Top 7 Largest Refugee Camps In Africa

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Statistics show that there are more displaced persons today than at any other point in the history of Africa.
The numbers of refugees in Africa are staggering, and continue to grow as more nations get caught up in wars, persecution, conflict, environmental disasters, and economic strain.
Ergo Refugee camps.

Below is a listing of the top 7 largest refugee camps in africa.

**Most of the refugee camps listed below were created to be temporary facilities. However, they have developed into full-fledged cities, complete with mini-economies, governance systems, and civic institutions.

1. Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya (184,550)

Top 7 Largest Refugee Camps In Africa

Established in 1992, Kakuma camp is located in Northwestern Kenya. It’s not just the largest refugee camp in Africa, its also currently the world’s largest refugee camp, it hosts over 184,000 people with majority from south sudan and somali and is co-managed by Kenya’s Department of Refugee Affairs, and the UNHCR.

2. Hagadera Refugee Camp, Kenya (105,998)

Largest Refugee Camps In Africa

Hagadera is part of the Dadaab complex of refugee camps stationed in south-eastern Kenya. It’s currently the second largest worldwide, hosting over 100,000 refugees (mostly somalis).

3. Dagahaley, Kenya (87,223)

Largest Refugee Camps In Africa

Like Hagadera, Dagahaley camp is also a part of the Dadaab complex. The camp was rapidly built in the 1990s to accommodate refugees fleeing from the Somali Civil War. It’s highly crowded, and the Kenyan government has threatened to close it altogether, which makes its fate uncertain.

4. Ifo, Kenya (84,089)

Top 7 Largest Refugee Camps In Africa

Of the 5 refugee camps that make up the Dadaab complex, Ifo is the oldest. It hosts more than 80,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia.

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5. Yida, South Sudan (70,331)

Biggest Refugee Camps In Africa

In 2011, South Sudan earned its independence from Sudan, following two decades of civil war. Both nations remain unstable, and huge numbers of Sudanese citizens have sought refuge across the border at the Yida refugee camp.

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Unlike other camps highlighted in this list, Yida is an unplanned settlement that sprouted from the 2nd Sudanese civil war.

6. Katumba, Tanzania (66,416)

Biggest refugee Camps In Africa

The oldest refugee settlement highlighted in this list, Katumba goes back to 1972. It was established when scores of Burundian citizens moved across the border to Tanzania. Apparently, they were escaping from mass exterminations carried out by the then Burundi government on Hutu civilians. Like Yida, this is also unplanned settlement.

7. Pugnido, Ethiopia (62,000+)

Pugnido refugee cap lies in Western Ethiopia, and is the oldest refugee camp in the area. Its current population rests at over 62,000 refugees, most of which are from Sudan.


Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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