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Somalia: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian conditions of (a) internally displaced people in and (b) refugees from Somalia since the beginning of 2007; what estimate he has made of the number of such people; and if he will make a statement. (197124)

The latest estimates from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for the number of Somali refugees resident in countries neighbouring Somalia are as follows:

Number

Djibouti

8,642

Yemen

50,000

Eritrea

4600

Ethiopia

19,572

Kenya

182,000

In February 2008 UNHCR estimated that the numbers of internally displaced people in Somalia were 776,600. This does not include those who have been recently displaced by drought, floods and clan conflict as these are believed to be temporary. This leads the UN to estimate total numbers of displaced at approximately 1 million.

The humanitarian situation remains critical. In Somalia the relief effort is constrained by conflict and insecurity-related obstruction of supplies. Nevertheless, UN and NGO relief agencies are providing shelter, food, emergency health services and clean water, which help to address the most urgent needs, and reduce suffering.