EC Provides EUR 15 M for World’s Biggest Refugee Camps

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | August 2, 2010, Monday // 20:53
Bulgaria: EC Provides EUR 15 M for World’s Biggest Refugee Camps A Somali women and her children, newly arrived from Somalia sit in their make shift shelter in IFO Refugee Camp, Dadaab, Kenya on 04 November, 2009. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The European Commission has adopted a EUR 15 M aid package to provide assistance to Somali populations at Dadaab camps, the biggest refugee camps in the world, hosting more than 278,000 people.

The sectors covered by this decision include health, water and sanitation, non food items, shelter and protection. In addition, EUR 5 M will be allocated from this new funding to provide immediate food and livelihood assistance to people who are struggling to cope with the increased frequency of severe drought in the arid, semi-arid and coastal regions of the country.

"The Dadaab camps have currently three times more people that the number they were designed to host. In this year alone, the Somali crisis will force yet another 100 000 people to flee over the border into Kenya just to survive. Now that the Kenyan authorities have allocated additional land to decongest the camps, the Commission's new funding will be key to building this extension and to providing all the necessary infrastructure and basic services for these needy people,” stated EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.

The Dadaab Camps, situated on the border of Somalia, are mainly inhabited by Somali refugees fleeing civil war in their country. They belong to the Dagahaley, Ifo and Hagadera populations and are located in the North-Eastern Province of Kenya. Set up in 1991 to accommodate 90,000 refugees, these camps now host more than 278,000 refugees.

In order to decongest the 3 camps and to shelter the expected new arrivals, the Kenyan Authorities have recently allocated 1,370 hectares of land for the expansion of Ifo Camp in March 2010. This extension will allow the accommodation of up to 80,000 refugees.

Kenya's arid and semi-arid districts and coastal areas have been hit by severe droughts. The main objective of the Commission is to ensure the availability of and access to food by addressing acute malnutrition and by stabilizing conditions to promote rehabilitation and restoration of self reliance.

The aid will provide support to the most vulnerable populations in the form of food assistance, health care, water and sanitation programmes, the protection of livestock assets, as well as other forms of short-term livelihood support in the region, in tight coordination with its regional drought preparedness approach.

The press service of the EC reminds that on March 31, 2010, the Commission adopted a Communication on Humanitarian Food Assistance. This lays out a new policy framework for EU humanitarian action to strengthen efforts to tackle food-insecurity in humanitarian crises. In recent years, hunger and malnutrition have increased in the world; in 2010, over 1 billion people are considered to be food insecure.

Of these, approximately 100 million are living in crisis contexts, and face extreme and acute food-insecurity and malnutrition that poses an immediate threat to life. The Communication states that EU Humanitarian Food Assistance will aim to save and preserve life, to protect livelihoods, and to increase resilience for populations facing on-going or forecasted humanitarian food crises, or recovering from them

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Tags: EC, European Commission, EU Commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, Kenya, Somalia, refugee camp, refugees, Dadaab Camps

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