Somali refugees in Kenya will receive support of 105 million dollars pledged by donors. The money will aid safe and dignified voluntary return back home.
Representative from over 40 countries and organizations have also pledged to provide training and job opportunities in Somalia for an estimated 10,000 refugees who have already returned. This came out in a Conference by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Although Somali’s environment makes it hard for large-scale returns, the representatives from all over the world committed to support the refugees who have returned home to ensure there is more security and make the country more sustainable.
The conference which took place in Geneva had different participants promised to give resources in an action plan designed to improve security and law enforcement, rehabilitation of infrastructure and environment, expansion of access to education, water and sanitation services, health care provision, shelter, agriculture and the creation of job opportunities.
European Union committed 68 million dollars with 56.7 million dollars aimed at the reintegration of the refugees and internally displaced persons in Somalia. The 11.4 million will go into providing opportunities for Somalia refugees in vulnerable situations without revenue.
Over 2 million Somalis are displaced with 1.1 million in Somali and 967,000 refugees in neighbouring countries. A good number lives in Kenya with at least 420,000 said to be in the country. At least 250,000 Somali refugees live in Ethiopia, 240,000 in Yemen, 29,000 in Uganda and 12,000 in Djibouti.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Interior Joseph Nkaissery stressed over the need for the world to support Kenya after hosting refugees for over 25 years.
More than 5,300 refugees have now returned to Somalia since December 2014, assisted by UNHCR and partners while a significant number of Somalis have returned spontaneously.
“Somalia needs our help, now more than ever. I am deeply grateful for the unwavering support by the international community, for the commitment by the host countries to continue to provide protection to Somali refugees and for the promise by others to step up their contributions to make returns safe and sustainable,” High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said.
According to Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake too many of Somali citizens have been in exiled for too long.
“After 25 years of feeling unable to come home, the positive changes in the country have given them hope. They want to return and help rebuild Somalia into a prosperous and successful nation. We are grateful for the support of the international community to help us achieve this,” Sharmake said.
Many refugees remain doubtful about returning, but some are eager to leave life in exile behind and help rebuild their country.
The plan of action requires a total amount of 500 million dollars and is aligned with the Somalia New Deal Compact framework.