WFP Country Director and the Head of Refugee Operations cut a ribbon during the official opening of the new distribution centre. Copyright: WFP/Rose Ogola
WFP has opened new food distribution centres in one of three refugee camps at Dadaab in northeastern Kenya to ease overcrowding and reduce the time it takes to distribute food to the 100,000, mainly Somali, refugees .
The camps at Dadaab have a population of 300,000 refugees – three times the number of people they were designed to support when the camps were established at the start of Somalia’s conflict in 1991.
With new arrivals from Somalia arrive every day, WFP’s food distribution centres were increasingly overcrowded and the camps lacked the capacity to store the three-month stock of food needed to ensure that refugees won’t go hungry even when seasonal floods cut roads to the camps.
WFP therefore has built a new food distribution point (FDP) and an expanded delivery point (EDP) at Ifo camp. They will enable the 100,000 residents to receive their rations in five days compared to eight days. The new EDP can handle 5,500 metric tons of food – double the capacity of the old EDP.
The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department, ECHO, funded construction of the new distribution centres. “WFP is very grateful to ECHO”, said WFP Country Director Burkard Oberle. “These more spacious facilities enable WFP to serve the people we feed in a more effective and humane manner.”
Oberle also thanked the government of Kenya and the local host community for donating eight hectares of land for the new facilities. He said that this showed how the local community collaborates with the international community to support and host the refugees.
FDPs and EDPs in the other two camps at Dadaab – Dagahaley and Hagadera – are also being renovated and expanded to cater for the growing numbers of refugees.