IOM, Saudi Arabia Aid Somali Returnees from Yemen
Somalia - As the situation in Yemen continues to worsen, community leaders in Bossaso, Puntland State of Somalia, have met to brainstorm on ways to more sustainably provide jobs and access to basic services for Somali returnees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and affected communities. The 20 leaders included community elders, village elders, representatives of local authority councils, Puntland’s Ministry of Interior, community leaders of Somali returnees residing in Bossaso, and IDP representatives. The top four priorities identified by the community leaders were: livelihoods support; improvement of community security; hosting community integration sessions; and comprehensive health services. Funding from the Saudi King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre will enable the community to implement selected priority projects that will benefit not only the returnees, but also IDPs and vulnerable members of the affected community. Gerard Waite, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, explained: “We encourage communities to jointly define their priorities and be involved in the implementation of activities to ensure that the affected population has a voice in decision-making and that the whole community benefits from priority interventions.” This is part of a USD 10 million project focusing on providing support to those fleeing the Yemen crisis and communities affected by displacement, which is being implemented by IOM and UNHCR in close coordination with the Somalia Task Force on the Yemen Situation, and respective regional and local authorities. Of the over 32,000 people who have to date fled to Somalia from war-torn Yemen, almost 20,000 will receive protection and emergency assistance through this project.