Tents airlifted in as world’s largest refugee camp continues to swell

DADAAB, KENYA, 15 August 2011 — Thousands of tents are enroute to the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya to meet the needs of the latest exodus of refugees to have fled starvation in Somalia. World Vision and ShelterBox have partnered together to bring nearly 5,000 tents to the camp. The tents were flown in from the UK on Sunday and were scheduled to be driven to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp complex close to the Somali border immediately. This first shipment of nearly 2,500 tents are expected to arrive in the camp on Tuesday and will be set up within the next few days. A second shipment of 2,500 tents will be airlifted within the next several days. Later this week, World Vision will also distribute hundreds of emergency kits to Somali camp residents in Dadaab. The kits include blankets, buckets, kitchen sets and hygiene and washing supplies.

The tents are desperately needed as the situation in Dadaab Refugee Camp has become increasingly stressed and chaotic with some 1,500 new refugees arriving daily. The area around Dadaab is parched terrain where the wind whips up dust making conditions unbearable, especially for children who often arrive exhausted and half starved after days of walking with next to nothing to eat. Many die on the way or are in such poor condition that they must be fed emergency therapeutic foods on arrival.

Mike Pattison, World Vision’s logistics coordinator, said “These tents will house some 30,000 people. As soon as we get them to the camp, our staff will be pushing to get them set up as quickly as possible. Many of those arriving are in an extremely fragile state and a tent gives them a sense of security, identity and home.”

He said World Vision was also looking at providing 5,000 tents to house refugees arriving in Dollo Ado, on the Ethiopian border with Somalia.

Dadaab hosts over 440,000 refugees, making it effectively the fourth biggest population centre in Kenya. The complex is made up of three sites, and the World Vision tents will be put up in an extension to Ifo, which is being developed to cope with some of the 70,000 new arrivals who came in June and July. Tens of thousands more tents are needed to cope with the huge numbers of refugees who are living on the perimeter of the complex in shelters make of sticks.

Globally, World Vision is aiming to raise USD$100 million for the response. To find out more or make a donation, visit or call 1-888-56-CHILD (1-888-562-4453). You can also text “4AFRICA” to 20222 to donate $10 to World Vision’s relief efforts in the Horn of Africa.

World Vision supply partner ShelterBox is a UK-based charity. World Vision is partnering with them to provide urgently-needed tents to children and families in Dadaab, Kenya.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world’s poor regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.For more information on their efforts, or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews

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