11 January 2013

Somalia: France Backs IOM's Community Stabilization Programme

Mogadishu — International Organization for Migration's (IOM) efforts to provide support to vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and their host communities in Somalia's capital Mogadishu and in the Southern border regions of Lower Juba and Gedo have received new backing from the Government of France.

The year-long EUR 1 million programme aims to make a quick and visible impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable IDPs, other mobile populations and host communities, through the direct provision of basic services in Mogadishu and in border areas of Kenya and Ethiopia.

It also aims to contribute to on-going stabilization and peace-building initiatives in Somalia by strengthening the capacity of regional and local governance institutions and communities to address the urgent needs amongst displaced populations and their affected communities.

"The current positive trends in Somalia, both the political process and the security situation, must be seized upon now and make us prepare, together with the Government of Somalia, the appropriate and acceptable conditions for the long term stabilization of the country," said Etienne de Poncins, the French ambassador to Kenya. "I am therefore delighted that the Government of France, which already provides substantial financial support to Somalia, particularly through the European Union, is able to provide further assistance for stabilization in Somalia to IOM working in close partnership with the Government of Somalia"

"We are very grateful to the Government of France for their generous contribution to IOM and applaud France's commitment to seizing the right moment and having the foresight to assist Somalia's stabilization at this point in time," said Ali Abdi, IOM Somalia's Chief of Mission. "With this donation, IOM in Somalia will also be able to establish border health posts on the Somali-Kenyan and Somali-Ethiopian borders in Dhobley and Doolow to service these very vulnerable migrant populations."

The number of displaced persons inside Somalia is estimated at 1.5 million. More than a million refugees have also fled the country.

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