Assessing the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Forcibly Displaced People – Thematic Letter # 1: The Case of Kenya – Kenya

Important findings

 New microdata from a high-frequency telephone survey in Kenya shows that pandemic-related fear among refugee households is particularly high compared to the surrounding host community and increases over time.

 The employment gap between refugees and nationals was large before the pandemic and remains large throughout the pandemic due to widespread job losses.

 Although refugee employment is recovering, it is slower than domestic employment and the crisis has widened the gender employment gap among refugees.

 Reducing food intake is a common response reported by both refugees and locals to help cope with the loss of income. It is noteworthy that the proportion of refugees reporting that they can go a full day without food is higher than that of residents, suggesting severe food insecurity in refugee households.

 UNHCR’s Livelihood Response in Kenya aims to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on refugees and other Forced Displacement (FDP) through the distribution of masks and toiletries, as well as cash assistance. The provision of this and other immediate and medium-term support is planned with a view to the inclusion and autonomy of sustainable economic development.

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