Nairobi, 7th March 2023 (Governor’s Press Service)- Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai and the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services, Prof. Amb. Julius Bitok today launched the second phase of the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme (KISEDP II), which is set to be implemented between 2023 and 2027.
During the launch held at the Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, Governor Lomorukai expressed appreciation for the continued partnership between the County Government and UNHCR, its donors, implementing partners, and other UN agencies.
He highlighted the significance of KISEDP as an innovative model for global refugee support and emphasized the need for increased support for the programme, which addresses the root causes of displacement and promotes the integration of refugees into host communities.
“We need to work together to ensure that KISEDP II is a success and that we can replicate this model in other refugee-hosting communities,” he said.
He stated support for the programme saying “We reiterate our commitment to enhancing strategic collaboration in the next five years of the second phase of KISEDP. I ask that UNHCR and implementing partners work closely with the line county department to ensure our objectives are met and for the sustainability of our investments.”
PS Bitok reiterated the national government’s commitment to partnering with the County Government and UNHCR to implement KISEDP II. He praised the programme as an all-inclusive initiative that incorporates aspects of education, healthcare, economic growth, agriculture, and energy, among other sectors.
“There is a shift in policy in the management of refugees in Kenya. The current Government is keen that the Marshall Plan is implemented, and integration into the local community is our top priority,” he said.
The Marshall Plan is a humanitarian framework adopted by countries in the Horn of Africa and partners to address the root causes of displacement, improve protection for refugees, and promote their self-reliance and integration into host communities.
“This policy shift is in itself a signal of the Kenya Government’s commitment that we bring everybody on board because issues to do with refugees will be here for some time and we want to integrate so that we do not look at refugees as a by the way but an important component in Kenya.”
UNHCR Kenya Representative Caroline van Buren thanked the stakeholders for their input in developing the KISEDP II framework and commitment to supporting its implementation.
“Jointly with Turkana County under the joint secretariat, we will be reaching out for support and partnership regarding funding, implementation, and monitoring of KISEDP II. We urge you to identify opportunities to support various priority projects under KISEDP II,” she said.
Governor Lomorukai also requested fair recruitment opportunities for Turkana professionals and asked for an extension of development projects under the initiative across the county.
Other officials who spoke include Danish Deputy Head of Mission to Kenya Ambassador Trine Grønborg, the European Union Head of Cooperation Irene Giribaldi, Deputy Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Jashon Awuor and KKCF Programme Manager Luba Shara among others.
Turkana leaders present at the launch included Woman Representative Cecilia Asinyen Ng’itit and Kakuma MCA Eliud Emoni.
Senior County Government officials present included County Executives: Leah Audan (Education), David Erukudi (Agriculture), Peter Akono (Lands), James Wangiros (Public Service), Dr Anthony Apalia (Health) and Dr Michael Eregae (Finance); County Attorney Erastus Ethekon and Chief of Staff Peter Yoromoe.