Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Somalia famine: Refugees move into Dadaab extension

Mark Tran in Global Development, a blog at the Guardian (UK): The UN refugee agency has begun moving displaced Somalis to a new camp extension at the Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya to relieve overcrowding. Relief groups are struggling with an influx of mainly Somali refugees fleeing drought and conflict that has left more than 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Some 70,000 refugees have arrived in Kenya in the last two months; 40,000 in July alone, according to UNHCR. The number of refugees at Dadaab has swelled to 440,000.

More than 3,000 Somali refugees have been moved from the outskirts of Dadaab – 60 miles from the Somali border – to what is known as the "Ifo extension". The site will provide tents for 90,000 people by the end of November.

Latrines and water reservoirs have been constructed and are already in use by the 3,207 people who have moved there since last Monday. Two sites, previously known as Ifo 2 and Ifo 3, have been consolidated to form the new Ifo extension camp.

Ifo 2 was designed to relieve overcrowding last year, before the latest influx, when numbers at the camp hit more than 300,000. Dadaab is the biggest refugee complex in the world and was officially declared full in 2008. The complex is made up of three camps – Dagahaley, Ifo, Hagadera – and now the Ifo extension....

An outdoor school at the Dadaab Somali refugee camp in Kenya. From 2004

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