Over the last 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Somalia because of political instability and a dangerous civil war that broke out in the 1990s. Today over 750,000 Somali refugees remain in neighboring countries and over 2.6 million Somalis are internally displaced in Somalia.
Where have Somali refugees fled to?
The vast majority of Somali refugees are living in neighboring countries Kenya (256,186), Yemen (250,500) and Ethiopia (192,082). Despite having internal displacement and refugee crises of their own, countries like Yemen and Ethiopia have a long-standing history of welcoming refugees from Somalia.
How have flooding and food shortages impacted the people of Somalia?
Extreme flash flooding and riverine flooding in the Southern regions of Somalia have displaced over 650,000 Somalis in first eight months of 2020. Many of the newly displaced are now living in overcrowded, makeshift shelters constructed from old clothes, plastic bags, cardboard and sticks in already dire IDP sites. Sanitary conditions in the shelters are poor and access to medical care is scarce; and the shelters provides little protection from the harsh weather and leave families exposed to increased risk of crimes.
Food insecurity persists throughout the country due to dry conditions in the north and east and abnormal rainfall in the south and central regions. In some areas, basic food items, particularly milk and vegetables, have increased in price between 20 and 50 per cent.
How long do most Somali refugees live in refugee camps?
Refugees from Somalia have been living in refugee camps for nearly 30 years. Many have lived most or all of their lives in these camps. This is called a protracted refugee situation. UNHCR defines a protracted refugee situation as one in which 25,000 or more refugees from the same nationality have been in exile for five consecutive years or more in a given host country. An estimated 78% of all refugees live in protracted refugee situations like this.
What is happening to the next generation of Somalis born in refugee camps?
Because Somalis have been displaced for generations, many Somali children have been born in refugee camps. These children have never known a life free from exile, but UNHCR is working to ensure they still have the brightest future possible. Somali refugee children attend school and have the opportunity to go to college. And new laws and agreements, like those established with the government of Ethiopia, are allowing Somali refugees to have livelihoods and better integrate with their local communities.
How are Somali refugees changing Americans' perceptions of refugees?
Somali refugees, like Mustafa and Fatima, who have been resettled in the United States are changing the way Americans think about refugees. Mustafa is helping breakdown barriers by bringing resettled refugees and their neighbors together for family dinners, where families often discover they have more in common than they thought. Fatima is a dedicated civil servant who is giving back to the community that gave her a second chance, showing that former refugees can be successful, contributing members of society.
Displaced people from Somalia need your help...
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