News / Africa

    Somali Refugees May Face Severe Aid Shortages

    A newly arrived Somali family carry their supply of aid outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP)A newly arrived Somali family carry their supply of aid outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP)
    x
    A newly arrived Somali family carry their supply of aid outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP)
    A newly arrived Somali family carry their supply of aid outside Dadaab, Eastern Kenya, Aug. 5, 2011. (AP)
    Joe DeCapua
    Aid agencies warn that tens of thousands of lives may be at risk as supplies run out at the world’s largest refugee camp. They say 25 million dollars in emergency funds are needed for humanitarian operations at Kenya’s Dadaab camp.

    Aid agencies say funding has not kept pace with the growing needs at Dadaab. Oxfam spokesman Alun McDonald said the funds are needed in the next two or three months.



    “One year ago we had this massive influx of people from Somalia fleeing the famine and the conflict that were taking place inside Somalia. And the pictures of people arriving in the camp having walked for weeks across the desert with no food and water really captured the world’s attention, and got of a lot of attention on Dadaab. But then a year later a lot of that attention has faded away,” he said.

    Dadaab is made up of 5 separate camps in northeastern Kenya. It’s 20 years old and was already overcrowded before last year’s influx of refugees.

    “The camp is bigger than ever. There are 160,000 people who arrived last year and in total there are nearly a half a million people now in the camp. But the funding available for the camp is only really at the levels it was before the big influx last year. So we’re faced with a camp that has growing needs but less money,” said McDonald.

    The agencies say the funding shortfall threatens essential services including water, sanitation, health care and shelter.

    “Some people in the camp are living in fairly well-established areas where there are houses made of brick and made of stone. So those are fine. The issue is with a lot of the people who arrived last year. They’ve been living in basic tents sort of on the edge of the camp and the extreme heat that you get in Dadaab and also the heavy rains and the heavy wind – these sort of flimsy tents tend to wear away very quickly within a few months,” he said.

    McDonald said about 30,000 new shelters are currently needed, but there’s only money for about 4,000. He says over the next few months the gap will widen.

    The Oxfam spokesman added funding is also needed for education.

    “At the moment the majority of children in Dadaab don’t get a good education. So it makes it very hard for the children to then go back to Somalia and play a constructive role in the peace process there. And it also increases the chance of them being recruited into militia or banditry activity if there are no alternative jobs,” he said.

    He said, in fairness to donors, there are many other humanitarian crises demanding their attention. This includes the hunger crisis in West Africa’s Sahel region.

    “We do need to look at the long-term future of Dadaab. So we really need a solution that doesn’t involve us having to keep pumping money year after year into the camp. We need a peaceful solution in Somalia so that people can go home,” he said.

    He said refugees should also receive skills training so they can find jobs when they eventually return to Somalia.

    Oxfam is joined in making the $25 million appeal by CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, Lutheran World Federation, Save the Children and Terre des Hommes.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.