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UNHCR Operational Update - Dadaab, Kenya, 01-15 April 2018

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  • The first camp in Dadaab was established in 1991. There are 4 camps in Dadaab: Hagadera, Dagahaley, Ifo and Ifo 2.

  • Kambioos refugee camp was closed in March 2017 and the consolidation of Ifo 2 camp is ongoing.

  • Since December 2014, Somali refugees who decide to voluntarily return to their home country, receive UNHCR support in Kenya and Somalia.

Voluntary Repatriation

  • During the reporting period, 85 returnees in 18 households were facilitated to voluntarily return to Kismayu by flight. A total of 75,744 refugees have so far been supported from Dadaab Refugee operations in the framework of the voluntary repatriation program since the beginning of the exercise in December 2014. 3,032 individuals have been assisted to return in 2018 alone, with a majority returning to Kismayu and Mogadishu.

  • Facilitation of voluntary repatriation by road convoy remained suspended due to heavy rains making roads in Somalia impassable. In the meantime, flights are being organized to Kismayu and Mogadishu to facilitate return for those willing to repatriate.

  • Cross-border Coordination meeting organized: The monthly voluntary repatriation Cross-border coordination meeting hosted by UNHCR Somalia was held on 10th April 2018 in Nairobi. Key discussions included: update on the political, security and humanitarian situation in Somalia; convoy schedules; planning of Go and See and Come and Tell visits and resumption of returns to Baidoa after the Representative of the South West State (Bay region) and colleagues from UNHCR Somalia recommended resumption of movements to Baidoa in light of recent improvements. It was agreed that two flight rotations with a maximum of 80 refugees be sent to Baidoa on a weekly basis. During the discussions, the need for a joint communication strategy on the process was emphasized to address negative publicity perpetuated by some journalists. It was therefore recommended to consider developing a joint (Kenya and Somalia) update/briefing document as well as Q&A document on the voluntary repatriation process to be validated at the next monthly cross-border coordination meeting to be held on 9th May 2018.

  • A Rapid Intention Survey was conducted at Ifo2 Camp from 4th to 6th April to re-evaluate return intentions of 6,165 refugees who had previously expressed interest in repatriating to Somalia. 4,049 refugees were interviewed with 2,782 refugees (68.8%) indicating their unwillingness to repatriate to Somalia. 913 refugees (22.5%) individuals indicated their willingness to return, though not immediately. Another 352 refugees (8.8%) requested voluntary repatriation immediately. A majority of the refugees interviewed indicated that they do not wish to interrupt their children’s studies and will therefore remain in the camps until their children complete the academic year.