New camp doesn’t meet minimum humanitarian standards Medécins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply concerned by the relocation of Somali refugees in Dadaab to Ifo 3 extension camp. The relocation, which began Monday under the auspices of the UN agency in charge of refugees, UNHCR, has been carried out with little transparency or consultation with other agencies on the ground or with the refugee community. Some 200 families per day are being relocated to Ifo 3, a camp with little existing 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. Aid organizations 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 meet the minimum humanitarian standards.
In addition to few basic services, this camp has no hospital structure, which will force MSF to refer patients in need of hospitalization or in-patient therapeutic feeding to either Dagahaley camp or Ifo camp hospitals, both of which are already operating beyond full capacity.
Meanwhile, just a few kilometres away, is Ifo 2, a camp which 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.
Refugees fleeing drought and conflict in Somalia continue to arrive in large numbers in Dadaab. Last week alone, 5,117 new refugees arrived in Dadaab, bringing the total of new arrivals since January to 81,463 and the total number of refugees in Dadaab to more than 387,800. Many of these refugees remain on the outskirts of the camps and they are still not receiving adequate assistance, with delays in registration and access to food, water and shelter.
MSF is currently treating more than 2,400 children in its ambulatory therapeutic program in Dadaab and 138 in its in-patient therapeutic feeding centre. There are 5,047 children with moderate acute malnutrition enrolled in the supplementary feeding program.
MSF has been working in Dagahaley camp since March 2009, providing medical care including surgery and maternal health services, in a 170-bed hospital, and offers vaccinations, prenatal care and mental health care in six health posts in the camps and their outlying areas. In addition, since earlier this year MSF has been working on the outskirts of Ifo camp, providing primary healthcare and nutritional assistance to newly arrived refugees.