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Malawi: Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion through Solutions Capital Initiatives (June 2019)

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Located in the central region district of Dowa, Dzaleka Refugee Camp is home to some 38,827 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia. Since its establishment in 1994, the camp has seen an increase in entrepreneurship, which has given rise to successful micro-businesses ranging from farming, fashion design, and profitable enterprises that include grocery stores, hair dressing saloons, restaurants and production of poultry.

Livelihoods activities have promoted the establishment of additional business enterprises that have greatly benefitted from My Bucks Bank (formerly named New Finance Bank) through savings and loans schemes.

Refugees and asylum seekers and the host communities continue to improve their livelihoods through increased income, improved food security and health, after participating in livestock production (piggery and poultry production), crop production (soy beans, cabbages, onions, tomatoes and spices) and business enterprises (meat processing, milk processing, feed making and mushroom production).

Key facts

  • 96% live below moderate to ultra-poverty line in Dzaleka Refugee Camp. This is high, in comparison to the national population in Malawi.

  • Beneficiaries from ongoing organized livelihood activities can reach only 800 participants per year despite high demand due to funding constraints

  • 60% of beneficiaries are refugees and asylum-seekers, and 40% are host community members

  • Gender disaggregation: 60% Women: 40%men - 200 are Livelihoods Graduation Approach participants effective March 2019. The Graduation Approach is a time bound, multisector livelihoods intervention aimed at lifting the extreme poor households out of poverty.