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Japan, UN Women partner to empower female refugees in Kenya

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By Standard Reporter | February 11th 2021
Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Refugee Affairs Secretariat, UN Women convene with Government of Japan to finalise the half billion KES grant. [UN Women]

Japan has committed Sh503 million to an ongoing programme by the United Nations (UN Women) in Kenya.

The programme- ‘Enhancing Women’s Resilience in Refugee Camps and Host Communities’ is aimed at changing the lives of refugees and their host communities in Dadaab, Kakuma camps and the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement.

Further, it also seeks to empower women and girls in conflict and humanitarian areas who experience specific challenges due to their gender.

In a statement Wednesday, UN Women Kenya Representative Anna Mutavati stressed the importance of gender programming, informed by the different experiences and realities of women and men in conflict contexts.

“The intersection between humanitarian action and women’s empowerment is critical for peace and security in Kenya. Our research shows women and girls from refugee and host communities are disproportionately and acutely affected by a series of socioeconomic insecurities related to food and water scarcity, extreme pressures on livelihoods and increased exposure to gender-based violence,” she said.

Japan’s State Foreign Minister Uto said the programme will promote women economic empowerment and prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict settings.

This year’s project is the third phase in the refugee intervention, having begun in 2018.

Over the next two years, 2021-2023, the partnership between Japan and UN Women will: “Increase women’s capacity to participate in, and influence policymaking and programming on conflict prevention, peace and security and humanitarian action, generate new sources of income and economic opportunities for refugee and host community members and increase access to effective services and protection mechanisms for vulnerable refugee and host communities.”

The first phase dubbed the ‘Leadership, Empowerment, Access & Protection in Crisis Response (LEAP)’ programme began in 2018. 

According to UN Women, the project reached over 25,000 refugees through training sessions to raise awareness on gender-based violence between 2019-2020.

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