Somalia displaced number ‘doubled’ in 2018 – charity

The number of people in Somalia who fled their homes due to conflict and insecurity doubled to 320,000 between January and December last year, a charity says.

According to new figures released by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), around 320,000 Somalis were internally displaced last year, up from 202,000 in 2017.

The Lower Shabelle region in the south of the country was one of the areas hardest hit by violence and insecurity during the period under review, the NRC said.

“We’re alarmed at the sharp increase in the number of civilians forced to flee their homes in Somalia. The conflict is getting worse for civilians, making thousands more homeless. If this worrying trend continues, it could lead to catastrophe,” said the NGO’s regional advisor Evelyn Aero.

“Young children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and disease. They urgently need more aid to survive.”

According to the United Nations, some 2.6 million Somalis are currently displaced within the country due to drought, floods and conflict and are vulnerable to acute food insecurity.