UNHCR moves over 3,000 Somali refugees into Ifo Extension site in Kenya

Press Releases, 29 July 2011

Friday 29 July 2011

GENEVA The UN refugee agency has moved more than 3,000 Somali refugees from the outskirts of Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex into the Ifo Extension site in an ongoing relocation movement that started on Monday, 25 July.

The refugees had arrived in recent weeks and months after fleeing drought and conflict in Somalia. They settled spontaneously on the edge of Ifo camp, one of three existing camps in the Dadaab complex. On Monday, UNHCR started moving them to the new Ifo Extension site, which will provide tented accommodation to 90,000 refugees by the end of November. Latrines and water reservoirs have been constructed and are already in use by the 734 families (3,207 people) that have moved to this site.

The sites, previously known as Ifo 2 and Ifo 3, have been consolidated to form the new Ifo Extension. Infrastructure near completion includes a health clinic, three schools and four boreholes that will service the whole site. Over 100 houses that are almost ready will be given to extremely vulnerable refugee families.

Oxfam has installed three water storage tanks with a capacity of 10,000 litres each in Ifo Extension. MSF-Spain is providing primary health care services from its health post located on the outskirts of Ifo camp. It is also planning to construct three additional health posts inside Ifo Extension.

Work has also started in another site, near the Hagadera camp, known as Kambioos, where the land is being cleared. Plots are being demarcated and tents will be erected to accommodate 90,000 people. By the end of November, 180,000 people will have been moved to both the Ifo Extension and Kambioos sites.

While UNHCR's airlifts have brought thousands of tents to Dadaab, they are not enough to meet the needs of the growing refugee population. Some 45,000 tents are needed to provide emergency accommodation. Since the beginning of the year, some 114,000 Somalis have arrived in Dadaab, including about 30,000 awaiting registration on the outskirts of the refugee camps.

In Ethiopia, more than 75,000 Somalis have arrived in the Dollo Ado camps after fleeing their homeland this year to escape the mix of conflict, drought and recent famine. The influx continues at the rate of 240 a day in Dollo Ado and 1,300 daily in Dadaab.

Learn more about the crisis in Somalia and how to contribute by visiting the UNHCR Horn of Africa emergency site. For the latest updates follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Geneva: Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba on mobile: +41 79 249 3483

  • In Geneva: Vivian Tan on mobile +41 79 881 91 74

  • In Nairobi UNHCR regional office: Ron Redmond on mobile +254 734 564 019

  • In Nairobi UNHCR regional office: Needa Jehu-Hoyah on mobile +254 734 564 018

  • In Nairobi UNHCR Kenya office: Emmanuel Nyabera on mobile: +254 773 995 975

  • In Dadaab camp, Kenya: William Spindler on mobile +254 71 545 5992

  • In Kenya, UNHCR Somalia Office: Andy Needham on mobile +254 733 120 931

  • In Ethiopia: Milicent Mutuli on mobile +251 911 207 906

  • In Ethiopia: Kisut Gebre Egziabher on mobile +251 911 208 901

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UNHCR country pages

Flood Airdrop in Kenya

Over the weekend, UNHCR with the help of the US military began an emergency airdrop of some 200 tonnes of relief supplies for thousands of refugees badly hit by massive flooding in the Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya.

In a spectacular sight, 16 tonnes of plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, tents and blankets, were dropped on each run from the C-130 transport plane onto a site cleared of animals and people. Refugees loaded the supplies on trucks to take to the camps.

Dadaab, a three-camp complex hosting some 160,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia, has been cut off from the world for a month by heavy rains that washed away the road connecting the remote camps to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Air transport is the only way to get supplies into the camps.

UNHCR has moved 7,000 refugees from Ifo camp, worst affected by the flooding, to Hagadera camp, some 20 km away. A further 7,000 refugees have been moved to higher ground at a new site, called Ifo 2.

Posted in December 2006

Flood Airdrop in Kenya

New Arrivals in Yemen

During one six-day period at the end of March, more than 1,100 Somalis and Ethiopians arrived on the shores of Yemen after crossing the Gulf of Aden on smuggler's boats from Bosaso, Somalia. At least 28 people died during these recent voyages – from asphyxiation, beating or drowning – and many were badly injured by the smugglers. Others suffered skin problems as a result of prolonged contact with sea water, human waste, diesel oil and other chemicals.

During a recent visit to Yemen, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller pledged to further raise the profile of the situation, to appeal for additional funding and international action to help Yemen, and to develop projects that will improve the living conditions and self sufficiency of the refugees in Yemen.

Since January 2006, Yemen has received nearly 30,000 people from Somalia, Ethiopia and other places, while more than 500 people have died during the sea crossing and at least 300 remain missing. UNHCR provides assistance, care and housing to more than 100,000 refugees already in Yemen.

New Arrivals in Yemen

The Gulf of Aden: Sharp Rise in Crossings and Deaths

The number of people arriving on the coast of Yemen after being smuggled across the treacherous Gulf of Aden from the Horn of Africa has more than doubled this year. So far this year, more than 18,000 people have arrived in Yemen across the Gulf of Aden, and nearly 400 have died attempting the journey.

This surge in arrivals is largely due to the continuing conflict in Somalia and the use of new smuggling routes from Somalia to Yemen and across the Red Sea from Djibouti. Many of the new arrivals also tell of crop losses due to drought, which forced them to leave home. This photo set focuses on those people leaving from Djibouti.

UNHCR has been calling for increased action to save lives in the Gulf of Aden and other waters. We have stepped up our work in Yemen under a US$17 million operation that includes extra staff, provision of additional shelter and assistance, and protection for refugees and internally displaced people.

Posted on 20 May 2008

The Gulf of Aden: Sharp Rise in Crossings and Deaths

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In Kenya, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres discusses solutions for Somali refugees.
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