UN migration agency opens office in Somalia amid displacements

The UN migration agency said Friday it has opened an office in Dollow in the Gedo region of Somalia in response to the large-scale displacements caused by drought and insecurity.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it has scaled up its emergency response programming in the region, implementing community stabilization activities across the wider Gedo region, including the rehabilitation of schools and district administration offices.

Kevin Merkelz, an IOM Operations Officer in Dollow, said IOM’s work in Dollow would not be possible without the steadfast support and goodwill of the local authorities.

“The establishment of this office demonstrates our commitment to serve the affected communities of Dollow in 2018 and beyond,” Merkelz said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

By May 2017, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix estimated that over 40,000 individuals lived across 58 IDP sites which host both newly displaced persons and those in situations of protracted displacement.

This figure, according to IOM, increased to 75,684 by September 2017, when the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster undertook a detailed site assessment.

“IOM’s CCCM team is working closely with the Government of Somalia and Dollow District authorities to improve living conditions in displacement sites through site expansion and planning, as well as coordination with non-governmental organizations and other UN agencies,” the UN agency said.

In December 2016, an estimated 4,800 IDPs were living in Dollow, according to UNHCR’s Protection and Return Monitoring Network.