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Postcode Lotteries in Netherlands and Sweden give nearly 4 million euro

News Stories, 23 February 2012

© Bertil Strandell
Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks, accepting the check from the Swedish Postcode Lottery host Rickard Sjöberg.

THE HAGUE, 22 February (UNHCR) The Postcode Lotteries of the Netherlands and Sweden have again provided generous support to UNHCR, with donations of nearly 4 million euro that includes funding to improve education in the world's largest refugee camp.

Struck by the conditions in Dadaab refugee Camp in Kenya, where more than 450,000 refugees are living in a complex that was originally opened 20 years ago for 90,000 refugees, the Dutch Postcode Lottery this year decided to go even further than its support in previous years.

At an exceptional event in the Dutch *Rijksmuseum*, the Lottery donated 3 million euro to UNHCR, including funding for a joint project with WFP to improve education in Dadaab.

The money will enable the partner organizations to provide better schooling to more children. The current camp complex, designed for a much smaller number of refugees, doesn't have the equipment and facilities to educate the more than 153,000 refugees of school age now in Dadaab.

The donation will be used to make quality education available to an entire generation of Somali refugees in Dadaab. UNHCR and WFP have been working for two decades to improve the lives of Somali youths in Dadaab the largest refugee camp in the world through providing education and incentives like school meal programmes.

In particular, the new project will target the low enrollment rates for girls and offer an education opportunity for thousands of teenagers who have never attended primary school. The funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery will also give UNHCR and WFP the resources to target new arrivals at the camp and improving existing education in Dadaab.

In Sweden, UNHCR received its annual cheque of 1 million euro on 13 February at the annual Postcode Lottery gala in Stockholm, where Honorary Goodwill Ambassador for Life, Barbara Hendricks, gave a magnificent performance.

"The generous support from the Postcode Lotteries will provide more

and better protection of refugees, especially in areas where UNHCR faces

immense challenges this year," said the famous soprano, accepting the cheque on behalf of UNHCR.

Increased financial pressure during the economic downturn has made partnerships such as those with the Postcode Lotteries even more important for UNHCR than in the past.

They provide valuable contributions that directly improve the lives of refugees worldwide. They also reflect everything UNHCR seeks in corporate partnerships: awareness-raising with customers, staff and clients about the work of UNHCR combined with substantial and predictable financial support.

By Femke Joordens in The Hague

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Crossing the Gulf of Aden

Every year thousands of people in the Horn of Africa - mainly Somalis and Ethiopians - leave their homes out of fear or pure despair, in search of safety or a better life. They make their way over dangerous Somali roads to Bossaso in the northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

In this lawless area, smuggler networks have free reign and innocent and desperate civilians pay up to US$150 to make the perilous trip across the Gulf of Aden.

Some stay weeks on end in safe houses or temporary homes in Bossaso before they can depart. A sudden call and a departure in the middle of the night, crammed in small unstable boats. At sea, anything can happen to them - they are at the whim of smugglers. Some people get beaten, stabbed, killed and thrown overboard. Others drown before arriving on the beaches of Yemen, which have become the burial ground for hundreds who many of those who died en route.

Crossing the Gulf of Aden

Somalia/Ethiopia

In February 2005, one of the last groups of Somalilander refugees to leave Aisha refugee camp in eastern Ethiopia boarded a UNHCR convoy and headed home to Harrirad in North-west Somalia - the self-declared independent state of Somaliland. Two years ago Harrirad was a tiny, sleepy village with only 67 buildings, but today more than 1,000 people live there, nearly all of whom are former refugees rebuilding their lives.

As the refugees flow back into Somalia, UNHCR plans to close Aisha camp by the middle of the year. The few remaining refugees in Aisha - who come from southern Somalia - will most likely be moved to the last eastern camp, Kebribeyah, already home to more than 10,000 refugees who cannot go home to Mogadishu and other areas in southern Somalia because of continuing lawlessness there. So far refugees have been returning to only two areas of the country - Somaliland and Puntland in the north-east.

Somalia/Ethiopia

Flood Airdrop in Kenya

Over the weekend, UNHCR with the help of the US military began an emergency airdrop of some 200 tonnes of relief supplies for thousands of refugees badly hit by massive flooding in the Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya.

In a spectacular sight, 16 tonnes of plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, tents and blankets, were dropped on each run from the C-130 transport plane onto a site cleared of animals and people. Refugees loaded the supplies on trucks to take to the camps.

Dadaab, a three-camp complex hosting some 160,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia, has been cut off from the world for a month by heavy rains that washed away the road connecting the remote camps to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Air transport is the only way to get supplies into the camps.

UNHCR has moved 7,000 refugees from Ifo camp, worst affected by the flooding, to Hagadera camp, some 20 km away. A further 7,000 refugees have been moved to higher ground at a new site, called Ifo 2.

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Flood Airdrop in Kenya

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