NAIROBI — The United States will provide an extra $45 million for the United Nations to help an overwhelmed Kenya cope with 600,000 refugees fleeing civil unrest, terrorism and violence in Somalia and South Sudan, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Monday.
After meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kerry said he was confident that Kenya would not close the world’s largest refugee camp, now home to 350,000 Somalis. The government had threatened to dismantle the Dadaab camp complex — consisting of five camps near the border with Somalia — because it suspects that the militant group al-Shabab has planned attacks from the camp, including one last month at Garissa University College in which 147 people were slaughtered.
Authorities have provided no evidence to support that claim.
The United States has opposed dismantling the camps, which could leave many refugees with little choice but to return to the dangerous conditions they fled.
Only a small fraction of the camp’s refugees have agreed to return through a U.N. voluntary repatriation program. The United Nations set up the first camps at Dadaab in 1991, and many who live in the sprawling complex are teenagers and children who have never been to the countries their parents fled.