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UNHCR wants additional $115m for closure of world's biggest refugee camp

UNHCR wants additional $115m for closure of world's biggest refugee camp

Somalia

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has appealed for extra funds from its donors to aid its humanitarian work with respect to the closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

UNHCR wants in excess of $115m to fund the voluntary return and reintegration of Somali refugees in the the world’s largest refugee camp. The UN agency had earlier appealed for $369m for what it referred to as the ‘Somali situation.’

With this additional ask, and with some projects prioritized, UNHCR’s total revised 2016 requirements for this response in the affected countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia) shoots up to $484.8 million.

UNHCR is committed to ensuring that all returns to Somalia are voluntary and carried out in dignity, safety and with the protection of refugees paramount at all times

The Kenyan government on May 6, 2016 announced that it was going to close down the refugee camp that has been home to millions of Somalis fleeing instability in their country. Kenya cited the fact that the camp was an existential security threat as it served as home to al Shabaab terrorists.

The UNHCR at a meeting in Nairobi at the end of June outlined a plan to decrease the current population of 343,043 (including 326,611 Somalis) at Dadaab by some 150,000 by close of this year.

The current amount sought will go into the following:

* Relocation of 16,000 non-Somali refugees from Dadaab to Kakuma * Relocation of 15,000 Somali refugees currently in the resettlement process to Kakuma * Relocation, reintegration of an estimated 42,000 Kenyans believed registered as refugees * Verification of the Dadaab population and a comprehensive Return Intention Survey * Support for an additional 50,000 voluntary Somali refugee returns from Dadaab to Somalia

‘‘UNHCR is committed to ensuring that all returns to Somalia are voluntary and carried out in dignity, safety and with the protection of refugees paramount at all times,’‘ UNHCR’s Africa Bureau boss Valentin Tapsoba said.

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