Refugees and asylum-seekers in Kenya

The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations

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Loading Total Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Kenya

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Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Kenya by sub-location JSON 
Location name Source Data date Population
Nairobi UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   14.0% 99,960
Garissa UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   47.4% 338,224
Turkana UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   38.6% 275,953

Total Refugees in Kenya JSON 
546,192
Last updated 31 Jan 2024
Source - UNHCR 
Refugees in Kenya - Breakdown by country of origin JSON  .CSV 
Country of origin Source Data date Population
Somalia UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   54.3% 296,496
South Sudan UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   31.9% 174,467
Dem. Rep. of the Congo UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   6.4% 34,869
Ethiopia UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   4.2% 23,029
Burundi UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   1.6% 8,665
Sudan UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   1.0% 5,513
Others UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   0.4% 2,335
Uganda UNHCR 31 Jan 2024   0.1% 818


Total Asylum-seekers in Kenya JSON 
167,945
Last updated 31 Jan 2024
Source - UNHCR, Government 
Asylum-seekers in Kenya - Breakdown by country of origin JSON  .CSV 
Country of origin Source Data date Population
Somalia UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   55.3% 92,906
Dem. Rep. of the Congo UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   14.3% 23,975
Burundi UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   13.5% 22,737
Ethiopia UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   8.7% 14,680
Sudan UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   3.1% 5,270
Others UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   3.1% 5,181
Uganda UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   1.8% 3,011
South Sudan UNHCR, Government 31 Jan 2024   0.1% 185


  Highlights
RAVES PROJECT - KENYA LAUNCH: Official launch of the Refugee Agricultural Value chains for Economic Self-reliance (RAVES) Programme. FAO with funding from the IKEA Foundation and in collaboration with the Turkana County Government, UNHCR, WFP, IFC, INSTA Products, Egerton University and other stakeholders has initiated a project aimed at enabling farmers from Loima and Turkana West Sub-Counties of Turkana County as well as refugees in Kalobeyei settlement to produce groundnut for INSTA Products in a Public Private Partnership. The four-year project is targeting 1,500 farmers, of which 30 percent are refugees, farming on approximately 750 acres and ultimately delivering 1,200 tons of Groundnuts per year. The project is expected to bring in KES 96 million annually to Turkana County and spur the development of a groundnut industry in the County.
29 Apr 2021
UNHCR in partnership with Oracle launched the Oracle Workforce Development program, which aims to impart digital skills training with global certifications. Five Persons of Concern (PoC (3 females, 2 males) from urban areas and eight PoC (3 females, 5 males) from Kakuma were shortlisted for the training after a competitive process. The trainees will be upskilled in Java Fundamental and Programming and later be linked to job opportunities.
30 Sep 2020
PoC who can no longer support themselves in urban areas continued to request for assistance to relocate to the camps. UNHCR and the Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS) worked on resuming PoC’s relocation to the camps. This had been suspended towards the end of August due to a high COVID-19 positivity rate among PoC that had been tested before travel.
30 Sep 2020
RAS and UNHCR agreed to set up a working group to start a remote interviewing pilot for refugee status determination. Remote interviewing will increase the number of interviews conducted.
30 Sep 2020
In August, UNHCR and implementing partners in Kakuma distributed 130,000 reusable facemasks donated by the Government of the United States.
30 Sep 2020
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    UNHCR KENYA - Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Strategy 2020-2024

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    The UNHCR Kenya Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Strategy (2020-2024) document, which is a strategy developed jointly with partners and also reflects the feedback from Government counterparts based ...
    Publish date: 29 July 2021 (2 years ago)
    Create date: 3 September 2021 (2 years ago)
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    UNHCR: East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes - Stepped-up Livelihoods Strategic Directions 2021-2025

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    Responding to the High Commissioner’s request to step up livelihoods interventions this document outlines the strategic directions and recommends actions for the EHAGL Regional Bureau 2020-2025 to add...
    Publish date: 1 July 2021 (2 years ago)
    Create date: 27 July 2021 (2 years ago)
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    Stepped up Livelihoods Response - Responding to Covid19 Impact on POC Livelihoods in EHAGL

