Towards Durable Solutions: Achievements and challenges in supporting voluntary returns of IDPs in Somalia [EN/SO]

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Samuel Hall
Published on 31 Jul 2014 View Original

New insight into IDP returns to inform durable solutions in Somalia

The UNHCR-led Somalia Return Consortium publishes its first review of support to IDP returns in Somalia. The report titled ‘Towards Durable Solutions – Achievements and challenges in supporting voluntary returns of IDPs in Somalia’ consolidates and analyses data gathered since 2012 when the Consortium initiated activities in support of people in displacement in Somalia.

Since mid-2012, close to 11,000 displaced families have been supported by the UNHCR-led Somalia Return Consortium to voluntary return home to where they once fled from. How are these families coping with their return? Is the support offered sufficient to resume lives and livelihoods in the areas of return? And what is the way forward to better anchor returns and ensure that these become durable solutions to the displacement? These are among the questions posed in the comprehensive study carried out by Samuel Hall in collaboration with UNHCR and the Somalia Return Consortium.

The report is the first in a series of publications planned by UNHCR and the Somalia Return Consortium on the theme ‘Towards Durable Solutions’. Lessons learned from the review of two years of assistance to voluntary IDP returns and recommendations to solutions-oriented programming are vital benchmarks. These will guide and inform the development of future support to the complex process of identifying durable solutions in Somalia.

With more than one million Somali refugees in the region in addition to an estimated 1.1 million people displaced within Somali, needs to identify and support comprehensive solutions are imminent and urgent. While fragility and insecurity persist and access by humanitarian and development actors remain limited in many parts of South Central Somalia, spontaneous returns are gaining momentum.

Today, the decision to return home is made by an increasing number of Somali IDPs currently living in temporary settlements and makeshift homes. Despite large-scale returns to many parts of Somalia are not possible at the moment, there is general recognition of the fact that solutions to protracted large-scale displacement will be an integral element of sustainable peace in Somalia.

Within this context, Somalia Return Consortium members remain committed to support the Federal Government of Somalia in pursuing its responsibility to support the achievement of durable solutions, and the internally displaced persons who decide to spontaneously return home, providing standardized, coherent and coordinated assistance. Returns, conditioned by the fact that these are also informed and fully voluntary, remain among the preferred solutions to end what for many have been years and even decades of displacement.

UNHCR and the Somalia Return Consortium aim to undertake a series of events over the coming months to debate and launch new dialogue on the findings and recommendations in the UNHCR-funded research ‘Towards Durable Solutions – Achievements and challenges in supporting voluntary returns of IDPs in Somalia’.

For more information, please contact the Somalia Return Consortium: Coordinator Marco Procaccini: or Communications Specialist Alexandra Strand Holm: Somalia Return Consortium members