Summary project

  • Main topic: healthcare for displaced people (internally and internationally).
  • Target group: internally displaced people and refugees from Somalia and Eastrern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Locations: formal and informal refugee camps & settlements in Somalia, East DRC, Kenya (Nairobi) and South Africa (Johannesburg).
  • Role of ARQ International: looking into neglected mental health conditions as a consequence of displacement, conflict and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).


Assessing the mental health care gap

This research project 'Protracted displacement of Congolese and Somali refugees' runs from 2020 to 2023. It will lassess mental health conditions and (access to) health care systems for refugees from Somalia and the DRC, who have been displaced for a longer time in different locations.

The research will compare these conditions and systems for groups of displaced Congolese and Somali in different contexts: in camps and non-camp settlements within DRC/Somalia, and in Kenya and South-Africa.

The role of ARQ International is to explore what mental health conditions associated with displacement, violence, and gendered conflict are currently neglected in the different field sites. In order to answer this question, ARQ will undertake a literature review, and conduct interviews and focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders. This preliminary research will guide further decisions on the focus of the research project.

Furthermore, ARQ International will support the research core team with specific Mental Health expertise, and it will provide psychosocial support to research staff and participants upon request.

In this project, ARQ International is partnering with the University of Edinburgh (lead) and an international consortium of researchers and practitioners (a.o. Queen Margaret University, Panzi hospital, Amref University in Nairobi, the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, SIDRA (Somalia), the School of Public Health at the University of Kinshasa (DRC) and Save the Children)