MOGADISHU, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) — The UN senior relief official in Somalia on Monday decried reports of destruction of internally displaced persons (IDPs) settlements, along with humanitarian infrastructure in K13 in Mogadishu.
Peter de Clercq, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, said over 23 IDP settlements, housing over 4,000 IDP households, were destroyed on Dec. 29 and 30, noting that families are now living in the open.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of evictions, without prior notice, of internally displaced persons, in Banadir region. Some of these displaced people have walked long distances from different parts of the country fleeing drought and conflict,” de Clercq said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
He said personal property and livelihoods have also been lost as people were not given time to collect their belongings before the destruction started.
“I am equally concerned that when everyone is seized of the agenda of improving the lives of Somalis, humanitarian and development installations are being senselessly destroyed, including schools, latrines, water points, sanitation centres, shelters and other related investments generously supported by donors,” said de Clercq.
He called upon all parties to protect and assist all civilian people who have fled conflict and drought and that have already suffered so much, adding that humanitarians stand ready to cooperate with and support the authorities in this regard.
The UN official said humanitarians are mobilizing resources to provide life-saving assistance to the affected people in addition to engaging with authorities to ensure a solution for the newly displaced people.
Over two million people are now displaced across Somalia due to drought and conflict, including one million newly displaced in 2017 alone, constituting one-third of the 6.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
Displaced people lack adequate access to food, shelter and basic services, and also face the most serious protection-related risks, such as physical attacks, gender-based violence.