2014-10-31
Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
OIC initiates Voluntary Return Program (VRP) to 50,000 IDPs in Mogadishu camps

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Mohamed  Idle, Deputy Country Director for Somalia , Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Organization of Islamic Coorperation
Thursday, March 28, 2013

The presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) in Mogadishu was necessitated by the famine declared approximately one year and half years which was further precipitated by ongoing conflict that also affect greater portion of the communities living across the Somalia regions.

The international humanitarian organizations made tremendous effort in reaching the IDPs while in the camps and other localities to reduce further suffering and deaths which was record high during the emergency phase.

The IDPS were faced with number of problems in the IDP camps including, poorly ventilated houses, poor drainage systems, unreported rape cases and lack of essential aid continuity all the calendar months thereby exposing them further to myriad of challenges. 

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Recently, the government of Somalia in collaboration with other stakeholders made an plan to realize the six steps of relocating the IDPs as way of preparing them further for return program. 

Based on the current needs to improve the condition of the IDPs and as a way of reducing eventual dependency syndrome; OIC in collaboration with coalition members  initiated a voluntary return program by investing social services at the point of origin (village/towns) for 50,000 persons .

The main intention of OIC and its coalition members is to develop household purchasing power of the communities affected by such drought and build their internal resilience mechanisms rather than keeping them in camps where future of the children and other vulnerable groups remains uncertain.

To demonstrate OIC drive in regards to voluntary return program (VRP); a high level consultative workshop has been conducted on 26th March 2013 in Mogadishu where 100 stakeholders turned out for the workshop to share their experiences, feelings and challenges which will be used by OIC as a springboard to actualize the voluntary return program in a successful manner.

OIC has developed key messages for the VRP to be used by stakeholders including the media to promote the voluntary return program supported by the key actors.  The messages includes and not limited to; that,

1)The OIC and coalition members initiatives is to induce a voluntary return program acceptable to the drought/conflict affected communities, local authorities and key actors living in major cities in Somalia with an aim of upholding and guarding the spirits of non forceful evictions.

2)In respect to collective approach to dignified and safe return initiatives by all main actors; OIC and coalition members envisages the fundamental motivations of the whole process with an effort of fostering the resilience efforts.

3)OIC and coalition members believe in empowering the communities by providing durable options during and after the return program as a way of indoctrinating the need for them become self sufficient and increase household purchasing power.

4)While promotion for massive IDP return is not applicable to Somalia today, careful engagement in measured and facilitated return with the provision of appropriate support and assistance can contribute to ensuring that returns are lasting and sustainable.

OIC is seeking to mobilize essential services at the village level/towns so as to create a push level factor which will eventually motivate and empower the communities to access all the basic needs and consequently increase the likelihood of all the IDPs to go back to village of origin.

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