Tuesday, July 22, 2008


IOM has completed the relocation of some 2,000 mainly Somali refugees from Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya to Kakuma camp in the northwest to reduce overcrowding.

The relocation, which ended over the weekend, was carried out by IOM with funding from UNHCR. It included the movement of 500 refugees by air and the movement of the remaining 1,500 by road.

IOM convoys, each comprising 10 buses, made three trips each carrying 500 refugees, completing the 1,200 km journey between the camps in three days.

"We gave priority to vulnerable people in need of protection - including children and families headed by women," says IOM's Operations Officer Bill Lorenz.

Dadaab, which has seen a massive influx of refugees, mainly from Somalia, now shelters almost 200,000 refugees - double its original capacity. Kakuma now houses some 51,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan.

"The ongoing repatriation of 8,000 or so Sudanese refugees from Kakuma to Sudan this year means that Kakuma is now less crowded and able to take in some of the refugees from Dadaab," explains Lorenz.