somalia hosting over 35,000 refugees, asylum seekers un refugee agency
Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is currently hosting 35,381 refugees and asylum seekers, with almost 69% of them women and children, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) informed. According to the global organisation, 18,932 or roughly 54% of them are asylum seekers, and 16,449 or about 46% are refugees, the Beijing-based Xinhua News Agency reported.
Figures released by the UNHCR on Wednesday concerning its latest update on the Horn of Africa nation showed the majority of refugees and asylum seekers are from neighbouring Ethiopia, 66.9% or 23,660, followed by 28.7% or 10,141 from war-ravaged Yemen, and 3.6% or 1,278 from Syria, which was recently rocked by deadly quakes making millions homeless.
Additionally, the figures showed northern Somalia’s urban or peri-urban settings across Woqooyi Galbeed and Bari regions sheltering around 75% of the refugees and asylum seekers.
The UN agency raised concerns over multiple challenges Somalia has been encountering for quite a number of years now, including the continued impact of Covid-19, in addition to serious conflicts, political insecurity, and devastating natural disasters such as cyclones, droughts and flooding.
Citing a report released by the government and UN agencies, an Al-Jazeera report dated March 20 revealed Somalia’s ongoing record drought is estimated to have potentially killed as many as 43,000 people last year, with 50% of them children under the age of five. Several consecutive failed rainy seasons in the country have left millions of people with acute food shortages.
The UNHCR said the relocation of newly arrived refugees in Ethiopia’s Somali region has begun, with more than 1,000 of the most vulnerable individuals transferred from border areas to a new settlement over the last few days. These refugees escaped recurring clashes in northern Somalia’s Lascanood city.