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Dadaab refugees: An uncertain tomorrow (March 2014)

For many of the thousands of refugees living in Dadaab, northeastern Kenya, the passage from one humanitarian crisis to the next is nothing new. The vast majority fled conflict in Somalia and arrived to a ‘home’ that offers fear, insecurity and overcrowded living conditions as part of the daily reality. Many others have been born there, and know nothing but life in a refugee camp.

Composed of five camps - Dagahaley, Hagadera, Ifo, Kambios and Ifo 2 - and with a population of 403,727 refugees, Dadaab is the largest refugee camp complex in the world. Three quarters of its population are children under 12, women and the elderly.1 Over Dadaab’s twenty years of existence, the population has continued to struggle to survive, and live amidst the effects of a protracted emergency with no clear end in sight.

The reasons why most Somalis fled their home country – namely danger and insecurity – are as pertinent today as they ever were, and preclude most refugees from even considering returning to Somalia, today or at any time soon.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
Médecins Sans Frontières
Original Publication Date: 
11 Mar 2014
Document type: 
Assessment Report
Refugees and Returnees
Coordination hub(s): 
Garissa Hub