NAIROBI- (November 17, 2016)- CARE in Kenya is welcoming the announcement of the Kenyan government to postpone the closure of the Dadaab refugee camps.
“There are still more than 275,000 refugees living in the world’s largest camp. Many are afraid to return to their home country, given insecurity in Somalia,” says CARE Country Director Bogdan Dumitru. “We are relieved to hear that Kenya is shifting the deadline of the camps closure.”
Earlier this year Kenya had announced that it has disbanded its Department of Refugee Affairs, which was followed up in June with the statement that the government plans to close Dadaab refugee camp by the end of November 2016. On Wednesday, the Kenyan government extended this deadline until May 2017.
While CARE believes in the rights of refugees to a safe and voluntary return and encourages the voluntary return of Somali refugees from Dadaab when and where it is safe and possible to do so, we also note that with ongoing instability and the long term rehabilitation needs inside Somalia, there will continue to be a need for a safe place for Somali refugees and refugees of other nationalities within Kenya or other parts of the world.
At the same time, CARE is highlighting the need of continued support for thousands of refugees still living in the camp and the massive logistical effort that could be required to meet the Kenyan government’s newly stated deadline.
CARE in Kenya has been providing protection and life-saving assistance in Dadaab with food, water and sanitation facilities, hygiene promotion, livelihoods support, education as well as gender and development since 1992. CARE’s biggest long-term achievement has been in empowering the refugee communities to become more self-sustaining. CARE has also been introducing women to leadership roles within the refugee community and working closely together with them against sexual and gender based violence.
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