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Psychosocial support for drought victims and IDPs in Bosasso kicks off

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On 7th February 2012, JCCP launched a project for Psychosocial Support for Drought victims and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Bosasso, Somalia, through supporting Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors and other traumatized persons amongst the internally displaced persons. This project is funded by the Japan Platform. JCCP works in partnership with GRT, an Italian NGO that has rich experience and solid expertise in psychosocial support for IDP communities in Bossaso.

Somalia has been plagued by decades of woes – persistent conflict, waves of natural disasters and drought. While these crises make headlines, the country's embattled people – a quarter of whom have been uprooted – also face personal tragedies that are no less devastating. Nearly 1.5 million Somalis are displaced within their own country and internally displaced persons are said to be even more vulnerable to gender-based violence. Women and girls are the ones who are mostly affected especially those in IDP settlements. While it is very important to take up preventive measures, there is also great need to support those who have been affected so that they can recover psychologically, as well as strengthen community mechanisms in responding to GBV.

JCCP works to create a conducive environment in which GBV survivors and other traumatized IDPs can access appropriate psychosocial support in Bossaso IDP settlements, by building the capacity of 42 Focal Points (placed in each IDP settlement as a first contact on GBV and migration issues) on Gender-Based Violence, and in communication, and awareness-raising. JCCP will also support recovery of 500 GBV survivors and other traumatized IDPs displaced mainly due to the severe drought and intensified conflict in the South-Central region of Somalia, through distribution of “Dignity Kits” for sanitation, crime-prevention and nutrition.

Gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence, is considered taboo by most of the Somali communities. According to GRT, JCCP’s partner in Somalia's Puntland region, many victims of this kind of violence remain hidden and distraught due to their painful experiences. JCCP’s support is intended to facilitate their psychological recovery and restore their dignity.

JCCP is striving for reduction in GBV cases in Bosasso, Puntland, and strengthening a community-based mechanism to protect their right to live in safety and with dignity.

Story by Alice Ngari, Project Officer, JCCP Kenya