Press Statement Refugees

Friday, March 22, 2019




For immediate release


IGAD Ministers to Empower Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities


22 March 2019, KAMPALA (Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development in collaboration with the Government of Uganda is holding a “Regional Thematic Meeting on Livelihoods and Self-reliance for Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities” at the Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, 25-28 March, 2019.


The first three days, 25 to 27 March, will be a meeting of Experts to pave the way for a ministerial level meeting due to take place on Thursday 28 March.


The regional thematic meeting is bringing together IGAD Member States, development and humanitarian partners, as well as the private sector and the civil society groups from the humanitarian and development spheres to support these commitments.



Participants are drawn from IGAD Member States’ line ministries, including lead agencies that handle refugee matters; ministries of finance (treasury); ministries of planning and those responsible for local government (devolution, federalism or decentralization), as well as ministries of agriculture, livestock development and those responsible for labour.


Representatives of refugee and host communities, international finance institutions, partners engaged in securing durable solutions and the IGAD core group of partners to the Nairobi Plan of Action will are expected. Others include the private sector, civil society and the Diaspora who are champions for refugees.



The meeting will look at a range of issues connected to the access of refugees and host communities to livelihood and economic opportunities including challenges accessing supporting services and functions (e.g. financial, information, training, infrastructure, business development services, etc.); as well as barriers in the regulatory and policy environment preventing refugees and host communities to fully take advantage of available opportunities.



         The objectives of the meeting are to: 

(i)Identify existing opportunities and the associated constraints towards sustainable livelihoods and job creation for refugees, returnees and host communities in the Horn of Africa and learn from Uganda’s refugee management model;

(ii)Identify opportunities for policy provisions and areas of strategic reform and programmatic interventions that would enhance/increase opportunities for sustainable livelihoods and job creation for refugees, returnees and host communities in the region; 

(iii)Share existing experience and good practices on enhancing self-reliance and economic resilience for refugees, returnees and host communities; 

(iv)Identify practical steps and milestones for delivering commitments on self-reliance and livelihoods as set out in the Nairobi Action Plan; and

(v)Galvanize resource mobilization from IGAD Member States and partners to support these steps. 


Central to the principles of the Nairobi Declaration and Action Plan of March 2017 is the promotion of self-reliance and economic resilience for refugees, returnees and host communities. IGAD Member States have committed themselves to:


“Enhance, with the support of the international community, education, training and skills development for refugees to reduce their dependence on humanitarian assistance, and prepare them for gainful employment in host communities and upon return”



On 25th March 2017, the IGAD Heads of States and Government held the first ever Special Summit on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and Reintegration of Returnees in Somalia. 


The Nairobi Declaration and the accompanying Plan of Action that were adopted set out a comprehensive regional approach and commitments at four levels:

Accelerating solutions in Somalia by creating an environment conducive for voluntary and sustainable returns; 

Delivering durable solutions, whilst maintaining protection and asylum space, and promoting the self-reliance and inclusion of refugees in countries of asylum; 

Strengthening sub-regional co-operation; and

Increasing international responsibility sharing. 


Together, they reinforce the commitments made by IGAD Member States at the Leaders’ Summit in September 2016, and the regional application of the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF).



For more information, please contact

Mahamed A, Abdillahi

Isaac Mugera 

Annette Kayonde Akimanzi