1. Executive Summary
The Kenya refugee operation is often cited as an example of a protracted refugee situation with traditional refugee camps in place for the past 20 or so years. In the last four years, however, the operation has been anything but static in responding to two major influxes from neighbouring countries while undergoing a transition in terms of partnerships and innovations in assistance delivery.
Some of the changes have been brought about by external factors, including increasing difficulties in mobilizing resources for the traditional camp model, and a greater realization by all actors of the unsustainable nature of the approach used so far.The complex security climate in Kenya as a result of the situation in Somalia has also contributed to the shrinking of humanitarian space in the country.
Still, the devolution to counties by the new Constitution has created new opportunities. For example, dialogue has begun with representatives of hosting communities in Garissa and Turkana counties which have benefited from and also struggled with the impact of the presence of refugees.
The second Kenya Comprehensive Refugee Programme (KCRP) document aims to present a consolidated view of all refugee related programmes being implemented in Kenya by UNHCR, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations Agencies and government entities in 2015. It summarises all programming that has been planned and budgeted, thus far, by all partners in the operation in 2015. It complements the recently published Inter-agency Appeal for South Sudan Response from December 2014, which focuses exclusively on the South Sudan situation and hence the Kakuma part of the Kenya operation, as well as UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 and other agencies’ appeals and programme documents.
The KCRP is the result of an inclusive planning process and complementary programming with the resources known to be available for refugee protection and assistance to all actors in the operation.
The allocation of resources is a result of the joint prioritisation process undertaken by all partners in the three programmes in November 2014, before the detailed budgeting by UNHCR and partners commenced at the end of 2014.
Compared with the first KCRP document, the emphasis is on planned activities and interventions for which resources have been already secured and allocated. Readers should be able to get a clear picture of the sectors and results prioritised by the partners in the refugee operation within the overall reduced envelope as compared to 2014. In a balancing act, allocations for solutions programming, including livelihoods as well as host community projects and environmental protection, within and outside the camps, have increased by some 13%. Voluntary repatriation together with other durable solutions is also coming to the fore as an acknowledgement that the operation needs to be more proactive in this regard. Meanwhile, sufficient allocations had to be made for ongoing provision of basic services within acceptable (or at least not declining) standards, as well as for necessary recurrent costs for security, fuel and logistical support for the operation. The main sectors with reduced allocations were nutrition, shelter and infrastructure, but operations support and logistics also faced a decline in available resources.
The 2015 programme includes further steps to promote the integration of the host community and the refugee economies in Turkana West. The planned activities are in line with the wider Turkana development focus by key development players including the World Bank, other UN agencies under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the UN Joint Turkana Programme as well as private partners.
Similarly, in Dadaab while taking into consideration the ongoing spontaneous return of Somali refugees, the November 2014 Garissa Consultations spearheaded by the County and supported by UNHCR, were geared to supporting existing and emerging economic opportunities by acknowledging the presence of refugees in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP). Although Kenya’s official encampment policy poses a significant obstacle to formal livelihood and economic activities by refugees in and outside camps, this is an important step forward.
The 2015 food assistance programme requirement is US $126 million (70% Dadaab and 30% Kakuma). The World Food Programme (WFP) will provide food assistance through general food distribution, complementary feeding and school meals for refugees, food assistance for assets for host communities and food for training, targeted supplementary feeding, institutional feeding, support to people living with HIV, tuberculosis and other chronic diseases amongst refugees and to some extent host communities. WFP’s general food rations for all in-camp refugees will be distributed fortnightly as a combination of food and vouchers. WFP and UNHCR will continue to use biometric data to ensure that only eligible refugees and asylum seekers residing in camps collect food or vouchers. The vouchers will replace a 10% proportion of the general food ration to begin with, then gradually be scaled up to allow markets to adjust, with the goal of achieving a 20% substitution by 2016. UNHCR is meanwhile working on adding at least three key non-food items to the voucher system and possibly some complementary food commodities in the course of the year.
The overall resources currently programmed in the Kenya refugee operation amount to $111.1 million for protection and basic services. In addition, $126 million is required for the food aid, of which WFP has so far secured some 35% ($42.2 million). A further $34.6 million is required for UNHCR protection and programme staff and administrative support. The total funding expected to be secured for the operation at the beginning of the year amounts to some $187.9 million which represents a decline of 18% compared to 2014.
Through improved prioritisation and strategic resource allocation the operation will hopefully be able to demonstrate that with the available resources it is possible to continue delivery of protection and basic services at acceptable standards, and also make some very important investments for the future and sustainability of Kenya’s refugee camps and their host communities.