DRC has been operating in Kenya since 2005 and has accumulated significant knowledge and experience in supporting refugees, host communities and people who are internally displaced (IDPs) in the country. DRC began its operations in Dadaab in partnership with CARE Kenya and Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) to help prepare refugees for eventual return and ensure equity between refugees and the neighboring population by funding host community activities. Since 2009, DRC has been implementing activities directly in Dadaab. In 2012, DRC started up projects in Nairobi to assist and protect urban refugees, and from April 2014 DRC will be implementing a child protection project in Kakuma in response to a large number of arriving unaccompanied refugee children from the South Sudan crisis.
During the 2011 famine, DRC’s activities in Dadaab were focused on emergency response to save lives of the thousands refugees fleeing drought and war in Somalia. Before and after the famine, DRC has been undertaking more long-term assistance e.g. construction of social infrastructure, improved livelihoods, and activities related to improved access to water and sanitation. In later years, DRC Kenya has moved its scope of work from construction related activities to having a stronger focus on protection and livelihoods activities – activities that serve to increase community and household self-reliance and increase opportunities for a dignified life.
Nairobi – Urban refugee programme
Nairobi hosts approximately 52,000 registered refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo, Rwanda, Eritrea and Sudan. An approximate 100,000 refugee population is unregistered in Nairobi and other urban centers. DRC assist the urban refugees in accessing protection from violence and other forms of rights violations, including gender-based violence. In addition, DRC seeks to empower refugees and promote self-reliance through practical livelihood interventions and life-skills trainings.
A major crisis in South Sudan that started in December 2013 have brought a large number of refugees to Kenya. In particular separated and unaccompanied children. In April 2014, DRC will start up a programme to meet the needs for protection of and assistance to South Sudanese refugee children in Kakuma.