Joint Strategy by MIDIMAR & UNHCR

Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs and UNHCR announced on 27 September 2016 the launch of a new national strategy on the economic inclusion of refugee in Rwanda for 2016-2020.

Vision – Where do we want to go?

MIDIMAR and UNHCR envisions that by 2020 all refugees and neighbouring communities are able to fulfill their productive potential as self-reliant members of Rwandan society who contribute to economic development of their host districts.

Objectives – How are we going to get there?

Refugee camps to become places of vibrant social and economic activities with active markets, shops, restaurants, and industries such as cottage factories that are run by refugees together with the host community.

Wage-earning employment or self-employment are key to achieve this objective which ultimately contribute to economic development and poverty reduction among refugees and within the host communities. Advocacy will be needed throughout the implementation of this Strategy with the intention of raising awareness and integration of refugees within the socio-economic programmes of Rwanda.

Partners – Who will help us get there?

MIDIMAR and UNHCR will work with Rwandan private sector companies towards inclusion of refugee and host communities in their value chains. At the same time, MIDIMAR and UNHCR will make sure that vocational training programmes focus on skills that are in demand by these companies.

Working closely with both NGOs and the growing number of social enterprises that operate in Rwanda, MIDIMAR and UNHCR will enhance self-employment. NGOs and social enterprises will help MIDIMAR and UNHCR in enabling entrepreneurs (refugees as well as locals) to grow businesses in and around camps and urban settings, particularly leveraging the increase in demand from the shift to cash instead of food and non-food items, as well as the foreseeable increase in demand for refugee produced goods or services.

In addition, partnerships will be sought with local, national and international media as well as social media to publish stories about the positive socio-economic effects of refugees on Rwanda. MIDIMAR and UNHCR will share lessons learned with the international community in order to enable other countries to learn from Rwanda’s inclusion policies.

Strong partnerships between MIDIMAR and UNHCR as well as development actors through the One UN initiative and the UNDAP framework will be sought in order to achieve synergies between humanitarian and development interventions for self-reliance of refugees and host communities alike.

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