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The Living Ain’t Easy: Urban Refugees in Kampala

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Executive Summary

An estimated 58 percent of the world’s 10.5 million refugees now reside in cities. They often have few as-sets, limited support networks, and are constrained by legal, cultural and linguistic barriers.

To date, the humanitarian community has focused pri-marily on camp-based refugees. Little is known about the needs of the urban displaced. Urban refugees face multiple challenges to achieving economic security; nevertheless, they are industrious and hard working.

They want to stand on their own two feet, to support their families, educate their children and build a better future.

As part of a one-year research project focused on pro-moting effective and safe livelihoods for urban refu-gees, the Women’s Refugee Commission undertook a field trip to Kampala, Uganda in October 2010 to understand the economic strategies, related protection concerns and the local economic environment in which urban refugees live. In this report, the Women’s Refu-gee Commission highlights the constraints and oppor-tunities to improve the livelihoods of urban refugees in Kampala, Uganda.