The United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR estimates that around 16 million people in Africa are displaced. Many are seeking refuge within their own country, while most of those forced to flee across the border have settled in neighbouring countries. However, these host countries themselves frequently face major challenges.
Eight of the world’s ten largest refugee camps are located in Africa. Kenya alone has taken in more than half a million refugees, in particular from Somalia and South Sudan. GIZ is working in Kenya on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to improve the conditions under which displaced people are living both in the Kakuma refugee camp and outside the camp. Over 185,000 people have been reached by GIZ’s work in Kakuma and the surrounding area, which has, for example, brought abandoned or dried-up wells back into use so that people can irrigate newly planted vegetable plots. Among other produce, they are growing tomatoes and melons, helping them to feed themselves. So far, more than 42,000 refugees and local residents have benefited from these and other measures on food security.
Somalia: training and reintegration
Many refugees want eventually to return home. Almost 40,000 individuals from the city of Kismayo in southern Somalia have returned, but the town is also – at least for the time being – home to 60,000 internally displaced Somali nationals. If they are to coexist peacefully, all these population groups need employment and adequate food. In cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), GIZ is providing training courses in skills development for employability. These are providing particular support for young people and women supporting their families on their own. By working together and attending joint cultural and sports events at local level, the different population groups are getting to know each other, reducing tensions. Between early 2015 and May 2017, the training courses directly benefited more than 10,000 people. GIZ’s work in Kismayo has reached a total of 35,000 people.
Central Africa: combating hunger and creating prospects
Almost 90% of the population of Chad live below the poverty line, and many have fled their home villages in fear of terrorism. Despite this, the country has taken in 400,000 refugees from surrounding countries. Working on behalf of GIZ and the European Union, GIZ is cooperating in the east of the country with UNHCR and the World Food Programme to improve independent food production and supply. Some 40,000 people are benefiting, almost half of them refugees. Between 2010 and 2015, GIZ has contributed to overcoming hunger and undernutrition for more than four million people across Africa.
For years, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has been dominated by armed conflict, and economic activity is at a virtual halt. Almost four million Congolese are displaced within their own country, half of them in eastern DRC alone. The conflict means that many young people have had no training, and there is no secure access to arable land and seeds. GIZ is working in these areas: by providing seed and tools and organising training in cultivation methods, it has helped the population to boost their agricultural yield by more than 20 per cent, benefiting more than 43,000 people so far. Over 2,000 young Congolese have also improved their prospects by undergoing training in growing vegetables and in the skills needed for artisanal occupations and small businesses.