Kenya, UNHCR launch hub for refugee information exchange

  • World
  • Tuesday, 25 Jun 2024

NAIROBI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government, in partnership with the United Nations refugee agency, on Monday launched a Refugee Resource Center to foster research and knowledge sharing on people displaced by wars, natural disasters, and economic hardships in their native countries.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, senior government officials, faculty, and students graced the launch of the center to be domiciled at the University of Nairobi, Kenya's oldest university.

According to Grandi, the center's launch will boost Kenya's and the international community's efforts to find sustainable models for managing refugees and asylum seekers in their adopted countries. The center will also provide a platform for policymakers, researchers, and humanitarian actors to explore new ways to promote the integration of refugees by host communities in the face of diminishing external support.

Climate change, unemployment, and civil strife are behind an influx of refugees and asylum seekers in the region, he said, adding that good governance, accountability, and pro-poor growth could provide some respite.

Julius Bitok, principal secretary in the State Department for Migration and Citizen Services, noted that as a host to more than 600,000 refugees from neighboring countries, Kenya is committed to uplifting their living standards through formal education, advanced skills, and employment.

Bitok said the refugee resource center will boost ongoing efforts to integrate displaced civilians and asylum seekers from the region into key economic sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and information and communications technology.

"Through this center, we look forward to gaining new insights into refugee inclusion as the government moves away from over-reliance on humanitarian support to harnessing the skills and talents of refugees, making them self-reliant," Bitok said.

Stephen Kiama, vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi, said the center will facilitate collaborative research and knowledge dissemination aimed at enhancing the productivity and resilience of refugees in their host country.

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