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Thousands of Somali families were displaced to urban centres by the 2017 drought. Research by a group of NGOs indicates that they do not intend to return home anytime soon. It also shows how precarious and limited are the livelihood opportunities for displaced people in Somalia; how far people’s options are affected by gender; and how changing gender dynamics present further protection threats to both men and women. Comparing the findings for Somaliland with those for the rest of the country, the research underscores the importance of local dynamics for people’s opportunities and protection. Gaps were highlighted in the provision of basic services for women particularly.

Local, state and federal authorities, donors, and humanitarian and development actors need to improve displaced people’s immediate access to safe, gender-sensitive basic services – and to develop plans for more durable solutions to displacement. As floods in April to June 2018 have forced more people to leave their homes, an immediate step up in the response is essential.

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