UN needs extra $115 million to return Somali refugees from Kenya

The United Nations Refugee Agency appealed for an additional $115.4 million to support the voluntary return and reintegration of Somalis from Africa’s largest refugee settlement in Kenya.

The funding is also needed to relocate people from northeastern Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp to Kakuma, further west, as well as “related projects” and infrastructure in both Kenya and Somalia, the agency said in an e-mailed statement.

Kenya, which hosts as many as 600,000 refugees mainly from neighboring Somalia, said in May it will close Dadaab, citing costs to its economy and security. The UN presented a plan afterward that envisages reducing the camp’s population by 150,000 by end-2016, from 343,000. Dadaab was set up to deal with an influx of Somalis fleeing conflict following the ouster of President Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.