Etching a living in the Egyptian informal economy: experiences of refugees from Darfur

Leben Moro, Linacre College, Oxford

Since the intensification of forced evictions of black Africans by Jangaweed (or Arab) from the Darfur region of Sudan, thousands of people have sought refuge in Cairo. Because the UNHCR Cairo office has cut back on its refugee assistance programs, the newly-arrived refugees encounter enormous difficulties. They have to etch out a precarious existence in the informal economy. Moreover, they have to deal with the disillusionment of marginalized Egyptians in the informal economy. This paper is based on testimonies of Darfurians in Cairo, in particular 6th of October city, collected during the months of August and September 2004. Most of these refugees work in the garbage or refuse dumps on the edge of the city. They dig dumps for pieces of mental, which are bought by some dealers. The exact health hazards are not known but should be significant. Moreover, the refugees are constantly harassed due to their illegal status.

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Presented in Poster Session 5