Return of Somali refugees from neighbouring countries

Project description

Title: Support to the return of Somali refugees through a community-oriented approach to reintegration in Somalia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Somalia
Lead executing agency: Wasaaradda Arrimaha Gudaha Soomaaliya (Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs)
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Menschen in Kismayo (3)


The continuing civil war in Somalia, which began more than 25 years ago, has shattered all the country’s political, social and economic structures and created difficult living conditions for large sections of the population. Since 1991 the whole country has been considered a failed state. The new government and the regional governments that are currently being established are unable to cope with distributing goods to their own people.

Since 2015 there has been a sharp increase in the number of refugees returning from Kenya to Somalia: 75,000 people. The majority of them arrive into the Somali port of Kismayo where the Support to the Return of Somali Refugees through a Community-Oriented Approach to Reintegration in Somalia project operates.

The main field of work is the social, economic and political (re-)integration of returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Due to the growing population, resources and structures in Kismayo are overstretched and the potential for conflict between IDPs, returnees and the local population is rising.  An increasing number of people compete for the already scarce basic services and limited public infrastructure.


The livelihoods of returnees, IDPs and the local population in selected host communities in Somalia are improved.



The programme supports selected communities in reintegrating returnees from neighbouring countries and IDPs, and host communities also benefit from this. The project operates in various fields of activity to improve people’s livelihoods.  Key priorities are to construct social infrastructure, generate income opportunities and support local authorities and institutions. The project works with different national and international non-governmental organisations. The main focus is on an integrated approach that includes all target groups and government decision-makers.

Working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH collaborates with governmental and civil society partners to offer training opportunities for the population. People are able to receive training in occupational fields including electrics, joinery and solar technology. The project offers advice and support to anyone wanting to set up a small business and needing start-up capital. In particular, young people and women who have to provide for their families on their own are given support. Cash-for-work schemes offer a further opportunity for getting a foothold in the world of work. Together, returnees, IDPs and the host population repair the region’s infrastructure including roads, bridges, water systems. In addition to short-term earnings, it creates the opportunity for sustainable vocational options. The various population groups become better acquainted with one another, reducing tensions and improving their relationships. Improved market structures make it easier for them to access food and income. A midwifery school also contributes to the improvement of basic health care.

The project also assists the government with the social, economic and political integration of the population and in the reconstruction after the war and drought.

Women Group


The combination of the reconstruction of infrastructure, capacity building for business development, generating income opportunities, and support for public partner organisations that provide government services creates a blueprint for success.

Professional training and qualifications facilitate the reintegration of returnees. The project also supports sustainable structures such as new markets, a centre for women, the development of a midwifery school and supply of drinking water. This serves the general public and encourages economic growth.

The proportion of officially registered returnees and IDPs has increased significantly. Registration increases protection and security, and facilitates access to social services such as schools, identity cards and health care. This makes social, administrative and political reintegration easier.

Other Language

Related Themes