The biggest refugee camp in the world is located in Kenya, in Dadaab. Currently there are about 350.000 refugees living there, which is located close to the border with Somalia. The camp was built in 1991 as a result of the civil war in Somalia which continues to this day. The oldest children who were born in the camp are more than 20 years old and have never seen their home country. Apart from Dadaab, there is another refugee camp in Kenya which is about the size of a smaller city. It is located close to the village of Kakuma in the north of the country. There are mainly South Sudanese refugees living in this camp. 

As it is impossible for Kenya to cope with the funding of those refugee camps on its own, it receives a great deal of financial support from the UN and several NGOs for its humanitarian work. There have been more and more terrorist attacks in Somalia by the terrorist group Al-Shaabab during the past few years. As a result, the Kenyan government now plans to close off the camp in Dadaab and not to take in any more refugees in order to protect the country from Islamic attacks. In May 2016, the Tagesschau German news service reported that the government had disbanded the country’s refugee agency.[1]


Participating author: Abdi Latif Dahir

Abdi Latif Dahir is a journalist with Quartz based in Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a master's of arts degree in politics and global affairs from the Columbia Journalism School. Abdi was born in Nairobi but grew up partly in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. His pieces about Kenya and Somalia have appeared in national and international media outlets including Al Jazeera English, The Guardian (UK), United Press International, The Africa Report, the Daily Nation and more. 

[1] [1] tagesschau: Kenia will gigantische Flüchtlingslager schließen. (10.6.2016)