The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Sub-Office in Dadaab was established in 1995 and has been implementing a large scale resettlement programme for refugees who have been approved for third country resettlement. The Dadaab Refugee Camp has become the biggest refugee processing centre for IOM in Kenya.

Dadaab, a semi-arid district in North-eastern Kenya hosts the largest refugee camp in the world. Due to its location, the Dadaab Refugees Camps mostly host refugees from Somalia.

The migration challenges in Dadaab are categorized in the following areas:

  • Forced Migration, due to conflicts and natural disasters
  • Irregular migration due to poverty and reduction of livelihood options
  • Traditional and cross-border movements, mainly as a survival strategy for pastoralists.

IOM Dadaab works closely with the Government of Kenya, the United Nations and migrants to deliver effective and timely assistance for refugees, host communities and mobile populations affected by conflict and drought.

In Dadaab, IOM has over time gained invaluable experience in working with refugees and the refugee host community to deliver timely services to migrants in need assist in meeting operational challenges of migration, advance the understanding of migration issues, encourage social and economic development and uphold the dignity and well-being of migrants.


  • Pre-departure Orientation

IOM, under its pre-departure orientation programme, prepares migrants for their new lives in third countries. IOM conducts two orientation programmes, namely; Canadian Orientation Abroad and Australian Cultural Orientation.

  • Pre-departure Health Assessment

At the request of the receiving states, IOM Nairobi provides pre-departure health assessments to refugees approved for resettlement. Pre-departure health assessment helps to better manage the potential public health implications in receiving communities as a result of population mobility; facilitate the integration of refugees through disease detection and cost-effective management of these conditions, as well as to provide useful data on the medical condition of incoming refugees.

  • Movement Assistance

IOM provides movement assistance to refugees accepted for third country resettlement. The transportation of migrants and the related processing activities are central to IOM’s operational functions. IOM arranges to provide transportation for refugees from the camp to Nairobi, where refugees are hosted are the IOM transit Centre as they await to depart to their respective countries of resettlement.

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