Kenya Development Response To Displacement Impact Project


The Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impact Project (KDRDIP) is being processed as part of the regional operation that seeks to address the impacts of forced displacement on countries and communities in the Horn of Africa (HOA) that are hosting refugees. It is a multi-sectoral development response by the Kenyan Government which addresses unmet social, economic, and environmental needs in local host communities in the three refugee-hosting counties. The proposed project will use an investment project financing (IPF) instrument with total IDA funds of US$103 million equivalent to be disbursed as credit at US$100 million equivalent for Kenya; and a US$3 million equivalent grant to the IGAD.

The KDRDIP is a part of the broader “Northern and North Eastern Kenya Development Initiative” (NEDI) specifically focusing on an area-based and progressive-solutions approach to addressing the impacts of protracted presence of refugees on the host communities around the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Garissa, Wajir and Turkana Counties of Kenya.

The project will enable communities to identify and prioritize investments with a specific focus on women, female-headed households, and youth, groups that are disproportionately affected by displacement. Even though the project is focused on the needs of host communities, its holistic approach will ensure that refugees will indirectly benefit from its investments in socioeconomic infrastructure and environmental amelioration contributing to the design of transitional/progressive solutions for refugees in a more conducive and opportunistic social and economic ecosystem. Such area based development approach will also mitigate latent and potential conflicts caused by increased competition for services, livelihoods, and natural resources.

In line with the regional project, KDRDIP will ensure that citizens participate and engage in the process of identifying and prioritizing their developmental needs, including expanding socioeconomic infrastructure and livelihood opportunities to improve self-reliance among refugee-hosting communities, improving social cohesion between refugees and host communities, increasing the voices and roles of citizens in decision making regarding development, and eliciting a greater demand for social accountability.

The operational approach will be Community Driven Development (CDD) and will involve: (i) supporting grassroots institutions to build their capacities; (ii) ensuring that the voices of all communities are heard in the decision making process; (iii) strengthening decentralized government administrative functions; and (iv) investing in public-service delivery and social mobilization to enhance social cohesion among beneficiary communities

Country Context

Kenya can be one of Africa’s success stories. It holds great potential, including from its growing youthful population; dynamic private sector; a platform for change laid down by the 2010 Constitution; and its pivotal role within East Africa as well as the region. Yet poverty and inequality remains high with 4 out of 10 Kenyans living in poverty and the richest 10 percent of the population receiving 40 percent of the nation’s income (Kenya Country Partnership Strategy [CPS] June 2014). Governance concerns persist; and growth, while solid, has been constrained by low investment and low firm-level productivity and has yet to take off at the rapid and sustained rates needed to transform the lives of ordinary citizens.

Despite impressive growth and a reported fall in poverty rate, Kenya faces significant developmental challenges. Inequality is high with significant differences in opportunities and outcomes between women and men, for those living in the remote and most underdeveloped regions in the north and northeast. Ethnicity remains an important factor in societal development. There is a clear recognition that growth must be inclusive and that prosperity should be shared by all. Enhancing the cohesiveness of Kenyan society calls for renewed efforts to include the marginalized and disadvantaged. To curb poverty, economic growth must take place in sectors where the majority of the poor depend on their livelihoods. Investment must be redirected to services targeting the poor, including improving agricultural productivity in rural areas, expanding and targeting unified social protection programs that keep people from slipping into poverty, attracting private sector investment, and enhancing human capital through improved access to quality education and health services at the local level.

Historically, the north and northeast regions in Kenya have experienced significant deficits in service delivery, infrastructure, and economic opportunities. These are also areas that are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, climate change impacts, and insecurity. The Commission on Revenue Allocation identifies 14 counties as marginalized—Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, West Pokot, Tana River, Narok, Kwale, Garissa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Isiolo, and Lamu—based on the county development index (Commission on Revenue Allocation 2012) which uses indicators that measure the state of a county’s health and education systems, infrastructure, and poverty levels to identify marginalized areas for the allocation of equalization funds. Three of these counties—Garissa, Wajir, and Turkana—have also been hosting refugees for over two decades, with attendant and exacerbated impacts on the environment, natural resources, infrastructure, economy, and service delivery for the hosting communities.

As of December 2016, Kenya hosted the third largest number of refugees in Africa, after Ethiopia and Uganda. Some 494,863 refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and other countries in the region are hosted in Kenya with 272,764 in the Dadaab refugee camps, 154,947 in Kakuma, and 69,261 in Nairobi. These figures include 326,562 Somali refugees in protracted displacement, 27,237 Ethiopians, 29,317 Congolese, and 88,391 South Sudanese refugees. Somali refugees are mainly located in the Dadaab camp while South Sudanese are largely in Kakuma. The Dadaab refugee complex hosts refugees in five camps—Dagahaley, Ifo, Ifo 2, Hagadera, and Kambioos; the first three located in Lagdera (Dadaab) sub-county and the latter two are in Fafi su-bcounty. It is estimated that about 45,000 are double registrations which includes  15,000 Kenyans who enrolled as refugees to access food benefits and basic services, 20,000 Somali refugees with Kenyan identity cards, and nearly 10,000 belonging to families of refugee-Kenyan marriages (UNHCR 2016). The Kakuma refugees are in four camps, Kakuma I–IV, and the Kalobeyei settlement—all in Turkana West Sub-county of Turkana County.

In Kenya, the Refugee Affairs Secretariat responsible for refugee management, is part of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government that is mainly responsible for internal security. Kenya’s Refugee Act 2006 supports an encampment policy where, following status determination, refugees are obliged to reside in a camp with their movement outside the camps being restricted. Article 16 of the act gives the minister responsible for refugee affairs the authority to designate areas in Kenya to be refugee camps. Domestic refugee laws of Kenya effectively limit the refugees’ right to work by imposing the same restrictions and conditions applicable to aliens and do not have provisions dealing with extending services to refugees.

With regard to the host population, the county governments are now responsible for delivering most basic services including early childhood development, health, agriculture extension, water and sanitation, and environmental services. The respective line ministries in the national-level government continue to be responsible for the education and social protection services while the former Ministry for Northern Kenya is now a department under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.


The Project Development Objective (PDO) is to improve access to basic social services, expand economic opportunities, and enhance environmental management for communities hosting refugees in the target areas of Kenya.

Projects to be underaken in 2018/19 FY

The KDRDIP will be financed through Investment Project Financing (IPF) of US$100 million equivalent for Kenya and an IDA Grant of US$3 million equivalent to IGAD to be implemented through the Regional Secretariat on Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration to support return areas in Somalia and contribute to sustainable integration of Somali refugees returning from Dadaab refugee camp. The total estimated KDRDIP costs are based on an IDA allocation (national allocations and a grant for regional coordination activities) for an overall estimated budget of US$103 million over a five-year period. The total project cost includes a total Regional IDA envelope of US$53 million equivalent from Regional IDA AFR.