Operation: Opération: Eritrea



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Key Figures

2019 planning figures
1,050 urban and camp-based refugees will be targeted for the exploration and implementation of durable solutions
900 students will be enrolled at secondary and tertiary level
150 people with specific needs will be provided with additional support
60 youth and out of school children will have access to vocational skills training
50 households will receive small grants for business startup and development
100% of the community will be targeted with outreach and awareness-raising activities, in order to reduce the risk of SGBV and improving the quality of response
2017 year-end results
100% of the refugees had access to basic health services while 150 cases were referred to secondary and tertiary medical care 
2,290 refugees received in-kind food assistance and complementary cash grants
910 refugee children benefited from different types of formal education services 
190 families supported with multipurpose cash grants while 72 individuals with specific need were assisted with one-time cash assistance
8 awareness-raising sessions on sexual and gender-based violence were organized

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2017 2,879
2016 2,367
2015 2,557


[["Refugees",2392],["Returned refugees",468],["Others of concern",19]]
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2017 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[6.18688585,5.913216673,4.89103671,3.8990943,5.22322441,9.72828768],"expenditure":[4.70862342,3.548472,3.52431606,3.72825424,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[6.18688585,5.913216673,4.89103671,3.8990943,5.22322441,9.72828768],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[4.70862342,3.548472,3.52431606,3.72825424,null,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Year-end Overview

Plan Overview

Operational Environment

In 2019, the operational context in Eritrea is expected to change in line with the new political developments between Eritrea and Ethiopia in particular, and the horn of Africa in general. While related developments are ongoing, the easing of relations with Ethiopia and neighbouring countries has the potential for change, influencing return and reintegration of Eritreans. This may also have a follow-on impact on those leaving Eritrea as refugees or migrants.
Emphasis will remain on providing durable solutions for the existing refugee caseload while engaging government on returnee integration. To this end, a two track strategic plan has been developed requiring increased engagement on different fronts, with additional staffing and resources. The rollout of the two-track approach has already commenced and will be accelerated in 2019.
UNHCR will continue its engagement with the UN country team and regularly participate in the implementation of the five years (2017-2021) Strategic Plan Cooperation Framework (SPCF). The SPCF is meant to provide a platform for enhanced collaboration and coordination with the government ministries and the UN agencies.
Due to restrictions, the operational environment for UN agencies remains challenging, but permissible for day-to-day activities. UNHCR managed to continue its operation through agreement with the governmental partner Office of Refugee Affairs (ORA), in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other line ministries, as well as UN agencies. The relationship with the Ministries of Health and Education has been further strengthened as part of the ongoing effort to mainstream refugees’ services into the national systems.

Key Priorities

While durable solutions are pending, particularly, the halt of exit visa for the Somali refugees who have registered for voluntary repatriation, the operation intends to focus on enhancing socio-economic integration and protection pending solutions activities for the Somali refugees in the Umkulu camp. As such, priority will be given to the construction of more permanent or long-term shelters for selected households. In addition, the provision of small grants for business startup will continue to expand the ongoing efforts to increase the self-reliance of refugees. Provision of food assistance and basic social services will continue as well. Contingency plan is required to prepare for the possible return of Eritrean refugees from other countries, particularly from Ethiopia.   
Emphasis will be placed on community-based protection whereby reliance on programming will be reduced by the community taking more responsibility for protection within the community. This is also to reflect the current protection needs which are mostly social in nature and therefore required change can only begin within the community. This approach will be carried out through trainings and awareness-raising activities. The government will play an important role in this as the administrator of the Umkulu camp.