Operation: Opération: Egypt



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Key Figures

2019 planning figures
150,000 primary health consultations will be supported
31,000 households will receive multi-purpose cash grants
50,000 students in primary and secondary schools will be provided with education grants
4,500 UASC will be provided with child protection support and services
1,200 refugees and asylum-seekers will be provided with legal support
2017 year-end results
52,500 individuals (13,700 families) were supported with monthly multipurpose cash grants
39,000 students received education grants
14,800 individuals were referred to secondary or tertiary medical care
2,780 unaccompanied separated children were registered, documented and supported
87 community groups were empowered to deliver community-based protection interventions

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2017 289,231
2016 263,426
2015 250,697


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  • 2019

Year-end Overview

Operational Environment

Egypt is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, and the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. UNHCR carries out registration, documentation and refugee status determination (RSD) under its 1954 Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Egypt.

The estimated number of people of concern to UNHCR in 2019 stands at 280,000, consisting of refugees and asylum-seekers predominantly from Iraq, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Refugees and asylum-seekers live in urban areas alongside local communities.

The protection environment remains conducive. The office is engaged in a dialogue with the Government of Egypt on the management of asylum. The Government provides access to primary and secondary health care to refugees and asylum-seekers of all nationalities at an equal level to Egyptian nationals.

Furthermore, Syrian, Sudanese and Yemeni refugees and asylum-seekers are granted access to public education on the same footing as nationals. However, the significant rise in the cost of living, following Egypt’s economic reforms, has negatively impacted refugees and asylum-seekers, increasing their vulnerability and dependence on assistance.

The Government has been able to prevent any irregular mixed movements from the northern coast of Egypt through the Mediterranean.

UNHCR works closely with the Government and its UN and NGO partners to provide protection and assistance to asylum-seekers and refugees. The refugee response is coordinated through the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) led by UNHCR.

Key priorities

UNHCR’s key priorities for 2019 include preservation of the protection space, enhanced access to asylum, and prevention of refoulement. Focus will be maintained on issues related to registration, access to and release from detention, alternatives to detention, issuance of longer duration residence permits, decentralization of administrative procedures, and regularization of stay. Child protection, youth programmes, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse will continue to be crucial. The Office will remain engaged in the response to mixed movements, and prevention of and response to human trafficking. UNHCR’s engagement with the League of Arab States is expected to continue in 2019, to build on progress made over the past years on protection issues.

The overall strategy will be realized in close collaboration with national and international stakeholders, both when leading and coordinating the response, by using the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework model. In 2019, the Office will continue to ensure the implementation of the 3RP for the Syria crisis and the Egypt Appeal for Asylum Seekers and Refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen, in close coordination with UN and NGO partners.