In May 2016 the Government of Kenya (GoK) announced the closure of Dadaab refugee camp that hosted about 535,000 refugees. According to UNHCR, as of 31 December 2016, a total of 39,316 Somali refugees were repatriated with many more pending the repatriation process.
This will not only have a big impact on the refugees, but on the host community in Garissa County as well, since Dadaab could be regarded as Kenya’s third largest city that will be taken down.
The camp’s businesses generated an annual turnover of around $25 million and the host community earned some $1.8 million from the sale of livestock alone to refugees. This important part of local business/economics will be lost. Besides this, the county is facing drought and famine putting extra pressure on the livelihoods of the mainly pastoralist population in Garissa county.
This project aims to contribute to the stabilization of vulnerable communities by improving the communities’ access to sustainable livelihoods; creating avenues to address community concerns and report grievances through improved community policing and community empowerment initiatives; and increasing the local capacity to manage cross-border risk and threat through capacity building trainings for border officials and community dialogues.
To achieve this, IOM will work closely with the GoK on local and national level and the local communities involved. The GoK will assist with the selection of beneficiaries, while community-based groups will be established and strengthened to allow robust community participation in the identification, implementation and monitoring of the community assistance projects as part of IOM’s sustainability strategy.