The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has asked the Kenyan government to accelerate the issuing of national ID cards to over 11,000 Kenyans who have previously been identified as registered in the refugee database.
This is after the UNHCR presented the government with a proposed set of measures aimed at identifying solutions for refugees living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps.
“We have heard the concerns expressed by the Government of Kenya and hope that these measures will be a significant step forward in accelerating sustainable solutions for all those concerned,” said UNHCR.
UNHCR said the proposes include:
- Provision of alternative-stay arrangements to refugees from the East African Community.
- Enhanced voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity, while taking into account the movement restrictions related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Resettlement to third countries for a small number of refugees who are not able to return home and face protection risks.
This follows the announcement by Interior Minister Fred Matiangi, that Kenya had given the U.N. Refugee Agency a directive to close Dadaab and Kakuma camps.
Both camps are located in northern Kenya and together shelter more than 410,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.