Thursday, May 13, 2010

UNHCR appeals more money for refugees

UNHCR appeals for US$60 milion for Somali refugees

The UN refugee agency UNHCR appealed on Wednesday for US$60 million to help displaced Somalis and refugees in four neighbouring countries.

The four countries in need are Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia where there is a high number of refugees. In Kenya the fund will also be used to extend the Ifo refugee camp in Daadab in the North Eastern Kenya.

According to the officials, UNHCR needs US $ 424.7 Million for the 2010 budget for the Four nations, has received 36 per cent of its global comprehensive needs budget.

UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner T. Alexander Aleinikoff, who has visited Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya within the past two weeks, said that the displacement crisis is worsening of the situation inside Somalia. He added that UNHCR needs to prepare fast for new and possibly large-scale displacement.

"We need to be ready. We have a duty of care to strengthen efforts to provide protection and to improve the living conditions of a refugee population. We also need to be prepared for the possibility of continued instability in Somalia and the population displacement associated with that," Aleinikoff said on the agency’s website.

Moses Okello, UNHCR's representative in Ethiopia, told reporters on Wednesday that some 25,000 Somalis were expected to cross the border over the next few months to flee the ongoing fighting in Somalia. UNHCR office in Ethiopia will need 13 million dollars to help upcoming refugees.

About 2,300 Somalis refugees are now entering the country each day, according to a government agency in charge of refugee affairs and other 67,000 already present as of April. Another 42,000 Eritrean refugees are now in Ethiopia.

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