Life-saving work continues in Kenya's Dadaab camps

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

In the Dadaab refugee complex in eastern Kenya, we are seeing a sharp drop in the number of new arrivals from Somalia. This could be due to the border military operations or the onset of heavy rains in the area. No newly-arriving refugees have approached the registration centre in the last week.

Following last Thursday's security incident in Dadaab, UNHCR and partner agencies have been continuing life-saving work for hundreds of thousands of refugees. Our staff and more than 30 partners remain operational in Dadaab's three camps - Ifo, Dagahaley and Hagadera - as well as the new sites of Ifo 2, and Kambioos.

Together with the World Food Programme, UNHCR is distributing emergency food rations and relief supplies to recent arrivals. Water trucking to the new sites is ongoing while all three hospitals in Ifo, Dagahaley and Hagadera camps are providing health care to the refugees. Primary schools are being run by teachers recruited among the refugee population in the camps.

UNHCR is working with the Kenyan authorities to urgently deploy more policemen in the camps to enhance security measures for refugees and aid workers alike. Dadaab is the world's biggest refugee complex, with its sprawling camps hosting more than 463,000 refugees. Over 190,000 of them arrived this year after fleeing insecurity and famine in Somalia.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Nairobi UNHCR regional office: Vivian Tan on mobile +254 705 620 408
  • In Nairobi UNHCR Kenya office: Emmanuel Nyabera on mobile: +254 773 995 975
  • In Geneva: Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba on mobile: +41 79 249 3483