Since the global pandemic began, we have been speaking with these research assistants to understand better the impact that Covid-19 is having on refugees living in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
The assistants – primarily from Congolese and Somali refugee communities – are people who are well-networked with fellow refugees.
All of the assistants reported primarily on the acute economic challenges that the crisis has caused for Nairobi’s refugees.
Our refugee research assistants also reported that although the Kenyan government has started to assist some vulnerable Kenyan families with food and a small cash stipend via Mpesa – the mobile money network in Kenya – refugees are excluded from government support by their legal status.
In the Congolese community, pastors collect food and cash donations and redistribute them to the most vulnerable refugees with the help of community-based organisations.