Donor agencies should provide additional funding to facilitate safe relocation of Somalia refugees living in Kenya’s Dadaab camp, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said on Monday.
Grandi who had just concluded a visit to Somalia and Dadaab refugee camp said massive resources were urgently required to help improve infrastructure and social amenities in nine designated areas for resettlement of refugees.
“There is an urgency to mobilize funds from donors to help create a conducive environment for return of Somalia refuges to their native country. These funds will support repair of schools, clinics, roads and livelihood projects that create employment,” Grandi said.
He met Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday where they discussed the modalities of repatriating refugees in a safe and humane manner in line with international conventions.
The UN refugee agency, Kenya and Somalia governments in 2013 signed a tripartite agreement to facilitate repatriation of refugees who escaped turmoil in the horn of Africa state.
Grandi told reporters that 14,000 Somalia refugees living in Dadaab camp have already returned home while an additional 8,000 will be relocated to their homeland soon.
The UNHCR chief said that many Somalia refugees living in Kenya were keen to return home subject to improved security and living conditions.
“A significant number of Somalia refugees have returned home while security remains their major concern. During my visit to Baidoa, I met a big number of returnees who requested support to help them repair homes, health centers and schools destroyed during two decades of civil strife in their country,” said Grandi.
He revealed that he met with multilateral donors in Nairobi to discuss new funding package to hasten rebuilding of Somalia in order to encourage the country’s Diaspora to return home.
The UN refugee agency has appealed to donors to support a repatriation package for Somalia refugees living in Kenya.
Grandi said the repatriation package includes food ration, cash and health kit to support refugees who return home for six months.
“We are ready to step up repatriation package for refugees upon donor support. Additional resources are needed to support provision of basic needs and long-term development in Somalia,” said Grandi. Enditem