Posts tagged dadaab

Photo: Family members huddle in a makeshift shelter on the outskirts of the overcrowded Dadaab refugee camps. Kenya © Robin Hammond/Panos Pictures
Kenya: Possible Influx Of New Refugees Will Worsen Already Dire Conditions In Camps
Relocating thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya to overflowing and crisis-ridden camps will threaten their own health and exacerbate already disastrous humanitarian conditions, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today.
Kenyan authorities recently publicly exhorted thousands of Somali refugees living in urban areas of Kenya to uproot and move to refugee camps in Dadaab, a sprawling complex in a vast desert landscape in eastern Kenya. The camps, which together comprise the largest refugee settlement in the world, are already home to close to half a million people, well beyond their original capacity of 90,000. Squalid living conditions and insufficient assistance have been compounded by increasing insecurity in the camps over the last year.
“The assistance provided in Dadaab is already completely overstretched and cannot meet existing needs,” said Dr. Elena Velilla, MSF’s head of mission in Kenya. “In the event of an influx of new arrivals, MSF would not be able to increase its assistance or respond to a new emergency due to ongoing insecurity.”
The possible arrival of thousands of additional refugees will further deteriorate the precarious conditions, already worsened by seasonal rains and an attendant increased risk of epidemics. There are already sporadic cases of cholera and hepatitis E reported throughout the camps.
MSF, one of the main health providers in Dadaab, is operating a 200-bed hospital serving as a referral facility for the camps, but it has struggled to cope with the considerable and growing medical and humanitarian needs.
“Since the beginning of December, heavy rains have flooded the camps, and the already fragile shelter and sanitation conditions have become even more deplorable, with dramatic consequences for the population’s health,” said Velilla.
Over the last month, the number of children admitted to the MSF hospital for severe acute malnutrition has doubled, with approximately 300 children hospitalized. Most of them are also suffering from acute watery diarrhoea or severe respiratory tract infections, attributable to the poor living conditions in the camps.
Since the camps were established more than 20 years ago, emergencies have plagued Dadaab, with floods, nutritional crises, and disease outbreaks occurring regularly. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which administers the camp complex, 11 epidemic outbreaks were reported in 2012.

Photo: Family members huddle in a makeshift shelter on the outskirts of the overcrowded Dadaab refugee camps. Kenya © Robin Hammond/Panos Pictures

Kenya: Possible Influx Of New Refugees Will Worsen Already Dire Conditions In Camps

Relocating thousands of Somali refugees in Kenya to overflowing and crisis-ridden camps will threaten their own health and exacerbate already disastrous humanitarian conditions, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned today.

Kenyan authorities recently publicly exhorted thousands of Somali refugees living in urban areas of Kenya to uproot and move to refugee camps in Dadaab, a sprawling complex in a vast desert landscape in eastern Kenya. The camps, which together comprise the largest refugee settlement in the world, are already home to close to half a million people, well beyond their original capacity of 90,000. Squalid living conditions and insufficient assistance have been compounded by increasing insecurity in the camps over the last year.

“The assistance provided in Dadaab is already completely overstretched and cannot meet existing needs,” said Dr. Elena Velilla, MSF’s head of mission in Kenya. “In the event of an influx of new arrivals, MSF would not be able to increase its assistance or respond to a new emergency due to ongoing insecurity.”

The possible arrival of thousands of additional refugees will further deteriorate the precarious conditions, already worsened by seasonal rains and an attendant increased risk of epidemics. There are already sporadic cases of cholera and hepatitis E reported throughout the camps.

MSF, one of the main health providers in Dadaab, is operating a 200-bed hospital serving as a referral facility for the camps, but it has struggled to cope with the considerable and growing medical and humanitarian needs.

“Since the beginning of December, heavy rains have flooded the camps, and the already fragile shelter and sanitation conditions have become even more deplorable, with dramatic consequences for the population’s health,” said Velilla.

Over the last month, the number of children admitted to the MSF hospital for severe acute malnutrition has doubled, with approximately 300 children hospitalized. Most of them are also suffering from acute watery diarrhoea or severe respiratory tract infections, attributable to the poor living conditions in the camps.

Since the camps were established more than 20 years ago, emergencies have plagued Dadaab, with floods, nutritional crises, and disease outbreaks occurring regularly. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which administers the camp complex, 11 epidemic outbreaks were reported in 2012.

Somali Refugees in Dadaab Struggle On

Though the international spotlight has moved on, hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in the Dadaab camps in northwestern Kenya, the largest refugee camps in the world, continue to struggle amid harsh conditions and pervasive malnutrition, particularly among children. Aid has been too slow in coming, however, and longer-term solutions are nowhere to be found.

MSF Condemns Attacks On Aid Workers And Calls For Release Of Abducted Colleagues in Somalia

One week ago, a gunman killed Phillipe Havet and Andrias Karel Keiluhuo, two Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aid workers, while they were implementing emergency assistance projects in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. Three months ago, MSF staff members Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut were abducted in the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya while providing emergency assistance for the Somali population there.

