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Kenya shelters Somali regugees

06-20-2011 14:07 BJT

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Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are facing a humanitarian emergency. Urgent measures are needed to deal with the increasing crisis of congestion at the biggest refugee camp in the world.

Surrounded by mile upon mile of sand and bushes, hundreds of thousands of refugees crowd into makeshift shelters.

Dadaab Refugee Camp is in north-eastern Kenya and was created in 1991 to house no more than 90,000 refugees from neighboring Somalia.

Two decades later, UNHCR says Dadaab holds about 332,000 Somalis with hundreds more arriving every day.

Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are facing a humanitarian emergency.
Urgent measures are needed to deal with the increasing crisis of congestion at
the biggest refugee camp in the world.

Gibson Kuria, UNHCR Official, said, "We do not have anymore land; we can say we do not have anywhere to take the new arrivals. They will start to encroach to areas that are not allocated to them and therefore conflict with the local communities will arise because of the animals, trees and all this."

Drought and two decades of violence have forced Somalis to flee their country condemning them to the camp.

Somalia has been plagued by civil war since the fall of Mohamed Siad Barre some 20 years ago.

Although an African Union backed government is now in place, it faces almost daily attacks from the al-Qaeda linked Al Shabaab rebel group.

Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are facing a humanitarian emergency.
Urgent measures are needed to deal with the increasing crisis of congestion at
the biggest refugee camp in the world.

Over 27,400 Somali refugees have come to Dadaab since January this year, putting even more pressure on health and social amenities and exposing refugees to poor hygiene, sanitation and malnutrition.

Monica Rull, Program Manager, said, "Since a couple of years, the situation has been really a crisis to happen. Up to now we have not had major outbreaks. All the health indicators are under threat but there is no public health emergency. The living conditions in the camp are unbearable for a big bunch of people."

Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees are facing a humanitarian emergency.
Urgent measures are needed to deal with the increasing crisis of congestion
at the biggest refugee camp in the world.

Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs took over the registration of new arrivals from the UNHCR in March to tighten screening of refugees.

"World Refugee Day was created to draw international attention to the urgent issues facing Daadab and other refugee populations around the globe. But things need to move very quickly from advocacy to increased financial and material support in order to truly help the people in Daadab, whose only choices are to brave the deadly violence back home, or ask for a helping hand.Okwi Okoh, CCTV, Nairobi, Kenya."

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Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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