UK gives Ksh2.7b to assist in repatriation of refugees


UK gives Ksh2.7b to assist in repatriation of refugees
File image of Kenyan refugees

The UK Government has accepted to support the Government of Kenya in resettling the over 300 000 Somali refugees at the Dadaab Camp in Garissa County.

While addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the disbursement of Ksh2.7 billion to the Kenyan Government to assist in their safe relocation back to Somalia, allowing them to safely start off their lives in their country.

“Host countries are not getting enough support; and refugees are not getting the aid, education and economic opportunities they need. We must do more,” said May.

The move comes four months after the Deputy President announced the closure of the camp in May over fears that the camp may be harboring terrorists.

Since then, many refugees have left the camp, with officials saying their departures are voluntary.

However, rights organisations have alleged that Kenya has harassed Somali refugees to return home when it is not safe to do so.

“Kenya has hosted among the largest number of refugees in the world in the last three decades and the burden our country has continued to endure remains disproportionate to support received,” CS Amina Mohamed said in a statement.

Speaking during the Assembly, the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey supported the move, claiming it will allow the refugees to go back home.

“The new funding will go directly to helping Somali refugees return home from Dadaab, in a way which is safe, voluntary, dignified, and allows them to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said Hailey.

The Dadaab Camp that was set up in 1991 has housed refugees fleeing political warfare in Somalia for over 20 years.

On Wednesday, Kenya had asked United Nations for more funding for its plan to repatriate more than 300,000 Somali refugees living in a vast camp on its border, citing world leaders’ commitment to burden-sharing.

 

 

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Story By Atieno Mboya
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