Since the creation of the Dadaab refugee camps in 1991, CARE has provided assistance to the refugee population in addition to supporting host communities around the camps. The camps were originally built to hold only 90,000 people, but have grown over the years to nearly five times the intended size. As of April 29, 2013, the population in Dadaab stood at 423,496 registered refugees: 51 percent who are female and 58 percent younger than 18 years old.
Dadaab represents one of the largest and most protracted refugee situations in the world.
The camps's population exploded during a food crisis which turned into in 2010. The crisis hit conflict-stricken Somalia especially hard, and Somalis flocked to the Dadaab camps. Although the drought in has since ended, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa and the influx of refugees in Dadaab is far from over.
Most of the refugees living in Dadaab cannot return to Somalia for fear of ongoing violence and persecution. Additionally, the end of the drought does not mean the end of poverty in Somalia – some 1.67 million people there are still facing food insecurity and even more live in grinding poverty.
CARE is working in Dadaab to provide a safe haven for those fleeing violence and food insecurity in the Horn of Africa. More refugees arrive every day.