Kenya: Emergency Relocation of Somali Refugees Ends

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IOM and its partners have successfully completed the relocation of more than 13,000 Somali refugees from overcrowded camps in Kenya’s north-eastern region of Dadaab to Kakuma, in the northwest of the country.

This complex emergency relocation, which was carried out in close cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Kenyan Department of Refugees Affairs and NGO partners, began in mid-August to decongest the overcrowded Dadaab camps, which hosted some 280,000 refugees, more than three times the population they were designed to accommodate.

“This successful operation was truly a joint effort to ensure all refugees were safely relocated to Kakuma where they now enjoy better shelter, improved access to basic services and where they benefit from enhanced care and protection,” says IOM’s Regional Representative Ashraf El Nour. “We are thankful for the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund for the financial support IOM has received for this important operation.”

As part of the operation, IOM ensured pre-departure medical screening to ensure all refugees were fit to travel and provided medical escorts on the three-day, 1,200 kilometres journey across Kenya.

IOM also provided medical escorts to 227 vulnerable refugees who were flown from Dadaab to Kakuma.

Despite this operation, the number of Somalis in Dadaab camps has remained virtually unchanged, as thousands fleeing conflict and drought continue to arrive every month.

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