NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – The UN refugee agency, UNHCR is seeking an additional Sh11.6 billion from its international donors for the repatriation and reintegration of Somali refugees to be relocated out of the Dadaab camp.
In a statement, the agency said the funds would serve a number of purposes including increasing the grant money to go to each of those being repatriated back to Somalia from Sh15,000 to Sh20,000.
“It is proposed to remove the cap of USD600 per family reinstallation grant and instead offer returnees USD200 per person, regardless of family size, a move which should see more large families opt to return,” the communiqué reads.
The initial 2016 budget for the exercise was Sh37 billion with a target of reducing the Dadaab refugee population by 150,000—currently 343,043 (326,611 Somalis)—by the end of the year and complete closure by early 2018.
“The USD115 million requested will go towards a number of activities, including: relocation of 16,000 non-Somali refugees from Dadaab to Kakuma, relocation of 15,000 Somali refugees currently in the resettlement process to Kakuma, relocation, reintegration of an estimated 42,000 Kenyans believed registered as refugees, verification of the Dadaab population and a comprehensive Return Intention Survey, support for an additional 50,000 voluntary Somali refugee returns from Dadaab to Somalia.”
As part of the reintegration process, the UNHCR will provide a monthly stipend of Sh20,000 to the families resettling in Somalia for a six month period and seeks to include education assistance and healthcare.
“If the donor support is received, it is proposed to increase food assistance from three months support to six, possibly even further. An education assistance grant of USD25 per child per month for nine calendar months is also proposed. Shelter and non-food item support will be augmented and UNHCR intends to support 22,500 households to construct localised permanent shelters with USD 1,000 per family. Localised solutions for urban returnees through rent payment will also be considered.”
The refugee agency also plans to get community projects up and running during the six months support period in hopes of keeping them on their feet thereafter.
“Interventions will be focused on quick-impact (less than six months) community-based projects to create community assets in areas of return for returnees, IDPs and host community. Rehabilitation and/or extension of schools, health centres and other basic infrastructure will be implemented to sustain return, in close liaison with respective development programmes and plans. It is also proposed to establish an online job placement cross-border platform to connect job-seeking Somali returnees with prospective employers.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta has insisted the Dadaad refugee camp will be closed at the end of the year, despite international pressure to maintain it.