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Relief groups urge international action on Kenyan refugee camp

Catholic World News - July 18, 2012

Seven relief agencies, including Catholic Relief Services, are urging the international community not to turn its back on the world’s largest refugee camp, which is located in Dadaab, Kenya.

“The largest refugee camp in the world is facing a critical funding shortage which will affect at least 200,000 people if $25M isn’t raised,” said Sara Fajardo, regional information officer for Catholic Relief Services. “Dadaab’s population increased by a third in the past year to over 465,000 people … 130,000 refugees will soon be without adequate shelter, living in temporary tents that are quickly destroyed by the harsh climate.”

Most of the recent refugees are from Somalia.

“164,000 children – over 70 percent of those in Dadaab – are currently out of school,” Fajardo added. “Women and children face sexual violence while collecting firewood or walking long distances to use poorly-lit latrines. Reports of sexual violence increased by 36% between February and May 2012. Yet funding for protection programs has decreased.”

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