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Somali refugees moved as camps overflow

The UN has begun to move people to into extended camps as the numbers of refugees swell – while aid agencies appeal for continued support to help battle the crisis.

An elderly woman waits inside a food distribution center after being registered as a refugee in Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, 1 Aug, 2011.
An elderly woman waits inside a food distribution center after being registered as a refugee in Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, 1 Aug, 2011.
Image: Schalk van Zuydam/AP/Press Association Images

THOUSANDS OF SOMALIS are being moved into an extended refugee camp in Kenya in an effort to relieve overcrowding.

The UN’s Refugee Agency says that the number of people at the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex has risen to 440,000. Now, more than 3,000 Somali refugees have been moved to another site, called Ifo Extension, which will provide tented accommodation to 90,000 refugees by the end of November, according to a spokesperson for the UNHRC.

Meanwhile, aid agency Trócaire has said that Ireland has been “hugely generous” in its response to the crisis, contributing more than €2 million so far, RTÉ reports. The agency said that it is currently getting emergency aid to 20,000 people in one part of the country.

Aid agency Concern said that it is currently reaching 500,000 people with food and sanitary supplies, and has urged the Irish people to continue their support. Chief executive Tom Arnold said the crisis, which has been officially classed as a famine in two regions of Somalia by the UN, was “not going away anytime soon”, the Irish Times reports.

Similarly, Oxfam Ireland has warned that donors must act with greater urgency in the face of a deteriorating crisis in the region, saying that the situation is “spiraling out of control”.

“East Africa’s humanitarian crisis is at the tipping point. Hundreds of thousands will face starvation unless donors step forward, maintain the generosity we have seen in recent weeks and help prevent a catastrophe,” said Elise Ford, spokesperson of Oxfam.

Oxfam said that the crisis is set to worsen in Ethiopia, Kenya and parts of southern Somalia in the coming 3-4 months, and that the situation will remain classified as an “emergency” until the end of the year.

Read: “The people here show me the graves of children”: East Africa’s drought crisis >

“It is much worse than people realise”: Mary Robinsons visits Somalia>

UN declares famine in parts of Somalia>

In pictures: A photo essay from war-torn Somalia>

Aid agencies seek urgent help>

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