Sh1 Billion Exchanged in Dadaab Camp Monthly

At least Sh1 billion is traded and transferred using informal money transfer system in the Dadaab refugee camp in a month, a report has shown.

The report, Devolution in Kenya: Opportunity for Transitional Solutions for Refugees, said both host community and refugee populations have developed livelihood strategies, despite the difficult economic conditions,

“An example of refugees’ resilience is found in Dadaab town, where businesses are running and are owned by refugees within the camps. Estimates suggest that between $70 million (Sh70 million) to $100 million (Sh101 billion) a month is transferred between Somalis [from the USA and Europe to Kenya and Somalia],” the report reads.

It was compiled by the Danish Refugee Council and the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat and released yesterday.

“Cross-border trade enables goods such as milk, pasta and khat to be brought in tax-free from Somalia, and then sold within the camps and around Dadaab town,” the report said.

The research was commissioned to analyse the potential opportunities opened by the devolution process in Kenya for interim solutions for refugees, which can contribute to building their self-reliance and to local economies.

The report said there are existing opportunities to facilitate potential interim solutions for refugees within the devolution framework.

“This includes formalising existing informal economic integration, where the positive economic impact of refugee presence through business networks, remittances, market and skill diversification and job creation are recognised by host community and county government,” it said.

The report said presence of development actors, private sector, and political will within the county government represents opportunities to formalise the presence of refugees for the development of the county, benefit of host community, while increasing the self-reliance of refugees.