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Stakeholders collaborate to address refugees’ socio-economic inclusion

Stakeholders, among them the National and County Government of Turkana, the Department of Refugee Services (DRS), and UNHCR Kenya, have taken a significant step forward to enhance the socio-economic inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya.

The multi-stakeholder SHIRIKA Plan aims at integrating refugees more fully into the fabric of society by capitalising on existing frameworks and initiatives tailored to their unique context and needs.

Turkana County Secretary Peter Eripete underscored the importance of thinking of innovative ways to address challenges related to refugees.

“Every stakeholder, including the county government and our valued partners, needs to think creatively as we seek solutions for our refugee-related concerns,” Eripete said.

He further stressed the need to involve the new administration, ensuring their understanding of the plans and their pro-active support.

Additionally, Eripete highlighted the significance of extending the benefits of refugee initiatives beyond Kakuma to other areas.

He divulged the request to share resources, scholarships, training, and other available opportunities and make them accessible throughout the entire county.

Turkana County Commissioner, Jacob Ouma, echoed Turkana’s steadfast commitment to safety and unity.

“Turkana remains secure, and our pledge to uphold security stands firm. Our journey has seen us overcome refugee-related challenges, witnessing remarkable progress,” Ouma affirmed.

The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office at Kakuma, Nicholas Kaburaburyo, expressed unwavering determination to see the SHIRIKA Plan successfully come to life, acknowledging Turkana’s 32-year role in hosting refugees.

Kaburaburyo extended direct gratitude to the people of Turkana for their generosity and warm hospitality, which have had a profound impact on the refugee community.

At the meeting were County Executive Committee Members Peter Akono (Lands), Dr. Anthony Apalia (Health), Dr. Michael Eregae (Finance), Elizabeth Loote (Trade), David Erukudi (Agriculture), Wangiros James (Public Service), and Faith Aletea (Water Services).

Representatives from UNHCR from Nairobi and Kakuma, DCC, DCI Turkana West, Inspector Ekamais, and Inspector Kinyua, among others, were also present.

By Peter Gitonga

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