Somalia Fact Sheet - October 2012

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 11 Oct 2012

UNHCR Operation highlights

  • Somalia is the country generating the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Somali people are facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. One in three Somalis is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and one in every three children living in the South-Central region is malnourished.

  • UNHCR leads protection and emergency relief interventions targeting almost 1.36 million IDPs, in addition to delivering protection and assistance to over 2,100 refugees in Somalia.

General Situation
Somalia generates the third highest number of refugees in the world (after Afghanistan and Iraq). As at 11 October 2012, there were 1,028,267 Somali refugees in the region, mainly hosted in Kenya, Yemen, Egypt,

Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania and Uganda and almost 1.36 million Somalis internally displaced within the country, settled mainly in the South-Central region. 62,657 Somalis have so far sought refuge in neighboring countries in 2012. As of 11 October 2012, 1,600 people were internally displaced while in September alone, another 24,000 were internally displaced, mainly in South Central Somalia, in particular from the coastal city of Kismayo.

Somalia is the most affected country within the Horn of Africa by the ongoing drought, widely regarded as the worst in 60 years. Consecutive seasonal rain failures have led to sky-rocketing food prices, in a country already devastated by two decades of civil war.
An estimated 3.7 million Somalis are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Increasingly, Somalis are leaving their homes, walking thousands of kilometres in search of food, most of them ending up in IDP settlements within Somalia and refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, in extremely malnourished conditions.

With the term of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) having ended in August 2012, a new parliament has since been created, electing Hassan SheikhMohamud as President. President Hassan then named Abdi Farah Shirdon as Prime Minister. Since the fall of the Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, Somalia fell into the hands of armed opposition groups , who divided the country along clan lines, and still continue to control large parts of the county.

Most of Somalia continues to be in security level 5 (high), with Mogadishu and other areas on level 6 (extreme). Ongoing conflict continues to restrict humanitarian access and hamper delivery of lifesaving assistance. Distribution of emergency / temporary shelter materials and other relief items and protection cum livelihood interventions are the activities carried out by UNHCR in favour of IDPs.

As of 28 September, UNHCR has distributed 33,578 emergency assistance packages (EAPs) for 201,642 people in Mogadishu and other districts within southern Somalia. These EAPs include kitchen sets, sleeping mats and plastic sheeting that would aid the most vulnerable population in crisis.