Economic Inclusion of Refugees and host communities

The Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA) of the Government of Rwanda (GoR) and UNHCR launched a joint strategy on Economic Inclusion of Refugees and Host Communities for 2021-24.

Refugee and Rwandan farmers cultivating together the Misizi Marshland

Bringing together more than 1000 growers both Rwandans and Refugees, this project in Misizi marshland aims at enhancing livelihoods and peaceful coexistence of refugees and host communities in Mugombwa sector. ©UNHCR/Eugene Sibomana

The Strategic objectives include:

 Enable refugees and host communities to acquire and preserve livelihoods assets to construct their living, become self-reliant and build resilience to shocks

  1. Promote socio-economic inclusion of refugees and host communities and their enhanced access to economic opportunities on a sustainable basis
  2. Expand proven and innovative ways of supporting self-reliance of refugees and host communities in Rwanda, especially through the graduation approach and market-based interventions
  3. Promote results and evidence-based programming by improving planning- implementation – monitoring – learning and practice on successful livelihoods approaches

Strategic Approach

Overall, the strategy focuses on the promotion of livelihoods assets by supporting income generation through sustainable employment, asset creation and investments to support graduation out of extreme poverty alongside prevention approach for managing risks and shocks (including Covid) and protection measures to ensure that basic needs are met.

To support the realization of the GoR’s commitments on graduating refugees out of humanitarian assistance and promoting refugee employment opportunities as made at the Leaders’ Summit in year 2016, this strategy will ensure that livelihoods interventions take a ‘whole-of-society’ approach in the context of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).

In more concrete terms the strategy will focus on the following approaches:

Inclusion: ‘Refugees are included in the communities from the very beginning. When refugees gain access to education and labour markets, they can build their skills and become self-reliant, contributing to local economies and fuelling the development of the communities hosting them’

  • Advocacy: Integrate leveled advocacy at the policy level with key governmental counterparts and development partners; the private sector level and the community level, to enhance economic inclusion of refugees and their host communities
  • Market driven solutions: Integrate market-based solutions that integrate markets needs and involve the private sector for sustainable livelihoods for both refugees and members of the host communities
  • Local Economic Development: Take a local economic development approach focusing on contextual needs of refugees and host communities as an integral part of the livelihood’s strategy and interventions
  • Scaled-up Initiatives : Scale up and mainstream linkages and partnerships with the GoR and development partners to increase funding for livelihoods projects and promote employment of refugees and host communities following the spirit of the National Employment Policy and strategic interventions identified through the NST1
  • Graduation: of refugees and host communities out of extreme poverty through sequenced and timebound interventions that aim to help people living in extreme poverty build resilience and engage in sustainable livelihoods. It integrates social protection, livelihoods promotion with large cash grants or a productive asset transfer component, financial inclusion, market linkages and social empowerment to build self-reliance of participating households on sustainable basis.
  • Shock-responsive: addressing the Covid-19 impact and any other future shocks and stresses in a holistic manner through an integrated approach, by focusing on multi-sectoral and multi-partner solutions and interventions; stepped up livelihoods activities and prevention measures to build resilience to shocks.