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Relevance of Cash Transfer Programme on Promoting Nutrition Security among Refugees in Kakuma Camp, Kenya

Cash transfers in refugee camps globally were purposed to enable refugees face enhanced social wellbeing, social functioning and reduce reliance on negative coping strategy thereby realizing social development as emphasized by the social work principle of human dignity and self-reliance. The cash transfer programme in Kakuma camp was intended to help refugees realize improved social welfare but experience indicates that refugees continue to face a backlash when it comes to social development dimensions including food security. This study sought to examine the contribution of cash transfer programme on nutrition security among refugees in Kakuma camp, Kenya. Social systems theory, resilience theory and social development model guided the study. A convergent parallel mixed method design was adopted. The sample size was 400 comprising of 370 refugees selected using simple random, 5 key informants and 25 refugee community leaders selected purposively. Questionnaires, interviews and FGDs were used. SPSS version 27 analysed quantitative data while thematic analysis was for qualitative data. Tables, graphs, charts and verbatives were employed. Findings revealed that cash transfer programme had a strong positive significant correlation with nutrition security among refugees in Kakuma camp (r = +0.75 at P- = 0.043). The study concluded that cash transfer programme contributed to nutrition security among refugees in Kakuma camp. Findings had professional implications to social policy and welfare social work practice as its focus was premised on the wellbeing among refugees. The study recommended an increase of cash transfer level by UNHCR and its humanitarian partners. Similarly, a consideration by GoK and UNHCR should be made to fully adopt unrestricted cash-transfers that enable refugees to access cash through banks or mobile phones for purchasing food. Refugees should be supported to engage in income generating projects to increase food consumption and sustainability levels. Likewise, emphasis should be placed on nutrition security education and planning in relation to cash transfer management.

Key words: Cash transfer, Camp, Nutrition security, Refugees

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