Security, humanitarian situation in Dadaab camp further deteriorating - MSF

People displaced by the severe drought in the Horn of Africa at a camp in Dadaab. The humanitarian situation in one of the world's largest refugee camps continues to deteriorate. Photo by: Alliance to End Hunger / CC BY

The volatile security situation in the world’s largest refugee camp continues to hamper effective aid delivery to the more than 400,000 people living there.

This is according to a report released Feb. 16 by the international aid group Médecins Sans Frontières. The report describes inhuman living conditions in Kenya’s Dadaab camp and notes aid agencies’ struggle to keep up with the camp’s restrictive security situation. Refugees’ health, in particular, is at risk as the camp is plagued with outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and diarrhea, MSF said.

The group urged the Kenyan government, its international partners and the U.N. Human Rights Council to “find solutions to reverse the current trends where refugees are paying the price for a conflict they are trying to escape and are at risk of becoming victims of the system that should assist them.”

Unless the international aid community and the local government prioritize the protection, needs and human rights of the refugees, MSF said conditions in Dadaab will continue to deteriorate — with aid groups “helplessly witnessing this situation.”

MSF is among the aid groups directly affected by the unstable security situation in Dadaab. In October, two of its staffers were kidnapped while working in one of the camps. Various related incidents since then have prompted the United Nations to suspend all nonlifesaving activities in Dadaab. MSF said the majority of these services have yet to be restored.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.