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)

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid