The role of aid in protracted refugee situations: the case of Kenya, 1991 - 2013
The international regime’s focus on durable solutions for refugees – Repatriation, Integration and resettlement as the only viable options for refugees only serve to perpetuate the protracted situations as time has proven that they are ineffective. This lack of foreseeable alternatives has dire consequences on the entire refugee population. In Kenya for example, aid organizations and the government seem to be stuck at the emergency phase characterised by saving lives, protection and provision of basic needs and have not yet moved on to finding durable solutions. The genuine intention of aid agencies has also been put to question. This study sought to establish whether aid has contributed in one way or another to this protracted situation and investigate to what extent it has contributed to creating a situation of perpetual dependency within the refugee population. This study used secondary data in analysing the variables. Secondary data include data gathered from documents search such as media reports, analysis and review of published books, journals, papers, periodicals, and unpublished works as well as government's official documents. The study used secondary data in the form of documented information from libraries and other relevant institutions. The findings from these secondary data were analysed through content analysis. The key emerging issues in this study were that resettlement was effectively the only durable solutions for refugees in protracted situations in Kenya, however, moving forward and in recognition that only a small percentage of refugees can be resettled to third countries, wherever possible, policy actors should seek to work in harmony with, rather than against, refugees’ efforts to become more productive and empowered members of society. Two areas have emerged for further studies in respect to refugees in protracted situations namely; (i) the contribution of resettled refugees in curtailing dependence on aid and (ii) the significance of selfreliance strategies in combating protracted refugee situations.