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UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Somalia


UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Somalia

1 December 1998

Basic Facts

What we do

Promote organized voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees from countries of asylum to safe areas in Somalia; conduct reintegration activities in returnee areas to anchor the return of refugees from Ethiopia and benefit internally displaced persons in returnee areas.

Who we help

Some 80,000 returnees repatriating from refugee camps in Ethiopia to north-west Somalia; 10,000 persons returning from Kenya to parts of southern Somalia; 5,000 persons from Yemen; 1,000 persons from Djibouti, and an undetermined number from other countries. Communities in returnee areas will benefit from community-based Quick Impact Projects (QIP).

Our requirements

US$ 24,886,660

Our offices

Somalia: Hargeisa.

Djibouti: Djibouti-ville.

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa, Jijiga.

Kenya: Nairobi, Dadaab, Kakuma.

Yemen: Sana'a, Aden.

Egypt: Cairo.

Our partners

Somalia: Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (MRRR), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Swiss Group, Oxfam, Handicap International, Save the Children Fund (SCF), USA, Médecins Sans Frontières, Belgium (MSF-B), Co-ordination Committee of Organization of Voluntary Service (COSV), Numerous Local NGOs.

Djibouti: Office National d'Assistance aux Réfugiés et Sinistrés (ONARS), Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), UNESCO/PEER.

Ethiopia: Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), CARE International.

Yemen: Partners for Development, Radda Barnen, Triangle and International Cooperation for Development.


More than 800,000 Somalis, mainly from the north-west of the country, fled the civil war that engulfed the country between 1988 and 1991. Most fled to neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti. By 1993, more than half a million Somali refugees had sought asylum in Kenya. Today, not more than 125,000 remain in Kenya (in the Dadaab camps); the rest have returned home in either spontaneous or organized repatriations. The political and security situation in Somalia is complex. The north-western part of the country, known as Somaliland, declared its independence from the rest of the country in 1991. Though it has established its capital in Hargeisa, its independence has not been recognized. The north-east is administered by a regional authority based in Garowe, its capital, and has assumed the name of Puntland. The south is controlled by various clans. One part of the south is known as Jubaland and is administered from its capital in Kismayo. In addition, in 1997 and early 1998, both drought and severe flooding afflicted parts of the south. A livestock import ban imposed by Saudi Arabia has further eroded the ability of regional administrations in the north-east and north-west to raise revenue through exports.

Protection and Solutions

The repatriation of Somali refugees, particularly those from Ethiopia, is governed by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UNHCR and the country of asylum. The MOU underscores the importance of the voluntary character of the repatriation and guarantees the freedom of refugees to return to their areas of origin in safety and with dignity. To ensure the voluntary nature of the return, each prospective returnee is required to complete a voluntary repatriation form. Through its office in north-west Somalia, UNHCR monitors returnees to ensure that they are not subjected to any form of persecution.

Voluntary repatriation to Ethiopia is the main durable solution for the less than five hundred Ethiopian refugees in north-west Somalia. Thirty cases have recently been accepted for resettlement in third countries.

Repatriation Activities

As part of the voluntary repatriation programme for Somali refugees from Ethiopia, repatriating refugees are registered and provided with repatriation packages one day before departure. The repatriation package consists of: nine months' worth of food rations (including 150 kilogrammes of cereals, ten kilogrammes of pulses and five litres of edible oil), a travel grant of Ethiopian Birr (EB) 200.00, per individual, to assist in their transport to their final destination from the dispersal point inside Somalia, and household items such as blankets, jerry cans and shelter materials, including plastic tarpaulins. UNHCR meets the costs of organized transport, including escort vehicles and in-transit feeding expenses of EB 10.00 per person per day for three days.

Reintegration Activities

Reintegration activities, which are largely community-based, are undertaken in areas of return considered safe (as of this writing, these include the north-west, the north-east and the south of the country). Projects include improvement or construction of community-based infrastructure, mainly in health, education (including women's education centres), and water supply, agriculture, income-generating projects for women, and support to local administrations.

In the south, fishing boats have been purchased for Bajuni Islanders, now living in Mombasa, Kenya, who are expected to repatriate shortly. Returnee areas as so widespread, it will be difficult to satisfy the needs in all areas.

Women and children

Women and children comprise about 70 per cent of the returnee population. UNHCR will continue to establish links between refugees, returnees and internally displaced women and the relevant local and international NGOs that provide services to women and children.


UNHCR will continue to support QIPs for the rehabilitation of nurseries, anti-erosion measures and soil conservation, and will provide seedlings for reforestation projects. In 1999, the agency will emphasize protecting existing forest resources rather than replanting trees.


The UNHCR Office in Hargeisa maintains a close partnership with the Ministry of Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (MRR&R), and other line Ministries of the local administration, United Nations agencies, and international and local NGOs in formulating and implementing the Quick Impact Projects, as well as in promoting capacity-building initiatives.

The Cross-Border Operation in Nairobi participates in coordination bodies including the Somalia Aid Coordination Body (SACB) and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT). Whereas the latter is specific to the United Nations, the former includes donors, NGOs and government and inter-governmental organizations, such as the United Nations Agency for International Development and the European Union, as well as United Nations agencies.


No Government budget has been adopted for calendar year 1998 because there are no resources. Somaliland authorities have publicly questioned whether repatriation should continue under these circumstances.

Until Saudi Arabia lifts its ban on imported livestock, Somalia's economic crisis will worsen.

Budget US$

The budget includes costs in Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and the Lybian Arab Jamahiriya and at Headquarters.

ActivitiesSpecial Programmes
Domestic Needs/Household Support1,154,331
Water Supply1,297,000
Shelter/Other Infrastructures592,856
Community Services378,836
Crop Production1,245,000
Livestock/Animal Husbandry1,210,000
Legal Assistance/Protection293,407
Agency Operational Support1,045,317
Programme Delivery Costs*5,146,516
Administrative Support Costs1,511,967

* Includes costs for protection, monitoring and coordination.