Internally displaced continue to be among the most vulnerable in Somalia as a drastic increase in displacement this year due to drought is putting additional strain on scarce resources in existing and new internal displaced (IDP) settlements, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) says.

This is leading to a deterioration of humanitarian indicators for IDPs in a number of areas, including for nutrition, protection, access to water and sanitation and shelter.

In its monthly humanitarian report of September, OCHA noted the cumulative displacements monitored by the UNHCR-led Protection and Return Monitoring Network (PRMN) in the period from November 2016 to August 2017 are approximately 975,000 people.  Over 893,000 of these are drought-related displacements during the same period.

“Conflict-related displacements during 2017 have reached approximately 160,000 people. Provisional figures from PRMN indicate that some 26,000

individuals have been newly internally displaced between 1 and 19 September, of whom 5,000 people by conflict and 16,000 people due to drought-related reasons.” said the report.

This represents a significant reduction compared to the new displacements in August when some 48,000 people (20,000 by conflict; 27,000 by drought) were displaced.

As people continue to flee their homes, OCHA says, the number of sites may continue to grow while living conditions in the IDP settlements and urban centres continue to deteriorate, with displaced people unable to meet their basic needs due to inconsistent service provision or exclusion from accessing these services.

Across the country, lack of access to basic services contributes to public health risks, preventable deaths and increased gender-based violence, especially for women and girls. The IDPs have limited livelihood and coping options, exacerbated by ongoing drought-induced displacements.

As a result, the Food and Agricultural Organization’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) reported that food security and nutrition outcomes across most of the 13 main settlements surveyed between June and July had deteriorated.