The UN refugee agency is appealing to donors for an additional $115.4 million to fund the voluntary return and reintegration of Somali refugees from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp.
In a press release, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that funding was also required for the relocation of refugees from Dadaab to Kakuma refugee camp, as well as related projects and infrastructure in Kenya and 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,” Valentin Tapsoba, director of UNHCR’s Africa Bureau, said on Tuesday.
“In order to do this, we are requesting the international donor community to support this additional appeal so that returning Somalis can go back to their home country with the best possible opportunities to re-establish themselves and their families in peace and stability,” he added.
The UNHCR’s total revised 2016 requirements for the response in the affected countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are now $484.8 million.
Following the government of Kenya’s announcement on May 6 of its decision to close Dadaab camp, the UNHCR presented a plan of action at the meeting of the Tripartite Commission – consisting of Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR – which took place in Nairobi at the end of June.
The plan outlines a process intended to reduce the population of Dadaab camp – currently 343 043, including 326 611 Somalis – by 150 000 by the end of 2016.
The UNHCR said that in addition to other priorities, the additional $115 million requested would go towards a number of activities, including relocation of 16 000 non-Somali refugees from Dadaab to Kakuma, and relocation of 15 000 Somali refugees currently in the resettlement process to Kakuma.
– African News Agency (ANA)