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    UNHCR Summary Livelihoods Response Strategy 2020-2025
    Publish date: 4 February 2021 (3 years ago)
    Create date: 5 February 2021 (3 years ago)
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    Community Based Protection Working Group (TOR)

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    Terms of reference for the Community Based Protection Working Group in Urban areas
    Publish date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
    Create date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
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    Youth Working Group (TOR)

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    Terms of reference for the Youth Working Group in Urban areas
    Publish date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
    Create date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
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    Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Working Group (TOR)

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    Terms of Reference for the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Working Group in Urban areas.
    Publish date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
    Create date: 19 August 2020 (3 years ago)
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    EHAGL Complementary Pathways Newsletter June 2023

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    Publish date: 3 November 2023 (3 months ago)
    Create date: 3 November 2023 (3 months ago)
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    UNHCR EHAGL Operational Update April - June 2023

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    UNHCR EHAGL Operational Update April - June 2023
    Publish date: 11 August 2023 (6 months ago)
    Create date: 11 August 2023 (6 months ago)
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    UNHCR EHAGL Operational Update January - March 2023

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    UNHCR EHAGL Operational Update January - March 2023
    Publish date: 23 May 2023 (9 months ago)
    Create date: 23 May 2023 (9 months ago)
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    UNHCR EHAGL Operational Update October-December 2022

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    Publish date: 17 February 2023 (1 year ago)
    Create date: 17 February 2023 (1 year ago)
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    Protection Implications of the Drought in the Horn of Africa region - September 2022

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    Publish date: 30 September 2022 (1 year ago)
    Create date: 30 September 2022 (1 year ago)
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    UNHCR Kenya Operational Update, September 2020

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    Operational Update for Kenya, as of September 2020
    Publish date: 19 November 2020 (3 years ago)
    Create date: 19 November 2020 (3 years ago)
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    Kakuma Camp Population Statistics 31 JANUARY 2019

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    Kakuma Camp Population Statistics 31 JANUARY 2019
    Publish date: 4 February 2019 (5 years ago)
    Create date: 4 February 2019 (5 years ago)
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    Kalobeyei Settlement Population Statistics 31 JANUARY 2019

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    Kalobeyei Settlement Population Statistics 31 JANUARY 2019
    Publish date: 4 February 2019 (5 years ago)
    Create date: 4 February 2019 (5 years ago)
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    UNHCR Dadaab bi-weekly update 01-15 March 2017

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    UNHCR Dadaab bi-weekly update 01-15 March 2017
    Publish date: 23 March 2017 (6 years ago)
    Create date: 23 March 2017 (6 years ago)
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    UNHCR Dadaab bi-weekly update 15 - 28 Feb. 2017

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    UNHCR Dadaab bi-weekly update 15 - 28 Feb. 2017
    Publish date: 13 March 2017 (6 years ago)
    Create date: 13 March 2017 (6 years ago)
  • Country overview
    The Kenya refugee operation is impacted by political developments and the humanitarian situation in the region, mainly due to developments in the two main refugee producing countries (i.e. Somalia and South Sudan). In Somalia, despite the moderate gains made in the past three years, the humanitarian situation in 2020 is expected to remain fragile, with over some 24.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia are responsible for refugee outflows.

    The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Kenya are from Somalia (54%), followed by South Sudanese (24.5%), Congolese (8.9%) and Ethiopians (5.8%). Persons of concern from other nationalities including Burundi, Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea, Rwanda, and others make up 6.7% of the total population (501,049 as at the end of October 2020). Almost half of the refugees in Kenya reside in Dadaab (44%), 40% in Kakuma and 16% in urban areas (mainly Nairobi), alongside 18,500 stateless persons. Currently, Kenya continues to be among the top refugee hosting countries in Africa. UNHCR will also continue its advocacy on behalf of stateless persons.

