The Dadaab Refugee Complex comprises of five camps, Dagahley, Hagadera, IFO, IFO 2 and Kambi-oos. The first three camps (IFO, Hagadera and Dagahley) were established in early 1990s to host upto 90,000 refugees, and followed the fall and the beginning of war in Somalia. Two decades after their establishment, the surge in refugee arrivals from a variety of triggers in Somalia (for example, intensifying fighting, drought and famine) peaked in 2011 driven by escalation of violence and as a result of the drought that affected the horn of Africa. The capacity of the three camps was overwhelmed leading to selfsettlement of new arrivals in the outskirts of the camp. The outcry on the humanitarian situation led to the expansion of the camps with opening of Ifo 2 and Kambi-oos. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for the Refugees (UNHCR), The camps have a combined population of about 405,000 refugees, according to figures at the end of 2013, majority of these being from Somalia.
The establishment of IFO 2 opened an opportunity for the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) to participate in humanitarian work targeting the refugees. As a new camp, the KRCS supported by its partners, embarked on developing infrastructure to support service delivery, and focused on life saving interventions and stabilisation of the indicators, which at the time, were pointing to a major emergency in the camp. The role of KRCS in the camp is guided by partnership agreements that were signed with UNHCR; An Implementing Partnership Agreement covering interventions in the Health and Nutrition Sector, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector, Camp Management Sector and Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Sub Sector in Ifo 2 East (with funding from UNHCR) and an Operational Partnership Agreement covering same sectors interventions in Ifo 2 West Camp (with funding from Red Cross Movement). 2013 was the second year of the operations in Dadaab for KRCS.