Over 80,000 Somali refugees back home since 2014-UNHCR

Somali returnees arrive at Berbera port from Yemen early this month. Photo: UNCHR

Slightly over one thousands Somalis displaced into four countries arrived in the country in March adding to over 80,000 the number of returnees since the UNHCR-led voluntary repatriation started in 2014.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said in its March repatriation update Monday, out of the 1089 who arrived in the country between March 1 and 31, majority of them (759) were from Kenya while 272 others came from Yemen, 56 from Libya and two from Gambia.

The agency estimates 835,900 Somali refugees still remain displaced in the region noting 35,000 had spontaneously returned from Yemen since 2014 without the support of UNHCR. Out of the 81,030 repatriated since 2014, 79,847 were from Kenya, 1,487 from Yemen, 589 from Djibouti while 34 others came from Eritrea. Others were from Tunisia (3), Gambia (2) and Pakistan (1).

A total of 3,199 returnees since January to end of March were given a one-time grant of $200 and each family a monthly allowance of $200 for a period of six months to allow them settle and build livelihoods.

The UN agency added it had provided technical and vocational education training to 744 since January and supported a further 170 to start up small business.

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