The Municipality of Mogadishu’s Durable Solutions Strategy has been developed in recognition of the scale of displacement. This strategy is developed with a view to end the suffering of internally displaced persons and returning and existing refugees. The strategy aims to resolve displacement as part of efforts to build peace, economically reconstruct, and increase the resilience of Mogadishu’s residents, IDPs and returning and existing refugees, so that they are able restart their lives in safety and dignity and in full enjoyment of their rights.
Commitment: This Strategy was initiated by the late Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman’s (Eng. Yarisow) vision to end displacement and encampment in Mogadishu in a safe, voluntary and dignified way by 2024. The commitment to end displacement in Mogadishu was made in response to a significant increase in forced evictions and rights violations against IDPs and returning refugees (RRs) coupled with an increase in the numbers of IDPs arriving in Mogadishu in search for assistance and protection.
Profiling: The Strategy leaned heavily on the 2016 Mogadishu IDP Profiling Report that demystified some of the assumptions and speculation surrounding displacement and outlined the inhibiting factors preventing durable solutions, and in particular, local integration in Mogadishu. The findings of the IDP Profiling exercise are outdated in terms of figures; due to a significant increase in the number of IDPs and the duration of their displacement. However, the challenges to local integration faced by IDPs and RRs and the broader displacement affected communities are largely the same.
Local Government: Empowering local government is paramount to achieving durable solutions. Ensuring that government at the lowest levels is capacitated according to the needs of their districts is necessary to better respond to access to services challenges, rights violations and development planning. The capacity of the Municipality is incrementally improving; however, challenges remain particularly in technical expertise, financing of local priorities and supporting district offices.
HLP: Housing and tenure security have proven to be the greatest inhibitor to local integration. The scale and damage caused by repeated forced evictions over the past 7 years has impacted hundreds of thousands of residents of Mogadishu. Developing interim, medium- and long-term solutions to housing starting with tenure security provides the households, communities and the local authorities with the foundation for long term planning and building household resilience.
Basic Services: Access to basic services; health, education and nutrition, their associated and hidden costs shock household savings. When families are managing chronic and costly illnesses and malnutrition of young children, focussing on the ability to; pay education fees (both child and adult), rent and working an underpaid job becomes less of a priority. Supporting vulnerable households by buttressing the costs of health care and nutrition allows the local authorities to plan strategically for human capital development and education priorities. Guaranteeing children and adults are able to benefit from access to education secures their long-term contributions to economic development and municipal planning. Whilst health, nutrition and education propose separate challenges, cumulatively these basic services have short and longterm impact on durable solutions and achieving broader sustainable and national development goals.
Employment and livelihoods: Livelihoods and participation in the local economy is central to IDPs and RRs asserting their agency as contributing members of the city. Empowering IDPs to become financially independent is key to reducing the humanitarian case load and ensuring that they are able to support their families and their daily needs. Somalia, has some of the world’s highest unemployment rates and a large informal sector that is not conducive to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable. Increasing the scope and capacity of the local economy and developing emerging sectors, whilst encouraging linkages between urban, peri-urban and rural economies is vital for the development of both the Mogadishu and surrounding economies.
Return: The linkages between rural and urban economic development provides a natural synergy for IDP returns planning. The vast majority of IDPs and RRs are not in a position to return, however, for those IDPs and RRs that intend to return should be fully supported to do so. The BRA’s responsibility is to provide the skills and resources that are interchangeable between rural and urban economies whilst providing communities with the adequate access to basic services, rights and economic opportunities that bolster their resilience in Mogadishu and strengthen return as a viable option.