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News, 5/31/2017

Fraud found at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya

Fraud and other misconduct related to assistance of refugees have been found at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Finland has been informed about the matter by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR is responsible for coordinating the assistance of different UN agencies and other organisations at Kakuma Refugee Camp.

UNHCR has found that fees have been collected from refugees for services such as registration, education and health care, which should have been provided free of charge. Humanitarian organisations’ international staff are not among the suspects. In the investigation, UNHCR is cooperating with the Kenyan Police.

UNHCR received information about the allegations about a year ago. The organisation’s Inspector General's Office estimated that the allegations were justified, after which a formal investigation was launched. The investigation has revealed and confirmed the organised nature of the activities and the involvement of some UNHCR locally employed staff, local CSOs and authorities. UNHCR has over 500 staff in Kenya, of whom 150 are working at Kakuma camp.

Kakuma Refugee Camp was established in 1992 and is the second largest refugee camp in Kenya with approximately 158,000 residents. The majority of the refugees at Kakuma have arrived from South Sudan (about 55 per cent) and from Somalia (about 25 per cent). Kenya is one of the main recipients of refugees in Africa; last year, the number of registered refugees and asylum seekers was over 560,000.

Finland's support to UNHCR’s Kenya operation in 2016 was EUR 1.5 million. Finland looks seriously at the confirmation of fraud and misconduct in the Kakuma operation and expects a thorough investigation of the matter. Finland supports further strengthening of UNHCR oversight mechanisms.

At the Foreign Ministry, the matter is followed by the Unit for Humanitarian Assistance and Policy. Director Claus Lindroos will provide more information

Additional information:  UNHCR Press Release

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Updated 5/31/2017

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