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Sustainable Shelter for Displaced Populations in Somaliland & Puntland
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Project description

As a result of renewed conflict in South/Central Somalia, the numbers of displaced people increased dramatically in 2008 and 2009. The displaced are exposed to extreme environmental conditions, and banditry. Girls and women are at risk of physical and domestic violence, including rape (raising the HIV risk). The displaced collectively live with urban poor, returnees and migrants in settlements, which mostly are unplanned and overcrowded, with few basic amenities and lack of access to clean water and sanitary facilities.IDP shelters mostly consist of structures made of non-durable materials (wood, sticks, plastic sheets, cloth, cardboard),. Together with poor hygienic conditions, this exposes families - in particular women, children, and elderly - to communicable diseases like respiratory tract infections, and environment-related diseases such as water-borne diseases. The combination of congested settlements, unsuitable and highly inflammable materials, high temperatures and very strong seasonal winds pose the risk of frequent fires that can leave many families homeless again. The newly displaced are even in a more critical situation: besides difficulties in obtaining adequate shelter, the access to land is also a key problem. Recently displaced people are generally not provided with a suitable place to settle, and reactions from the host communities are often hostile. They might be forced to pay huge rents, and usually have no permission to up basic services or upgrade their shelter to a semi-permanent or permanent status. In addition, random and sudden evictions by land owners often occur. Displaced communities depend also on freely available natural resources and this often results in serious degradation of the surrounding natural environment; this in turn, may provoke repercussions from the host community.
Location: Bari Region, Bossaso (Puntland); Wogooyi Region, Hargeisa (Somaliland); Togdheer Region – Burao (Somaliland); Mudug Region – Galkayo (Puntland)
- Regional Office for Arab States
Partner: UN Agencies, Local Authorities. LNGOs, INGOs, and Private Sector
- Water Sanitation and Infrastructure
Budget: USD 9,600,000

Focus Area(s)

- FA2: Promotion of participatory urban planning, management and governance
- FA3: Promote pro-poor land and housing
- FA4: Environmentally sound basic urban infrastructure and services


Somalia represents a complex and prolonged emergency, which requires a sustainable approach that goes beyond initial rapid emergency response, and where possible, the provision of durable shelter settlements linked to livelihood opportunities. Shelter activities cannot be dissociated from broader settlement conditions; consequently, improved shelter and settlement initiatives must be clearly linked and integrated with other activities in the fields of water & sanitation, education, and health. In Puntland and Somaliland, the focus will be on up-scaling some of the ongoing durable shelter developments, with a strong emphasis on sustainable human settlements. The project will also work with authorities and other relevant stakeholders on secure tenure options for the displaced. Sustainable shelter interventions will be in line with larger urban planning exercises for cities, setting the ground for sustainable urban development and slum prevention, and for full integration of IDPs. Special attention will be paid to mainstream cross-cutting issues (like gender, HIV, environmental issues, and capacity building) in all activities.


  • Protection from displacement, eviction, lack of services, physical attacks, sexual assault, and  poor environmental conditions
  • Adequate shelter, safe water & sanitation, other basic services and community  infrastructure
  •  Increased job opportunities and improved livelihoods, through provision of basic technical skills training; support to micro credit activities and establishment of small- scale businesses
  • Secure tenure for Internally Displaced People and Urban Poor

Target group

  • 1800 displaced and vulnerable households (approx 10,800 people) in different urban and peri-urban locations

If you may be interested in funding this project, please contact us: info.rmu@unhabitat.org
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