Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, is a growing city, and currently over 2.2 million people live here. People move to Mogadishu in search of a safer and better life, often fleeing from conflict and natural disasters. However, Mogadishu is known as one of the world’s most fragile cities.
Although the overall security situation in Mogadishu has improved and there are some positive signs, the threat of violence remains. For all these reasons, efforts to improve the lives of families and children must continue. As the economy continues to grow, there is an opportunity for positive change to reach even the most vulnerable.
Since 1985, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Mogadishu.
In Mogadishu, around 57% of people live in poverty. The majority has been forced to move to Mogadishu due to conflict and natural disasters. They arrived here in search of safety and ways to survive. Families living in poverty often suffer from malnutrition, as they do not have the means to grow or buy goods. They live in low quality housing with neither access to safe sanitation facilities nor clean water to drink. Living in such conditions makes them vulnerable to other illnesses and disease – and health care is not readily available. Unfortunately, the insecurity situation means many are not able to make a stable income. Unless families receive the support they need, children will drop out of school, be forced to work or left to fend for themselves.
When crisis strikes rural areas, many move to Mogadishu in search of safety. There are approximately 500,000 internally displaced people in Mogadishu – many of them have been displaced for decades. They live in crowded settlements in insecure areas outside the city. They often live on private land and, in the past, these settlements have been cleared without warning and with force. The government is working to protect the rights of displaced people and ease the tensions with the host communities. Some progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go before the situation improves for these families struggling to exist in one of the world’s most fragile cities.