Somali capital most crowded city in Africa due to displacements: charity

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-11 18:27:19|Editor: mym
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MOGADISHU, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Somalia's Mogadishu has become one of the most densely populated city in Africa as families flee to the capital to seek shelter, protection and aid, according to a report launched by a global charity on Tuesday.

The report by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)'s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) blamed massive displacements on conflict and natural disasters experienced between 2017-2018.

"Somali families are fleeing to Mogadishu seeking shelter, protection and aid. With nowhere else to go, they crowd into camps that are unhealthy and unsafe. This influx has made Mogadishu the most densely populated city in Africa, with more people arriving every day," said Evelyn Aero, Regional Adviser for NRC.

The charity said conflict was played out in Mogadishu for many years, making the city both a battlefield that has triggered urban displacement and a sanctuary for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing insecurity and lack of opportunity in rural areas.

For many internally displaced people (IDPs), however, the arrival in Mogadishu does not mark an end to their plight, says the report. According to the report, 2.6 million people are displaced within Somalia.

Drought, competition for resources and poor living conditions has fuelled fighting in rural areas, and pushed people towards Mogadishu, said the charity.

This, it said, has made Mogadishu the second most densely populated city in the world (after Bangladesh's Dhaka) and the most densely populated city in Africa.

Aero said conflict and natural disasters force families to flee to cities, noting that many that flee fighting escape in a hurry, with just the clothes on their backs.

"They arrive in Mogadishu without shelter, food or any means to support their families. More aid is needed to ensure that these people have a safe place to stay, with enough basic humanitarian aid to survive," said Aero.

The report says Somali cities with overstretched resources are unable to cope with the demands of their fast-growing populations, and the added arrivals of people fleeing crises in rural areas. Mogadishu has been their main destination by far.

"It is home to about 600,000 displaced people, most of whom live in informal camps. Between 2017 and mid-2018, 32 percent of new displacements recorded in the country were to, or within, the capital Mogadishu," the report says.

The charity called on the international donor community to scale up funding to respond to the crisis, saying about 1.2 million children are projected to be malnourished in Somalia.