infrastructure mapping exercise to get a full up-to-date picture of the IDP situation all over Somalia.