Senior Officials from the County Government and UNHCR are in Malindi for a four-day retreat which seeks to strengthen coordination between the two organizations on the implementation of programmes in Turkana.
Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai and UNHCR Kenya Director Caroline Van Buren are leading the teams in the retreat.
During the opening day of the four-day joint retreat in Malindi, Kilifi County, Lomorukai Governor expressed his gratitude to UNHCR for their long-standing commitment to serving refugees in Turkana County.
Lomorukai assured the representatives of the continued support of the County government in collaboration with the UNHCR and other partner organizations in assisting refugees in the area.
“We have been very supportive of the UNHCR anytime you have had any request and we will continue to provide support including providing more land for refugee settlement,” the Governor said.
He emphasized the need for fairness in the distribution of employment opportunities among refugees, reiterating the importance of enhancing the relations between the County government and the UNHCR.
The Governor called for better coordination between the UNHCR and the County Government departments and encouraged the participants to align their programs with the development priorities laid out in the County Integrated Development Plan to avoid duplication of investments.
He also asked for better involvement of partners in the implementation of different components of the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Programme.
UNHCR Kenya Representative Caroline Van Buren welcomed the participants to the retreat, expressing her appreciation for the support and hospitality extended by Turkana County.
She said, “UNHCR, the County Government of Turkana and other stakeholders have continued to enjoy a cordial collaboration and partnership to offer protection and services to refugees, asylum seekers and host communities.”
She added that the retreat will accord an opportunity to deliberate on ways of deepening and strengthening the partnership to offer services to refugees and the host communities.
She stated that the retreat will focus on the implementation of KISEDP ahead of the launch of its second phase, calling it a global model that offers durable solutions to the assistance of refugees.
Senior County Government officials, including County Secretary Peter Eripete, County Attorney Erastus Ethekon, County Executives and Advisors are attending the retreat. Also present is Lopur MCA Gilbert Topos.
By Peter Gitonga