Mogadishu 12 December 2014 – The Federal Government of Somalia through its Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs is pleased to announce the launching of a new national Agency for Refugees and IDPs (ARI). The agency is formed as a national institution that will anchor the future development of legal frameworks, response planning, implementation and advocacy of matters of internal displacement and returning refugee affairs.
Somalia continues to face immense and complex challenges related to the large-scale protracted displacement within and around the country. Today, more than 2.1 million Somali citizens are displaced within the country and in the near region – caught in what was once their rescue but what has turned into unsustainable, unprotected, and fearful lives with little or no hope of change.
The launch of the agency under the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs is a significant step on the path of state-building in Somalia. It is further a part of a process whereby the responsibility of commitment to find solutions to displacement need to be addressed as strengthened and national obligation.
‘Today, 2.1 million of our citizens live in displacement in our own country or as refugees in asylum in neighboring countries. The challenge we face to assist them to find real and lasting solutions, to be able to return to normalcy and to establish sustainable livelihoods, is immense. We are, however, committed and ready to take the responsibility and ownership of the further process of assisting the most vulnerable among our people,’ says H.E. the Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs, Mr. Abdullahi Godah Barre, and emphasizes on the need for continued support and partnerships:
‘It is our vision and ambition that the new Agency for Refugees and IDPs launched today will become a central platform for new and concerted efforts to address protection needs and in the search for solutions to displacement. We will continue to work with our national and international partners and stakeholders, to identify and support real and lasting solutions for our people,’ says the H.E. Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs, Mr. Abdullahi Godah Barre.
The establishment of the new Agency for Refugees and IDPs is in line with the ‘Policy Framework for Displacement within Somalia’ adopted in 2014 which has been developed by the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs.
The Agency for Refugees and IDPs is launched at a time where new and positive development are seen with people returning from displacement within the country as well as with recent voluntary returns from Kenya. The recently launched Pilot Project supports voluntary refugee returns from Kenya through comprehensive assistance to ensure sustainable return and reintegration in Somalia.