These attacks on aid workers must be condemned in the strongest terms, MSF said today. They jeopardize life-saving medical projects that are already far from adequate in addressing the vast medical needs of the Somali population.

MSF is confronting the difficult dilemma of working in a context like Somalia, where the needs are not only extremely great, but the risks are exceptionally high for the safety and security of all staff. As we consider this dilemma, MSF is requesting that all people—especially the authorities in control of areas in Somalia where our kidnapped colleagues are being detained—do everything possible to facilitate the safe release of Blanca and Montserrat.

Somali refugees stand outside a reception center in Dagahaley camp, Dadaab, Kenya. Since the kidnapping of two MSF employees on Oct. 13, MSF has continued to treat severely malnourished children and others in the Dagahaley camp hospital. Teams plan to reopen four health posts inside the camp and to restart other medical activities in the coming days. Read more

Photo: Kenya 2011 ©  Michael Goldfarb/MSF

Somali refugees stand outside a reception center in Dagahaley camp, Dadaab, Kenya. Since the kidnapping of two MSF employees on Oct. 13, MSF has continued to treat severely malnourished children and others in the Dagahaley camp hospital. Teams plan to reopen four health posts inside the camp and to restart other medical activities in the coming days. Read more

Photo: Kenya 2011 © Michael Goldfarb/MSF

A young boy taking bone-thin cattle in search of pasture at the edge of Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. Many recently arrived Somali refugees have lost all of their animals to the ravishing effects of a prolonged drought in Somalia. (Photo: Kenya 2011 ©Brendan Bannon)

A young boy taking bone-thin cattle in search of pasture at the edge of Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. Many recently arrived Somali refugees have lost all of their animals to the ravishing effects of a prolonged drought in Somalia. (Photo: Kenya 2011 ©Brendan Bannon)

Fatuma Badel fled Buale, Somalia with 8 children after leaving her sick husband. “he became sick and I couldn’t carry him. I don’t know if he is alive or dead. This one, my youngest was like a dead person when i arrived. Now I thank God I can hear him cry again.” She has been 3 days in the MSF hospital with her baby Mohamud who arrived severely malnourished. At nine months old he weighs 4.3 KG. (Photo: Kenya 2011 © Brendan Bannon)

Fatuma Badel fled Buale, Somalia with 8 children after leaving her sick husband. “he became sick and I couldn’t carry him. I don’t know if he is alive or dead. This one, my youngest was like a dead person when i arrived. Now I thank God I can hear him cry again.” She has been 3 days in the MSF hospital with her baby Mohamud who arrived severely malnourished. At nine months old he weighs 4.3 KG. (Photo: Kenya 2011 © Brendan Bannon)

Somalis in Kenya: From One Desert to Another

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply concerned by the relocation of Somali refugees in Dadaab, in northeastern Kenya, to the Ifo 3 extension camp. The relocation, which began yesterday under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), has been carried out with little transparency or consultation with other agencies on the ground and the refugee community itself.

Each day, some 200 families are being relocated to Ifo 3, a camp with few basic services, including water and sanitation. It is expected that the camp will hold a total of 60,000 refugees, which is 20,000 more people than it was originally designed for. NGOs were alerted only last Friday of the relocation exercise, and although water is currently being trucked to the new camp and latrines are rapidly being dug, the camp does not at present meet the minimum humanitarian standards.

Furthermore, this camp has no hospital structure, which will force MSF to refer patients in need of hospitalization or inpatient therapeutic feeding to either the Dagahaley camp or Ifo camp hospitals, both of which are already operating beyond full capacity because of widespread malnutrition and other medical issues among the rapidly swelling refugee population.

Meanwhile, just a few kilometers away lies Ifo 2, a camp that was due to open last November and is already equipped with boreholes, latrines and showers, electricity, some shelter, and schools.

MSF calls on the Government of Kenya and the UNHCR to ensure the immediate relocation of refugees to Ifo 2 as announced by the government 12 days ago. Full press release.

newshour:


East Africa Famine: How to Help


PHOTO: DADAAB, KENYA - JULY 22: A Somalian refugee holds his child outside his home on the edge of the Ifo refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

newshour:

East Africa Famine: How to Help

PHOTODADAAB, KENYA - JULY 22: A Somalian refugee holds his child outside his home on the edge of the Ifo refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 22, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Follow our media relations manager, Michael Goldfarb (@goldfarbMSF), on Twitter  for on-the-ground updates on the nutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa. He’s tweeting from Dadaab, Kenya, where violence and drought are driving Somalis from their homes in search of care and shelter.

Follow our media relations manager, Michael Goldfarb (@goldfarbMSF), on Twitter for on-the-ground updates on the nutrition crisis in the Horn of Africa. He’s tweeting from Dadaab, Kenya, where violence and drought are driving Somalis from their homes in search of care and shelter.

Responding To Drought In The Horn of Africa 

Drought currently affecting the Horn of Africa is exacerbating already precarious conditions for many people in eastern Africa. MSF teams are seeing a dramatic effect on the Somali population—both those in Somalia and the many who have fled to overcrowded camps in Dadaab, Kenya, and parts of Ethiopia. The numbers of malnourished children in MSF feeding programs in these areas are rising. This, along with the conflict in Somalia, limited access to healthcare, high food prices, and inadequate aid amounts to a widespread humanitarian crisis.

