Perceptions of the Impact of Refugees on Host Communities: The Case of Liberian Refugees in Ghana
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This paper analyses the effects of the presence of Liberian refugees on cost of goods/services and business activities, pressure on resources/facilities, social vices and environmental activities based on perceptions (although attempts have been made to buttress the perceptions with information from focus group discussions) of hosts and refugees. The analysis included gender and type of occupation from within and among the groups. The aim was to ascertain whether the presence of refugees are viewed as having positive, negative or mixed impacts. Data are from 10 focus group discussions and 120 household surveys undertaken in April 2007. Results show that although there are gender and occupational differentials, host communities contend that refugees have increased the costs of goods and services, brought pressure on facilities, increased social vices and deteriorated environmental resources. However, refugees are viewed as a source of income and market, and trade partners, who have brought a lot of infrastructural developments. Thus, one can describe refugee presence as having mixed impacts.
KeywordsLiberian refugees Gender Perceptions Impact Social vices Goods and services Environmental activities
We are grateful to the Institute for Research and Development (IRD) and Centre for Population and Development (CEPED) for providing funds for this study which was under the “Population Displacement and Territorial Recomposition” project. We are also grateful to the fieldworkers, Raymond Tutu, Doris Oti Boakye, George Adika, Alexander Afrifa, Ruby Sackey, Hillarius Simpi and Godwin Awuah.
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