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Dismantling barriers to health and wellbeing for Nairobi’s refugees

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 wellbeing issue. This briefing discusses the need to reduce conflict and dismantle the barriers that prevent urban refugees accessing the healthcare, housing and infrastructure they need.

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Around a billion people live in informal settlements. Drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of our partners in Asia, Latin America and Africa, IIED is working to reduce urban poverty, and to change misleading views about urbanisation and rural change.

More at www.iied.org:
Introduction to urban poverty

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