UN humanitarian chief completes three-day mission to Kenya and Somalia
(Nairobi, Kenya, 14 August 2011)
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Ms Valerie Amos, has just completed a three-day mission to Kenya and Somalia.
On the last day of her mission, Ms Amos visited Dadaab refugee camp, in northern Kenya, hosting over 400,000 registered refugees. Of these, 70,000 have moved into Kenya from Somalia in the last two months.
Ms Amos noted that although the number of refugees arriving in the last few days had fallen, more children were arriving in severely malnourished condition.
“We need to do more to help people in Somalia,” she said after being told by one Somali refugee woman that she had lost all four of her children on the journey to Dadaab. “No one should have to endure such suffering,” she continued.
Ms Amos gave recognition to the Government of Kenya and the Kenyan people in welcoming Somali refugees at a time when Kenya itself was facing severe drought conditions in many parts of the country.
The extension of Dadaab camp will ease the current overcrowding and enable the UN and partner organizations to provide improved water and sanitations facilities, health services and schooling. Ms Amos also had an opportunity to visit a host community that has been working to secure their long-term environmental sustainability.
“I am heartened by this,” she said. “We have to do all we can to help people now, but we must also work together to build the long-term resilience of communities that are now facing drought conditions every two years rather than every 10 years, as was the case in the past.”
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.