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technology 25 Nov 2019

UN Women partnered with Japan to empower female refugees in Kenya

By Waiswa Wafula

The ongoing programme by the United Nations (UN Women) in Kenya, Enhancing Women’s Resilience in Refugee Camps and Host Communities received Ksh. 503 million from Japan.

The programme is aimed at changing the lives of refugees and their host communities in Dadaab camp, Kakuma camp and the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement. It also empowers women and girls’ conflict and humanitarian areas who experience specific challenges due to their gender.

The UN Women Kenya Representative Anna Mutavati stressed on the importance of Gender Programming.

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“The intersection between humanitarian action and women’s empowerment is critical for peace and security in Kenya. Our research shows women and girls from refugee and host communities are disproportionately and acutely affected by a series of socioeconomic insecurities related to food and water scarcity, extreme pressures on livelihoods and increased exposure to gender-based violence,” she said.

Japan’s State Foreign Minister Uto said the program will promote the economic empowerment and prevent/respond to sexual violence and other domestic conflicts affecting women and girls.

The project started in 2018 dubbed the “Leadership Empowerment Access and Protection in Crisis Response” (LEAP) is in its third phase with the partnership between Japan and UN Women will: “Increase women’s capacity to participate in, and influence policymaking and programming on conflict prevention, peace and security and humanitarian action, generate new sources of income and economic opportunities for refugee and host community members and increase access to effective services and protection mechanisms for vulnerable refugee and host communities.”

According to UN Women, between 2019 and 2020 the project reached over 25,000 refugees through training aimed to raise awareness on gender-based violence.

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