The Dadaab camp was established in 1991 and is located in Garissa County. As of August 2021, a total of 228,308 refugees and 18,813 unregistered asylum seekers resided in Dadaab Refugee Complex.
Since May 2017, REACH initiative has worked in collaboration with NRC, UNHCR and other relevant humanitarian actors in Dadaab to conduct a joint multi sectoral needs assessments (MSNA). The 2020 REACH MSNA outcomes revealed that the most severe needs in Dadaab appeared to be in the food security sector where a majority of the households reported food as their priority need in October 2020 with 94% of the HHs reporting that they rely on food vouchers as their primary source of food. The COVID-19 pandemic seemed to have an impact across the different sectors including protection, livelihoods, and food security: with 50% of the households reporting having a HH member who had lost their job as a result of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing and its impact is being felt across many sectors in the country including the health, education and economic sectors. In Dadaab camp, a total of 831 COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded as of 21st September 2021. Efforts have been made to ensure the community in Dadaab is sensitized on the rising transmission and the evolving clinical pattern of COVID-19. Vaccination has also commenced in the camp with a total of 1,827 doses having been administered. Of these, 1,179 individuals have received their first dose while 648 of them are fully vaccinated as of 21 September 2021. The 2021 MSNA will seek to understand the impact of COVID-19 on refugees and asylum seekers and identify the COVID-19 related challenges which may have increased their vulnerability and lead to the lack of livelihood opportunities and other needs such as food, education, health and nutrition, WASH items and protection.
The Government of Kenya in March 2021 communicated its intention to work towards the closure of the Dadaab, and Kakuma refugee camps by June 2022.7 While the discussions around the camp closure roadmap are ongoing among the various stakeholders, refugees and asylum seekers will continue to access services and enjoy protection in the camps. The 2021 MSNA will be informed by these events that continue to persist due to this camp closure roadmap context and will examine how the intended camp closure may have increased the protection gaps and vulnerabilities among the displaced populations in Dadaab.