Magazine article The Christian Century

Kenya Promises to Expand Refugee Camp

Magazine article The Christian Century

Kenya Promises to Expand Refugee Camp

Article excerpt

The Kenyan government has promised to expand a refugee camp for thousands of desperate Somalis fleeing a drought crisis in the Horn of Africa, and faith groups and humanitarian agencies are praising the move.

The Lutheran World Federation "welcomes the decision as a vital life-saving measure, especially in view of the current high influx of Somali refugees fleeing drought and insecurity at home," LWF general secretary Martin Junge said in a July 18 letter to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The LWF, which manages the camp for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, is working with other agencies to provide food and water for the refugees, many of whom are starving children. The UN describes it as the world's most dire humanitarian emergency.

The camp, called Ifo II, is an extension of the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya, which now holds nearly 500,000 Somalis and has become the world's largest refugee camp. Ifo II has been standing empty, complete with new water tanks, lavatories and health-care facilities. …

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