Urban refugees in Kenya

The World Bank and UNHCR produced comparative datasets on refugee and host communities in Nairobi.

13 Jul, 2023

Overall objectives

The activity was implemented by the World Bank in close collaboration with the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) and UNHCR, producing datasets that provide evidence to inform policies for displaced populations and host communities in Kenya.

In addition, the activity produced a comparative socioeconomic profile for both populations and provided policy recommendations to foster sustainable livelihoods. Based on evidence, targeted programs and policies can improve the livelihoods of these populations. While the results are specifically for Kenya, they can also form a case that can contribute to the global debate on displacement. The main beneficiaries will be the Government of Kenya, the Nairobi County Government, UNHCR, the World Bank and other development and humanitarian actors in Kenya, including the World Food Programme, International Organization for Migration, Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund. In addition, the activity will contribute to a better evidence base globally.

Activity description

The objective of this activity is to close an existing gap in data and analysis by producing comparative datasets for refugees and host communities that are integrated into Kenya’s Continuous Household Survey (KCHS). This will be followed by dissemination of the datasets and corresponding analyses to provide an evidence base programs and policies that improve livelihoods.

Engagement with partners

This activity is part of the ongoing collaboration between the World Bank, the KNBS and UNHCR, including the implementation of UNHCR-WB socioeconomic assessments and household surveys by the KNBS.

Background and Context

Since 1992, Kenya has been a generous host to refugees and asylum seekers, a population of almost 600,000 people. The refugees – along with the host communities that are often extremely poor and vulnerable, and are often deprived of development opportunities. Data on the socioeconomic characteristics of camp and non-camp refugees, and host communities is important to understand the need for sustainable livelihoods and the barriers to achieving them. Without comparative data, interventions risk being designed only for refugees, excluding the host communities. Refugees are not explicitly included in national household surveys in Kenya, so comparative analysis of this vulnerable population is severely limited, as are the interventions in the humanitarian and development nexus.

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