The International Rescue Committee is delighted to hear that President Kenyatta has signed the Refugee Bill into law, giving renewed hope to over 500,000 refugees living in Kenya to have access to education, livelihoods and integration opportunities. 

Victor Odero, Policy and Advocacy Advisor at the International Rescue Committee said:

“This is delightful and much welcomed news, especially given we are only 6 months away from the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camp closure deadline. This progressive law now provides a framework for the protracted refugee situation in Kenya to finally be resolved. 

“Kenya is one of the of the largest refugee-hosting countries in Africa, and over 500,000 refugees now have hope of economic integration and self-reliance as a result of the passing of this bill. IRC research carried out in 2018 gave overwhelming evidence that Kenyan citizens have a generally positive outlook with regards to the hosting of refugees in Kenya.  If given the right opportunities, these 500,000 people could contribute greatly to Kenya’s economy and social fabric. This law also prepares Kenya for a potential influx of refugees in an increasingly volatile region.“

The IRC has been working in Kenya since 1992, providing health care, women’s protection, legal rights, economic recovery & development and nutrition services to hundreds of thousands of refugees and their host communities. We also work with the Kenyan government to support health, nutrition and conflict resolution programs. The IRC is focusing our efforts on the Turkana, Garissa, West Pokot, Kajiado and Nairobi Counties by providing emergency health care, supporting community health projects that improve nutrition, sanitation and access to medicine; educating people about HIV/AIDS and other diseases; fostering conflict resolution to make communities safe for women and children; providing primary education for children and specialized classes and job training for youth and adults; and advocating for the rights of refugees and enabling livelihoods in Nairobi and other urban areas.