Prime Cabinet Secretary and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, has called for more collaboration and solidarity among stakeholders in addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities for refugee inclusion in Kenya.
He made the call during a side event on the Shirika Plan for Refugees and Host Communities at the 74th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (ExCom) in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 10, 2023.
Mudavadi said that conflict and insecurity in the neighbouring countries majorly contribute to an increase in the number of refugees and asylum seekers.
“Our world is undergoing intense shifts, from climate-related crises to political upheavals, leading to a surge in global displacement of persons. It is our collective responsibility to provide refuge and opportunities to displaced persons,” said Mudavadi.
The PCS noted that lasting solutions for returning asylum seekers to their countries of origin have not been fruitful due to instability in those countries as the host countries struggle with resettlement options.
He cited that one of the challenges Kenya has encountered while hosting refugees is the lack of national policy on refugee management due to the unavailability of a database that deters service provision.
“Inadequate funding for crucial services further compounds the situation, impacting our ability to respond effectively to services of reception, registration, and documentation, hence posing risks to national security and refugee protection efforts,” he noted.
The CS said that there is a need to address the environmental challenges to ensure the well-being of refugees and the host communities.
He said that could be achieved through The Shirika Plan which aims to transition traditional refugee camps to integrated settlements.
The plan covers a wide range of sectors, such as education, health, livelihoods, social protection, environmental management, and durable solutions.
He highlighted some of the notable achievements of the Shirika Plan, including the Refugee Act No. 10 of 2021, which aligns with the Global Compact for Refugees and safeguards the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, and host communities.
He also mentioned the Refugee Education Policy, which he said has ensured refugees fully access education services in compliance with the Djibouti Declaration on Refugee Education of 2019.
Mudavadi is on a three-day official visit to Geneva, Switzerland.