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Understanding the Socioeconomic Conditions of Refugees in Kakuma Camp, Kenya

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The Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana West was established to accommodate refugees residing in the area. Kakuma comprises four subcamps, with the first one formally established in 1992 and subsequent ones built to manage new arrivals. Forty percent of Kenya’s refugee population reside in Turkana West, where host communities face widespread poverty. Social and economic interactions between refugees and hosts have helped to improve wellbeing and boost the local economy. Nevertheless, both communities continue to face poor living conditions. Understanding the socioeconomic characteristics of refugees and hosts is central to identifying the factors that limit livelihoods and informing programming to overcome them. The Kakuma Socioeconomic Survey 2019 was initiated to fill socioeconomic data gaps and has produced insights that contribute to detecting the vulnerabilities of both communities. It is thus a comprehensive tool for policymaking and programmatic response. Highlights of the survey and its policy implications are presented in this summary. Early results of rapid response phone surveys on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic's impact are also presented.