Press Release: WORLD HELP RESPONDS TO KENYA’S DECISION TO CLOSE ITS REFUGEE CAMPS, INCLUDING THE LARGEST REFUGEE CAMP IN THE WORLD
World Help President, Vernon Brewer, says:
“People who already live on the edge of death will most certainly die if the world doesn’t respond immediately to this pending crisis.”
Forest V.A., May,13, 2016 — Vernon Brewer, president of World Help, issues the following statement in response to Kenya’s decision to close all refugee camps in the country, including the world’s largest such camp, Dadaab:
“World Help has been at work in Kenya in various ways for decades, and we have watched as the Kenyan government again and again has gone out of its way to serve and to provide refuge to desperate people arriving from across Africa. So, it was with great surprise and concern that we learned of Kenya’s decision to close its refugee camps, and in turn, to provide an unsure future to over 600,000 refugees, many of which are from war torn countries, like Somalia. People who already live on the edge of death will most certainly die if the world doesn’t respond immediately to this pending crisis.
“I do not cast judgment upon Kenya’s decision; its not World Help’s responsibility to dabble into political realities, or even to speculate as to the possible solutions to the complex challenges facing nations like Kenya. We do however, appeal to Kenya, to other nations in the region, and – most importantly – to the international community, to find a better solution for these desperate people. We commend Kenya for all it has done till now with what has – at times – been dismal support from the international community. Perhaps Kenyan officials would not feel compelled to take such drastic action if the international community were to provide more support to humanitarian and security services?
“I know first hand the suffering of these desperate people. I have sat with them in their tents, I have wept with widows and children whose husbands and fathers have died in conflicts they didn’t choose, and I’ve looked in the weary eyes of future generations whose opportunity and whose hope have been confined hopelessly to a tent in the middle of the desert. I have helped serve people in the long lines in those camps where they are given barely enough to survive, but are given all there is to give.
“The world has to awaken to the fact that we now have more refugees than any time in history, and that these vulnerable people, especially women and children, are the responsibility of us all. This latest piece of terrible news is just another example of how the world has – at perhaps its richest moment – chosen to turn its back upon its most vulnerable citizens. Let us devote more of ourselves to serving the ‘least of these.’ At World Help we will do our best to continue to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow, but we cannot do it without the support of compassionate individuals and without responsible behavior from the international community.”