    The operation works with the assumption that the situation in Central and Southern Somalia will continue to allow voluntary repatriation and reintegration with no major further deterioration. For these reasons, the planning figures for voluntary return to Somalia are 10,050 in 2021 and 10,620 in 2022. As for 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has overall affected the voluntary repatriation programme to Somalia, Ethiopia and Burundi. Small-scale repatriation to Somalia has only now been resumed in December 2020, with some more returns planned to Burundi and DRC. While some 30,000 new arrivals were expected in 2020, as a result of COVID-19 there were only 8,210 new arrivals, mainly from Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia, and Burundi. Considering COVID-19, a reduction in resettlement slots and the current capacity of the operation to process resettlement cases, it is projected that some 2,000 refugees will be proposed for resettlement in 2020.
    Kenya Funding (2022) (0)
    $145,519,917
    Total appeal
    Date of Funding Data 29 December 2022 (1 year ago)
    Kenya Funding


       Related situations
    • Kenya - Eradication of Statelessness in the East and Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region

      Highlighting statelessness in the 12 Member States of the ICGLR, and what is being done to eradicate it. Media coverage, testimonies of stateless persons, reports on the issue and all documents pertaining to the Brazzaville Declaration process can be consulted in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

    • Kenya - DRC Situation

      The on-going conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have caused and continue to cause internal and external displacement of populations. In 2017, some 100,000 Congolese fled to neighbouring countries as refugees, due to widespread militia activities, unrest and violence, joining the 585,000 already in exile. The security conditions in DRC, especially in the eastern and central parts have continued to worsen since the beginning of 2018. Because of this, the Congolese refugee population is now among the ten largest in the world. Nearly 55 per cent are children, many crossing borders unaccompanied or separated. Existing camps and sites in many asylum countries are saturated, and available basic services are stretched to the limit. The situation requires support, adequate resources and collaboration so that effective protection and assistance can be delivered efficiently to Congolese refugees.

    • Kenya - Regional Bureau for the East and Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes Region

      In September 2019, with the aim of bringing decision making closer to the point of delivery, UNHCR opened its Regional Bureau for the East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes Region (EHAGL). It is located in Nairobi, Kenya and covers 11 operations: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Within the EHAGL region, two situations are managed by the Bureau: the Sudan Situation and the South Sudan Situation. The Bureau has accountability for strategic decision-making, regional prioritization, oversight of integrity issues, and quality assurance, and possesses the technical capacity to support country operations in a wide range of sectors such as education, child protection, economic inclusion and durable solutions.

    • Kenya - South Sudan

      As the protracted emergency enters its sixth year, the South Sudan situation remains the largest refugee situation on the African continent. There are over 2.2 million refugees in Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a further 1.8 million people displaced internally in South Sudan. The situation continues to be characterized as a children’s crisis with children constituting over 65 percent of the refugee population.

    • Kenya - Horn of Africa Somalia Situation

      Somalia is at the heart of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. Twenty years of conflict and waves of drought have uprooted a quarter of the country’s 7.5 million people. As the region faces its most severe drought in 60 years, the Somali exodus is growing fast. The refugees urgently need medical aid and high-protein, high-energy food. They also need clean water, shelter and basic services in the camps.

    • Kenya - Burundi Situation

      Over 300,000 refugees have fled Burundi to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda since April 2015. The situation in Burundi remains complex; while refugees continue to arrive throughout the region, others are deciding to return home. The Burundi refugee response remains one of the most underfunding refugee situations in the world.


      Microdata

  • Post Distribution Monitoring Survey in Kalobeyei Settlement, March 2020

    Kenya, 2020   MicroData View details | Get Microdata | 62 |
    Authoring Entity: UNHCR
    Published: 28 June 2020
  • Socioeconomic Survey of the Stateless Shona in 2019

    Kenya, 2019   MicroData View details | Get Microdata | 30 |
    Authoring Entity: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    Published: 08 December 2020
  • Energy Monitoring Framework Survey, 2019

    Kenya, 2019   MicroData View details | Get Microdata | 0 |
    Authoring Entity: UNHCR
    Published: 09 April 2021
  • Page focal person :

    Please contact the following focal points

    Type of Inquiry Contact
    Data management Alan Mwika
    mwika@unhcr.org
    Information Management Vinoraj Ratnaraj
    RATNARAJ@unhcr.org