Over 2.6 million people, or nearly ten percent, of the Somali population live in protracted internal displacement. Another one million Somalis are in displacement in neighbouring countries, bringing the total displaced population to approximately 20% of the current estimated population of Somalia.

Most internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in unplanned and informal settlements in urban areas. For example, Mogadishu is home to nearly 400,000 IDPs, which is over one third of the overall internally displaced population in Somalia. About 55% of the IDPs are concentrated in two of Mogadishu’s peripheral districts. Overall, this constitutes one of the highest IDP concentrations across the African continent. Protracted internal displacement is therefore an inherently urban phenomenon in Somalia and must be addressed against a backdrop of increasing urbanisation and growing rural-urban migration trends, with one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. 


The proposed action is a joint UN initiative by UNHCR, UN-Habitat and UNDP together with longstanding partners CESVI, SWDC and SIDO, facilitating the gradual resolution of the protracted displacement of IDPs in Mogadishu, notably by enhancing local integration capacity, which remains the preferred durable solution option for 47% or almost 200,000 of Mogadishu’s IDPs. The proposed action therefore focuses on: (a) strengthening relevant governance structures through capacity building and accountability mechanisms to create the relevant sustainability potential for solutions, on (b) implementing innovative, replicable and scalable solutions for basic and protective service delivery and employment, and, (c) producing, by the end of the project, a comprehensive and implementable urban durable solution strategy which includes financing schemes for the scale and complexity of Mogadishu’s IDP situation. This joint UN initiative originates from and directly supports the Somalia IDP Solutions Initiative led by the Federal Government of Somalia represented through the Deputy Prime Minister and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and which builds on the primary role and responsibility of authorities to support durable solutions. The three submitting UN agencies have been instrumental in establishing and advancing this initiative to date. 

The action detailed in the following sections is integrating relevant components that create durable solution systems capable of addressing IDP’s needs and facilitating access for IDPs and refugee returnees to an increasingly productive, safe and dignified life. Cash-based interventions will initially enable displacement-affected populations accessing housing, tenure security, livelihoods and protective services. Through the creation of gender and environmentally sensitive income generating activities, as well as long-term employment opportunities in support of systemic job- creation, target groups will be enabled to generate the income and basic services once assistance will be phased down. The integrated interventions are novel, replicable and have a potential for scalability to become effective durable solution systems that can be linked to local governance and integrate in longer-term urban development over time.

The action will pursue the following objectives and outcomes: 

Overall objective: To facilitate and support durable solutions for IDPs and RRs in Mogadishu. Specific objectives: To substantially improve living conditions of IDPs and RRs through the establishment of governance systems, increased Housing, Land and Property Rights and social, economic and political inclusion.

In order to ensure a strategic, targeted and sustainable approach, tailored to the Mogadishu-specific displacement and socio-economic context, two outcomes were identified feeding into the specific and overall objectives, adding value and ensuring sustainability. The two intermediary outcomes, or results, are:

1) Strengthened local governance structures through capacity building and enhanced accountability mechanisms in order to make relevant offices and institutions accessible to IDPs and returnees and enable authorities to assume their primary responsibility to gradually enable durable solutions processes in Mogadishu.

2) Employment generation in support of improved access to affordable housing and protective and basic service delivery to IDPs and returnees.