The UN refugee agency on Sunday urged Kenya’s private sector to support the government’s efforts to uplift the lives of refugees.
Fathiaa Abdalla, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Kenya told Xinhua in Nairobi that the government has been very supportive to refugees by providing a safe place for them to live.
“We want to bring everyone on board including the private sector to share the responsibility and burden of refugees,” said Abdalla during the second UNHCR Step for Safety annual walk in support of refugees who have been displaced because of conflict and persecution in the East African region and across Africa.
The walk is an initiative of UNHCR’s LuQuLuQu campaign which seeks to draw attention to the plight of forcibly displaced people and strives to change the public perception of the refugee narrative by highlighting their resilience.
UNHCR Goodwill ambassador, Mercy Masika led popular artistes Avril and Elani in participating in the public walk in Nairobi, as well as performing for the crowd.
“Kenya hosts more than 475,000 refugees with close to 80 per cent of them being women and children. Having met some of the people behind these numbers, I am continuously impressed and inspired by their talent, ambition and potential,” said Abdalla.
She added that despite refugees being forced to flee their homelands and leave everything behind they remain determined to build a better life.
She observed that they play a positive role in the economies of their host countries.
“They should therefore be supported to access basic social services and as well as in their pursuit of income generating activities,” she noted.