Photo: A malnourished child rests inside MSF’s inpatient therapeutic feeding center in Dadaab. (Kenya 2011 © Yahya Dahiye/MSF)

Responding To Drought In The Horn of Africa

Drought currently affecting the Horn of Africa is exacerbating already precarious conditions for many people in eastern Africa. MSF teams are seeing a dramatic effect on the Somali population—both those in Somalia and the many who have fled to overcrowded camps in Dadaab, Kenya, and parts of Ethiopia. The numbers of malnourished children in MSF feeding programs in these areas are rising. This, along with the conflict in Somalia, limited access to healthcare, high food prices, and inadequate aid amounts to a widespread humanitarian crisis.

Photo: A malnourished child rests inside MSF’s inpatient therapeutic feeding center in Dadaab. (Kenya 2011 © Yahya Dahiye/MSF)

A Day in Dadaab: Four Somali Refugees Tell Their Story

In 2010, we did this feature on life in Dadaab, which was already one of the world’s most congested refugee camps. A musician, a poet, a mother, and a woman with a song testify to not only the hardships of life in a refugee camp, but also portray an image of the cruel realities of life in Somalia.

Find udpated information on the situation in Dadaab here.

A Day in Dadaab: Four Somali Refugees Tell Their Story

In 2010, we did this feature on life in Dadaab, which was already one of the world’s most congested refugee camps. A musician, a poet, a mother, and a woman with a song testify to not only the hardships of life in a refugee camp, but also portray an image of the cruel realities of life in Somalia.

Find udpated information on the situation in Dadaab here.

Malnutrition among arrivals at Dadaab refugee camp

In an assessment on the outskirts of one of Dadaab’s camp sites, MSF teams found extremely high malnutrition rates among new arrivals, including:

  • 37.7 percent rate of global acute malnutrition
  • 17.5 percent rate of severe acute malnutrition
  • 43.3 percent of children aged five to 10 were malnourished

As a consequence, MSF admitted 320 children in their Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Center in June alone—three times as many as in the same month last year.

Somalia: MSF Stepping Up Malnutrition Intervention As Horn of Africa Food Crisis Worsens

Somalia: MSF Stepping Up Malnutrition Intervention As Horn of Africa Food Crisis Worsens

The announcement by Al Shabaab, one of the main armed factions in Somalia, that foreign relief organizations would be welcomed in territories under their control has raised hope that it will be possible to mount a desperately-needed scale-up of assistance inside the country.

“MSF has been working continuously in Somalia for over two decades running large-scale medical programs,” says Joe Belliveau, MSF operational manager. “We have managed to maintain our programs under Al Shabaab, but restrictions on supplies and international support staff have prevented us from scaling up further. We hope that the Al Shabaab statement leads to a lifting of these restrictions.”

Read more.

Kenya 2011 © Natasha Lewer/ MSF 
More than 750 malnourished children are receiving outpatient treatment at the hospital. And 7,000 at-risk families line up every two weeks to receive extra food. View more photos in our slideshow : Dadaab, Kenya: Somali Refugees With Nowhere to Go

Kenya 2011 © Natasha Lewer/ MSF
More than 750 malnourished children are receiving outpatient treatment at the hospital. And 7,000 at-risk families line up every two weeks to receive extra food. View more photos in our slideshow : Dadaab, Kenya: Somali Refugees With Nowhere to Go

Dr. Gedi Mohamed is director of the general hospital at Dagahaley refugee camp, near Dadaab in northeastern Kenya. He is the first Kenyan Somali doctor to work in the camp since Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) took over health care there.

In his description of the dire situation there, he says, “Ninety-eight percent of the camp’s population comes from Somalia. As I’m a Somali speaker, patients can come and talk straight to me. If you have a translator, you lose so much that is important. But it’s about far more than simply having a language in common. I understand the culture, the religion, the environment they’re in. I can relate directly to them. If there are issues around giving care—if a patient is refusing treatment, for example—I can explain it from a religious perspective. Our shared culture makes it easier for me, and for the patients too.”

Photo: Kenya 2011 © Natasha Lewer/MSF

Dr. Gedi Mohamed is director of the general hospital at Dagahaley refugee camp, near Dadaab in northeastern Kenya. He is the first Kenyan Somali doctor to work in the camp since Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) took over health care there.

In his description of the dire situation there, he says, “Ninety-eight percent of the camp’s population comes from Somalia. As I’m a Somali speaker, patients can come and talk straight to me. If you have a translator, you lose so much that is important. But it’s about far more than simply having a language in common. I understand the culture, the religion, the environment they’re in. I can relate directly to them. If there are issues around giving care—if a patient is refusing treatment, for example—I can explain it from a religious perspective. Our shared culture makes it easier for me, and for the patients too.”

Photo: Kenya 2011 © Natasha Lewer/MSF