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Governor Jama urges immediate refugee integration implementation

Governor Nathif Jama has called for the hastening of the launch and implementation of the Garissa Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (GISEDP).

GISEDP is a plan for integrating refugees into the host community through providing adequate access to land, urban services, housing, and infrastructure.

The governor says that the programme will also promote the economic growth of Dadaab town, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the country, through alternative sustainable livelihoods and increased financial access.

Jama said the county government wants the national government and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to move quickly and launch GISEDP, saying continued delay is denying the refugees and the host community in Garissa their rightful resources for development.

“We want our GISEDP to be launched and implemented just like KISEDP in Turkana is being done. We want to know which forces are stopping this from happening since we finalised the preparation of GISEDP in March and the launch is still pending,” Jama said.

The governor was speaking at a Garissa hotel when he opened a stakeholder consultative forum for the Shirika Plan.

The Shirika Plan, which was prepared using a multi-stakeholder consultative approach, is a plan by the national government to promote the socio-economic inclusion of refugees by transforming camps into integrated settlements.

The government of Kenya and UNHCR Kenya organised a three-day dialogue to take stock of progress made so far and to develop a work plan for a multi-stakeholder consultative process to develop the Shirika Plan.

This note provides a brief overview of the Kenjo Shirika Plan, its genesis, and the proposed approach for its development. It also provides the key milestones for the preparation of the Shirika Plan.

The country remains the fifth largest refugee-hosting country in Africa and the thirteenth largest asylum country in the world, with over 577,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers as of the end of February 2023.

Damaris Achieng from the Department of Refugee Affairs said once the revised draft of the Shirika Plan is prepared, a series of multi-stakeholder review meetings will be undertaken to provide inputs to the plan.

She said an updated draft will be prepared to reflect the views and inputs of stakeholders.

“The updated version of the Shirika Plan will be validated by various stakeholders at Nairobi, Garissa and Turkana levels before it is submitted for Cabinet approval,” she said.

By Erick Kyalo

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