Housing nearly half a million people, the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya been a growing haven for those fleeing drought, famine and chaos in neighboring Somalia, albeit one with problems of its own. This past week, aid agencies reported that funds needed to keep servicing the camp are falling short by nearly $25 million.
“The aid agencies say that 30,000 new shelters are needed, but that funding is available for only 4,000. Also at risk is the provision of water supplies and sanitation for some 50,000 refugees, leaving them at risk from cholera, they say.”
Dadaab has been operating since Somalia plunged into civil war in 1991, and as it has taken in a growing number of refugees during the drought crisis of the past year, the Kenyan government’s resources have been strained almost from the beginning.
A BBC article quotes Stephen Vaughan, head of CARE Kenya, who explains that if the “human cost” is not enough motivation for governments and individuals to fill the funding shortfall, that strategic costs to the region are also compelling. “If children [in Dadaab] are not going to school and if people do not have proper shelter and other services, this has the potential to fuel further militarization, violence and instability.”
Here are links to aid organizations mentioned in the BBC article. If you are interested in helping their efforts in Dadaab, please visit their pages. If you have suggestions for other organizations, please post them in the comments section.