11 Jul 2011

UN wants camp opened for Somali drought victims

3:21 pm on 11 July 2011

The head of the United Nations refugee agency is expected to meet Kenya's president to try to get a new camp opened up for victims of Somalia's drought.

The camp is close to another that has become badly overcrowded at Dadaab on the Kenyan border.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres has made his first visit to the sprawling refugee camp since the drought crisis began.

He told a BBC journalist that UN staff were being overwhelmed by the high numbers of new arrivals and hopes the Kenyan government will do more to help.

Last year local officials gave the UNHCR permission to build a massive purpose-built facility to house refugees escaping war in Somalia.

But the buildings lie empty after the Kenyan government refused to allow completion of the project.