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Lutheran World Relief Receives Department of State Grant to Continue Post-Drought Recovery in East Africa

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Baltimore, October 21, 2013 — The Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya are currently home to more than 470,000 people. That’s down slightly from the nearly 500,000 living there at the height of the East Africa drought and food crisis two years ago, but still vastly more than the 90,000 people it was built to accommodate.

Since 2008, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) has worked with the Lutheran World Federation’s Department for World Service (LWF/DWS), with the support of the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migrants (BPRM). With its most recent grant of $449,894, BPRM will continue to support LWR’s outreach to people living in and around Dadaab.

LWR’s work will focus on the Dagahaley, Hagadera and Kambioos camps and will provide psychosocial support to refugees, promote refugee rights and leadership within the camps by providing training to community leaders, and support neighboring communities by ensuring access to hygiene and sanitation.

Much of the camp’s current population are displaced Somalis and other people who have fled drought and food shortages. The camps reached peak population in 2011 when the worst drought in 60 years struck parts of East Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. As populations swelled well beyond the camp’s original capacity, LWR and LWF responded by supplying water and other essential supplies to newly arriving refugees.

LWR’s work in Dadaab aligns with its overall work in the region to decrease hunger and increase resilience to drought. In Kenya’s Makindu region, LWR is working with rural families to improve access to water, increase agricultural production, improve incomes and to cope with the effects of drought.

“LWR appreciates the long-standing support of the Department of State that enables us to keep reaching out to some of the world’s most vulnerable people and ensuring that their immediate needs are met,” says Tim McCully, LWR’s Vice President for International Programs.

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945. For more information, please visit lwr.org.

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.