Situation overview

The LWF continues to assist refugees in camps at Dadaab and Kakuma in Kenya and at Ali Addeh and Hol Hol camps in Djibouti. As new camps are established, we assess our capacity to expand the program by entering into new partnerships with UNHCR, WFP, government authorities, and relevant local and international actors.

In Kenya and Djibouti, the local communities around the existing refugee camps are poor and highly vulnerable. The host communities are mainly pastoralists living in remote, under-serviced areas affected by climate-related disasters and border conflicts.

The continuing presence of large populations of refugees puts already scarce resources - land, water, firewood - under even greater pressure. Our assistance helps minimize conflict and tensions, and provides some economic benefits for both those displaced and the host communities.

LWF response

The LWF program assists refugees, other displaced people, and host communities that are impacted by the effects of displacement. We highlight and advocate for the rights and needs of vulnerable groups with community leaders, local community organizations, and government agencies to ensure they meet their obligations as duty bearers.

The interventions in host communities are based on needs and the rights deficits occurring there, and is not limited to only addressing any negative effects of the refugee presence.

Current response

We are engaged in emergency and development assistance in Kenya and Djibouti.

We also assist with the return and resettlement of refugees, which includes a cross-border presence in Somalia and working cooperatively with our country program in South Sudan.

Key achievements include:

  • The LWF has developed a model of camp self-management that has two primary elements:
    • building refugee capacities for leadership and management
    • facilitating an on-going exchange of information among refugees, host communities, and agencies involved in the camp
  • Community safety and peace teams we have created are instrumental in peace building in the camps
  • Communities have been encouraged through social workers and trained community members to establish self-help networks and groups, with our program staff facilitating access to information and services
  • We have expanded and are improving education in refugee camps

Planned response

It is possible that refugee returns could begin during 2013 with a peak in return during 2014. Thereafter the main assumption is that return will continue to Somalia, but that there will still be around 350,000 refugees in Kenya by 2018. Return will mainly be from Dadaab and less from Kakuma.

It is possible that by 2018 there will be as many refugees outside camps as are in camps. Neither resettlement in third countries, nor local integration is expected to contribute significantly to reducing the number of refugees in Kenya, but will be important especially for protection reasons and family reunifications.


The LWF in Kenya and Djibouti is an active member of ACT Alliance. Nairobi continues to provide the base for our regional emergency response hub and house other regional program and management support functions.

One focus area for the future is improved information sharing and learning among our programs and associate programs in the region, particularly in Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda.


Lennart Hernander

Country Representative