Operation: Opération: Egypt



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Key Figures

2020 planning figures
52,400 asylum-seekers will be registered on an individual basis  
38,300 refugee and asylum-seeker households will receive multi-purpose cash grants
23,700 refugee and asylum-seeker households with primary and secondary school aged children will be provided with education grants (47,000 students)
20,000 substantive status determination decisions will be taken 
4,900 refugees and asylum-seekers will be referred to secondary and tertiary medical care
2018 year-end results
175,000 people of concern assisted in seven languages through UNHCR’s information hotlines
152,000 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers received winterization assistance
84,410 people supported monthly through multi-purpose cash grants to meet basic needs
44,720 children received UNHCR education grants
1,990 refugees were resettled to 10 countries
92% of refugee children were enrolled in primary schools

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 314,937
2017 289,231
2016 263,426


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2018 {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"budget":[85.170372352,82.27679034,79.08958703,74.46865337,104.15671602,108.81443389],"expenditure":[46.44128458,45.61564518,42.6004643,42.82142057,null,null]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[85.120372352,82.27679034,79.08958703,74.46865337,104.15671602,108.81443389],"p2":[0.05,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2015,2016,2017,2018,2019,2020],"p1":[46.40966352,45.61564518,42.6004643,42.82142057,null,null],"p2":[0.03162106,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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Year-end Overview

Working environment

UNHCR carries out registration, documentation and refugee status determination (RSD) under its 1954 Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Egypt. The protection environment remains generally favourable, with UNHCR engaged in constructive dialogue with the Government of Egypt on the management of asylum.

Refugees and asylum-seekers in Egypt are predominantly from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) and Yemen, living in urban areas alongside local communities.
The government grants refugees and asylum-seekers of all nationalities access to primary and secondary health care at par with Egyptian nationals. Moreover, Syrian, Sudanese and Yemeni refugees and asylum-seekers are granted full access to public education. In 2020, these achievements are expected to continue.

Egypt’s economic reforms since 2016 have impacted the daily life of ordinary people, in particular the most vulnerable. Refugees and asylum-seekers’ self-reliance has been impacted by a significant rise in the cost of living, increasing their vulnerabilities and dependence on assistance. This is expected to continue in 2020.

Egypt’s location between the Middle East, Africa and Europe makes it a key transit and destination country in terms of mixed population movements. Despite this, in recent years, the Government of Egypt has prevented any irregular mixed movements from the Northern Coast of Egypt across the Mediterranean.

In 2020, the Office will continue to engage with the Government of Egypt to lead on the implementation of the 3RP for the Syria crisis and the Egypt Response Plan for refugees and asylum-seekers from sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen, in close coordination with UN and NGO partners.


Key priorities

In 2020, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Engaging with the Government in asylum management, including possible joint activities in areas of registration and documentation. Working closely with the Egyptian authorities to ensure the preservation of the protection space, enhanced access to asylum and prevention of refoulement.
  • Providing quality and timely registration and documentation, and optimizing the strategic use of refugee status determination (RSD).
  • Lobbying for access to people of concern in detention and advocating for their release, promoting alternatives to detention, and encouraging the issuance of longer residency permits and regularization.
  • Engaging actively in mixed movement discussions at all levels; documenting and analysing onward movements and responding accordingly; preventing detention and deportations.
  • Harmonizing assistance to refugees of different nationalities through a “one refugee approach” further. Enhancing child protection, youth programming, SGBV and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, in light of the increased number of UASC.
  • Building on the progress made with the League of Arab States over the past years through fostering political support for UNHCR’s work and strengthening the protection agenda of refugees and other people of concern in the region. This includes the conclusion of an Arab Convention specific to the refugee situation, the drafting of a Convention on protection and assistance to IDPs, the adoption of Arab strategies on SGBV and public health, in addition to prevention and reduction of statelessness risks in line with the #IBelong campaign.
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