Monday, November 16th, 2015
MannionDaniels has worked closely with UNFPA and UNHCR to develop a Reproductive Health toolkit for urban refugees. This has involved extensive consultation with UNFPA and UNHCR staff in many countries hosting urban refugees, as well as with urban refugees based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Urban refugees are distinct from those living in camps and the emerging consensus within international organisations is that camps no longer always present the best solution for long-term refugees. Providing sexual and reproductive health services to refugees living under the radar in urban slums however is rather complicated. While these refugees share the issues of poverty, shelter and unemployment with the local poor, they have the added burdens of xenophobia, police harassment, uncertain legal status, trafficking and violence. Reproductive and sexual needs become secondary when sheer survival is threatened, but their neglect further degrades the existence of urban refugees.
The toolkit comprises of nine tools that seek to address all aspects of this complex situation and aims to provide holistic solutions to RH issues. Its key audience is practitioners planning for urban refugees within UNFPA and UNHCR.
In more recent months since the refugee crisis in Europe has dominated the news, the existing chronic situation remains of millions of refugees already living in cities across the world and trying to find a life of dignity and security. It is this population that the toolkit was designed to help, filling a gap in existing service provision mechanisms. The need to provide comprehensive Reproductive Health services for urban refugees remains, and when the toolkit is published, MannionDaniels’ hopes it can be used to do so by international organisations working on the issues.