UNHCR Ramadan campaign to help refugees at Dadaab Camp

Dadaab refugee camp./COURTESY

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a Ramadan Campaign to help displaced families living in Kenya’s Dadaab Refugee Camp.

The UN Refugee Agency has partnered with the private sector to help raise funds for upgrading shelter and sanitation facilities at the Dadaab Refugee Camp during the Ramadan season.

Speaking during the launch, UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly Clements, called on Kenyans and businesses to join UNHCR and other partners to help those who are in most need.

“I am delighted to be in Nairobi to help kickstart the 2024 Ramadan Campaign with our key private sector partners and faith leaders. This year, the campaign aims to raise funds to support water and shelter needs for thousands of families currently residing in Dadaab Refugee Camp. Campaigns such as this one provide a much-needed lifeline for individuals who have been forced to flee and communities hosting them,” said Clements.

The drive is looking to raise sh.41,850,000 ($300,000) to enable UNHCR and other partners to continue providing clean water to refugees and host community members in Dadaab Camp, in addition to providing shelter kits to the most vulnerable families.

“We have witnessed tremendous support for last year’s campaign, enabling us to ensure access to water for more than 100,000 people living in Dadaab,” said the UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner.

Funds raised through last year’s campaign in Kenya enabled UNHCR to maintain seven out of the 22 existing boreholes in Dadaab through quick replacement of submersible pumps, overall maintenance, and security costs for those seven boreholes. This ensured the operational continuity of boreholes and sustained water supply.

Safaricom, Dubai Islamic Bank Kenya, Eastleigh Business Community, and Khoja community have already joined the initiative.

“At DIB Bank Kenya, we recognize the importance of providing much-needed assistance to those who have been forced to leave everything behind and rebuild their lives. By supporting UNHCR’s vital work, we are reaffirming our commitment to making a positive impact on global humanitarian issues,” said Mary Kanuku, DIB Bank’s Head of Treasury.

The Dadaab Refugee Camp hosts 335,000 refugees, the vast majority from Somalia.

UNHCR runs the annual Ramadan campaign in Kenya to facilitate Sadaqah and Zakat contributions to support refugees and host communities in the Dadaab refugee camp.

“Half of those refugees, those displaced people around the globe are coming from countries that are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and 44% here from the continent. So this is a very important collaboration for us; it is a necessary collaboration,” said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner, Kelly Clements.

“It builds on what UNHCR has now done for the last five years. We established in 2019 a refugee Islamic fund (Refugee Zakat Fund), it allowed us in a safe, effective, and compliant way to be able to accept zakat and sadaqah to assist eligible most vulnerable refugees and IDPs,” she added.

Kenya has been hosting refugees for more than three decades. There are currently more than 710,000 refugees living in the country, the majority living in refugee camps in Turkana and Garissa Counties.