By Claire Wanja
A special summit of Heads of State and Government will be convened this Saturday in Nairobi bringing together member states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the international community and other stakeholders to marshal a comprehensive regional approach to deliver durable solutions for Somali refugees, whilst promoting sustainable reintegration of returnees in Somalia.
The summit will be preceded by a special session of the IGAD ministerial committee on durable solutions for Somali refugees on Friday bringing together ministers responsible for interior, security and refugee affairs from the Horn of Africa region.
More than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s most protracted humanitarian crises that have now entered its third decade.
An estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced (IDPs) within Somalia and nearly 900,000 are refugees in the region.
Continuing political and security stabilization progress in Somalia, along with growing pressures in hosting countries, makes this a critical moment to renew efforts to find durable solutions for Somali refugees.
The election of the new President of Somalia in February 2017 and Parliament in December 2016 marks a milestone in the country’s post-conflict transformation.
This provides the opportunity to accelerate progress on national priorities, including: security sector development; completing the constitutional review process; building State institutions and local government; addressing humanitarian crises shocks and displacement; continuing dialogue with Somaliland; and improving public finance management and revenue collection.