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Refugee Livelihoods (Literarture Review)

Refugee Livelihoods (Literarture Review)

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Published by: mohiuddinh on Sep 28, 2010
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59. According to Jacobsen (2002), there is growing evidence that communication
and ties with relatives and friends living abroad has helped refugees survive the
harsh conditions of their displacement. Assistance from family and friends abroad
can include financial resources, such as remittances, as well as the social capital that
comes with refugee networks which increase information flows and enable trade and
relocation. These trans-national resources often complement assistance provided by
humanitarian agencies and the host government.

60. For instance, four out of ten refugees interviewed in Banjul Gambia said to rely
on remittances sent to them by family members living in the United States, Canada,
United Kingdom and other countries (Conway, 2004) while Horst (2005) estimated
that at least ten to fifteen percent of the population in the Dadaab camps benefited
directly from remittances. Whereas, according to Al-Sharmani (2004), for the Somali
refugees in Cairo and their family members and close friends in other host societies,
mobility and establishing trans-national families had become part of a process of
resisting marginalization and achieving varying degrees of participation and
acceptance in several host societies rather than the elusive goal of adequate
integration in one host society.

61. Remittances are not solely to be considered as a form of social security, the
money can also serve as investment in business, to assist others, or for education
purposes and hence support or help rebuild livelihoods.

62. Apart from social networks abroad, refugees also turn to social networks in the
host country. As most of developing countries have no functional social welfare
system for the refugees, they often try to fall back on solidarity. Research in South
Africa (Golooba-Mutebi, 2004) for instance, revealed that some Mozambican refugees
joined their fellow countrymen who had formerly migrated to South Africa for
economic reasons. These networks allowed them to more rapidly improve their
livelihoods as opposed to other refugees.

63. Another important strategy a number of refugees have readily adopted is the
development of inter-household economic and social networks. These networks,
based on solidarity, provide a safety net built on mutual aid in coping with limited
income-generating opportunities and social insecurity. As illustrated by case-studies
in Egypt and Ecuador (Al-Sharmani, 2004; Lo, 2005), refugees frequently share small


apartments. This pooling of resources contributes to economic survival and securing

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