Challenges Facing Refugees

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CHALLENGES 3.2 Challenges faced by the Kenya Government while dealing with refugees Kenya holds a strategic geopolitical position and its humanitarian, political, and security issues are of great regional and international concern. Much of East Africa's stability depends on Kenya's stability as it is the economic epicentre for the region, and Nairobi is home to regional headquarters for embassies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the United Nations. However,the country is currently dealing with several major concurrent crises: a humanitarian crisis, a political crisis, and a national crisis. All theses reflect aspects of a national dilemma as Kenya struggles to deal with a continuous influx of refugees, major domestic political turmoil,…show more content…
Kenya, too, has its own population of IDPs resulting from the election violence and has had difficulty addressing their needs and finding durable solutions. Furthermore, Kenya suffers from its own internal problems such as famine, drought, and violence. Kenya may not be the most ideal haven for asylum but its geographic position makes it one of the most accessible countries for its neighbours' refugees to seek safety. International bodies, NGOs, and the United Nations pressure Kenya to welcome the refugees pouring over its borders, but there is much concern about what implications these populations have on Kenya's sovereignty and security. When huge numbers of refugees arrive in a host state, the state is often perceived to be or is actually threatened economically, environmentally, and culturally.2 The presence of refugees, and demands on the already severely strained economy, services and infrastructure add to the extreme hardship affecting the local populations. In many instances, refugees become an added impediment to, or risk jeopardizing, the development efforts of the host country. Their negative aspects may be felt long after a refugee problem is solved; for example, the damage to environment is a process and does not end with the repatriation of…show more content…
At Kakuma Refugee Camp, refugees often have more opportunities for education than the locals. The refugees can go to local schools, or they can attend one of the many schools in the refugee camp. However, the locals are not allowed to attend the schools in refugee camps.7 However, at Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana, there are fewer restrictions, and the local population has benefited from the construction of new schools for the refugee camp. The increase in schools has increased access to education and benefitted both refugees and local Ghanaians. A native teacher explained that there has been “a remarkable improvement in education level as compared to many villages around Buduburam. Because of them there have been occasions that the UNHCR has paid fees for school children whose parents were not able to pay, including the natives.”8 Some of the primary schools in Zambia’s Meheba refugee camp incorporate refugee children and locals together. Uninhabited houses left by refugees who have since repatriated or relocated can be taken up by Zambians who are then within the UNHCR school district. This creates more of a connection between the host country and its

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