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UNHCR Somalia: Operational Update (1-31 October 2021)

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The operational environment in Somalia continued fluid throughout October, shaped by the ongoing elections as well as several large-scale internal displacements. UNHCR, together with partners, responded to the internal displacement from Lasanood to other parts of the country, as well as armed conflict in Guriel, Galmudug which resulted in large-scale civilian displacement.
UNHCR continued to provid protection, assistance, an solutions to persons of concer across the country, as well a to respond to the COVID-1 pandemic.

Update on Achievements

Operational Context

The operational context in Somalia remained complex in October, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and climate-related displacement as well as delayed elections and related political instability. The UN and international partners continued to call for a swift finalization of the elections.

The security situation in the country remained volatile with regular attacks against military bases, as well as civilians. Despite security challenges and limited access to parts of the country, UNHCR continued to provide protection and assistance to its persons of concerns, including refugees, asylum-seekers, refugee returnees and IDPs across the country - directly and through partners.

In mid-October, fighting broke out between the Somali National Army and its former ally Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a (ASWJ) in the town of Guriel, in Galmudug State but was brought to halt towards the end of the month due to successful mediation efforts. The conflict caused civilian displacement and severe humanitarian suffering to the people of the area, while also further hindering the already delayed electoral process. UNHCR and partners provided urgent assistance, including NFI kits to the displaced families in the region.

October witnessed another large-scale displacement from Lasanood region, Somaliland, to other parts of the country. UNHCR responded to the needs of the arriving families in Galkayo and Baidoa with emergency assistance.

In October, 137,000 new internal displacements were monitored by the UNHCR-led Protection and Returns Monitoring Network (PRMN). Drivers include conflict and insecurity (119,000), drought related (13,000), flood (0), and 6,000 displaced due to other triggers.

Galgaduud received the highest number of displaced persons (101,000 individuals) followed by Hiraan (14,000 individuals), while Lower Juba (4,000), Lower Shabelle (3,000) and Banadir (3,000) regions also received relatively high numbers. Displaced families are in dire need of food, shelter and NFIs, and are faced with multiple protection risks. Directly and through the UNHCR-led clusters, UNHCR continued to respond to the immediate needs of the families.