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About Shelter/NFI Cluster

Having access to adequate shelter and basic household items has far-reaching effects on a person's living standard, as well as physical and mental wellbeing. In some situations of displacements, providing shelter assistance is life-saving. Other multi-sectoral effects of shelter include improvement to a person's mental wellbeing, protection from adverse climatic condition, prevention from protection and security risks, and preservation of physical health.

The Emergency Shelter/Non-Food Items (NFI) Cluster works to ensure that everyone has the right to adequate housing.  The cluster brings together local authorities with UN agencies and NGOs in order to coordinate and improve the provision of emergency shelter and NFIs. The result is a harmonized effort to support affected Somali people to claim their right to adequate housing and live in dignified circumstances. Cluster members distribute NFIs, such as plastic sheeting, cooking sets, blankets, jerry cans, sleeping mats, sanitary items and shelter. The cluster provides minimum standards that guide members in the provision of NFIs and shelter-related interventions.

The cluster contributes to the protection of displaced and other vulnerable groups from life-threatening elements through the distribution of Emergency Assistance Packages (EAPs), improve living conditions and facilitate access to durable solutions for displaced people.

Through the cluster approach, the Emergency Shelter/NFI Cluster assures the provision of an accountable, predictable and reliable emergency response to all affected people in need of shelter and NFIs in Somalia. Shelter and basic NFIs provide the bedrock of recovery from the shock of displacement and offer early relief from disaster. Without this foundation, the chances of protecting basic human dignity are reduced, health is compromised, the ability to cope with poor nutrition is diminished and it is increasingly difficult to improve lives in the settlements.

The Shelter cluster strategy has three main pillars:  Shelter assistance, NFI assistance, and Provision of Community infrastructure. Accountability and Community participation and ownership are underlying themes which are embedded in all cluster activities. Where feasible, the cluster looks for opportunities to scale up transaction-based modalities in activities where their introduction can increase the timeliness and appropriateness of the response (e.g. by enabling people to address their own specific needs and priorities), and where it can support the resilience and social cohesion of communities, for example by facilitating the purchase of supplies and services in local markets.

The Emergency Shelter/NFI Cluster also advocates that all members conduct Post-Distribution Monitoring exercises to measure the appropriateness of the items distributed, the effectiveness of the distribution methodology, and the possible protection risks encountered during and after the distributions.