Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Niger

EU Supporting Private Sector Initiatives for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkana

23/02/2021 - 10:37
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The European Union Delegation to Kenya has signed its 4.85 million EUR / 640 million KES contribution to the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), which is managed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Among other outcomes, the KKCF aims to support the creation of at least 1,500 jobs and improve access to essential goods and services for 50,000 people by 2024.

Refugee camps, such as the Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement in Turkana West in Kenya are not usually associated with a vivid business environment and private sector investment. The KKCF – Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund, an initiative by IFC in Kenya, is set to change this. This idea was developed after a study conducted in 2018 found that both Kakuma and Kalobeyei represent a significant market. In fact, there are already more than 2,000 businesses, including 14 wholesalers present in Kakuma. The KKCF will leverage on this but provide additional support to the area to become a more thriving business centre, supporting both refugees and host communities.

The KKCF’s main objective is to enable better economic integration and self-reliance of refugees and those in the local host community. IFC administers and implements the KKCF, working in close partnership with the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, the Turkana County Government, and UNHCR. The five-year program is comprised of three components: (i) a rolling competitive business challenge; (ii) investment and policy advisory and (iii) hands-on support to corporates.

EU Ambassador to Kenya, HE Simon Mordue, notes: “Having visited both Kakuma and Kalobeyei, I have been moved by the remarkable resilience of the refugee and host communities; however, I am deeply aware of the many challenges they face. Therefore, I welcome our new support to the KKCF, which complements our funding to UNHCR and will help to boost the business environment in Turkana West.”

A selection of KKCF targets to be reached by 2024 include:

  • Facilitate the entry of 10 companies into the Kakuma area; 
  • Support the expansion of five companies already present in the area; 
  • Provide grants to 100 local micros, small and medium enterprises and offer capacity building and business model technical support;
  • Support 1,500 jobs and improve access to essential goods and services for 50,000 people.


IFC established the KKCF challenge fund with generous contributions from several donors, including Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, and the European Union. In addition to its contribution to the KKCF, the European Union supports the refurbishment of the new One-Stop-Shop under component two, through its programme with UNHCR.

More information about the KKCF and its progress can be found here: / Twitter: @kkcfkenya

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