The world's largest refugee camp
Since the creation of the Dadaab refugee camps in 1991 for people fleeing from civil war in Somalia, CARE has provided assistance to the refugee population in addition to supporting host communities around the camps. The camps were originally built to hold 90,000 people, but the population exploded during the Horn of Africa food crisis that began in 2010. The camps are now the size of a small city, with a population approaching half a million – 58% of whom are aged under 18.
CARE is the primary provider of basic services in Dadaab, including food, water and sanitation. We provide emergency aid to newly-arrived refugees, especially children who are suffering from malnutrition. Families are provided with two weeks' worth of food rations and other essentials, including tents, kitchen sets, firewood and fuel-efficient stoves.
CARE also works with people living in spontaneous settlements outside the perimeter of the official camps, helping these communities with safe water and sanitation, improved security, and access to health services and emergency shelter.
We also run long-term programmes providing:
- employment to refugees to assist in delivering services;
- education, including operating five primary schools in Dagahaley camp thatenrol 16,000 students, almost half of whom are girls;
- water and sanitation, including rehabilitating the camps' water system in 2012 through the construction and maintenance of bore holes and water storage facilities;
- protection and safety, including counselling services and neighbourhood forums on the prevention of gender-based violence.
Women from Nanighi community in Kenya are seeing the impacts of more severe and frequent drought. In 2012 they worked with CARE and local journalists to learn how to create digital picture stories, like this one. It shows how they've been affected by drought, and how they are adapting to the very challenging conditions they find themselves in.