Livelihood Strategies of Displaced Independent Eritrean Youths in Cairo: Examining Agency and Vulnerability
Siino, Amanda Elizabeth
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Eritrea is one of the largest refugee producing countries, as many exit to escape arduous National Service (Amnesty International 2015). Egypt is an important transit country for Eritreans, with the majority settling in Cairo. Based on fieldwork with displaced independent Eritrean youths in Cairo from May-August 2017, this thesis applies the livelihoods framework to independent displaced youths to study their agentic capabilities, amidst vulnerability. They are primarily able to negotiate their livelihoods through their housemates, often those they meet en route. Furthermore, their housemates are frequently their only source of support, regardless of their ability to provide adequate support. Despite their experiences of vulnerability, mainly determined by their security context, youths enact their agency in managing social, institutional, and financial resources. Gender was the predominant marker of identity that influenced their livelihood strategies. This thesis critically examines the key livelihoods issues facing displaced youths and makes practical and theoretical recommendations.