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Information for 10882IIED

Urban refugees in Nairobi: tackling barriers to accessing housing, services and infrastructure

Kanyiva Muindi, Blessing Mberu

Working paper, 36 pages

Men, women and children who are forced to flee their homes often bear the mental or physical scars of conflict. Refugees’ arduous journeys to urban areas and the conditions they encounter there can present further health challenges. In our study of refugees living in the Kenyan capital, participants named adequate healthcare and housing as essential needs that they struggle to meet. Many face significant obstacles to accessing healthcare, including cost, lack of documentation and language barriers. Living conditions are a linked concern: overcrowded housing with inadequate water, sanitation and energy can negatively affect refugees’ health. With unknown numbers of refugees living in Nairobi’s informal settlements and other low-income areas, conflict with host communities is also a well-being issue. This paper discusses the need to reduce conflict and dismantle the barriers that prevent urban refugees accessing the healthcare, housing and infrastructure they need.

Publication information

  • IIED code: 10882IIED
  • Published: Dec 2019 - IIED
  • Area: Kenya
  • Theme: Urban
  • ISBN: 978-1-78431-753-9
  • Language: English

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Muindi, K and Mberu, B. 2019. Urban refugees in Nairobi: tackling barriers to accessing housing, services and infrastructure. IIED Working Paper. IIED, London.

Project information

The British Academy’s Cities and Infrastructure programme funded IIED to work with partners in Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya to undertake research on access to healthcare and other basic services for urban refugees.

More at www.iied.org:
Towards more inclusive urban health systems for refugee wellbeing

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