Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Nairobi that the United States is providing more than $146 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to support refugees, voluntary returnees, and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This new funding includes a significant new contribution of more than $59 million for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to protect and assist refugees in Kenya, and support voluntary refugee returns to Somalia. In addition, the funding includes new humanitarian assistance of more than $87 million in food and non-food support for refugees and drought victims in Kenya and Somalia. This announcement brings the total of U.S. humanitarian assistance in Kenya and Somalia to nearly $265 million in fiscal year 2016.
The funding announced today will support UNHCR and other international humanitarian organizations as they provide for basic survival of thousands of vulnerable people and durable solutions for refugees, and as they help assist with efforts to improve conditions for return inside Somalia. This contribution is available to support UNHCR’s enhanced plan for the voluntary return and reintegration of Somali refugees from the Dadaab camps and to ensure that any returns that take place from Kenya are truly voluntary, safe and dignified, consistent with international law, and within the framework of the Tripartite Agreement among UNHCR, Kenya and Somalia.
In addition, U.S. assistance will help address humanitarian needs and support efforts to improve conditions across Somalia including hard to reach areas of south-central Somalia. This assistance will be implemented through a number of humanitarian organizations, and will support shelter, water sanitation, and hygiene, health and nutrition, and livelihoods programs for returnees in accessible areas of return. This is part of a longer term process to help develop the appropriate conditions and security in Somalia to one day support larger-scale Somali returns – for those who chose to repatriate voluntarily – from the region.
The United States remains committed to helping address the serious humanitarian concerns in Somalia and continued protection and assistance for refugees in Kenya and elsewhere in the region, and continues to urge the international community to contribute more resources to humanitarian appeals to support durable solutions for Somali refugees, many of whom have been in a protracted situation for more than two decades.
Source: U.S. State Department.