North America and the Caribbean
Operational information on the North America and Caribbean subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:
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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion North America and the Caribbean
People of Concern - 2018[["Refugees",428567],["Asylum-seekers",809150],["Stateless",6782],["Others of concern",21],["Venezuelans displaced abroad",135959]]
Response in 2018Following a tumultuous 2017, the operational environment in the United States of America remained somewhat unpredictable throughout 2018. New enforcement actions by the Government at the southern border triggered new challenges requiring a shift in response. UNHCR maintained a robust dialogue with the Government throughout the year, including through the second annual High Level Dialogue. The United States of America remained the largest resettlement country globally with close to 22,500 people resettled in 2018, and the largest donor to UNHCR.
In the Caribbean, the effects of the Venezuela situation continued to characterize the operational context. Guyana and Suriname began issuing stay permits, however entry to other countries was further restricted, which made access to territory and international protection particularly challenging. Issues related to legal stay and protection against refoulement remained particularly at stake in 2018. Challenges related to access to humanitarian assistance and basic services, including health and education were exacerbated in the Caribbean countries, which are disproportionately impacted by influxes due to limited absorption capacity. In Trinidad and Tobago, arrests of foreigners in irregular situations, including people of concern to UNHCR, took place, and in the absence of Government procedures and legislation, UNHCR continued to conduct registration and RSD.
In the Dominican Republic, the Government adopted a National Human Rights Plan with a chapter on Refugees, and UNHCR was invited to comment on a draft Asylum Law. None of the some 26,000 Venezuelans living in the Dominican Republic are recognized refugees.
Canada continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the protection of refugees within its jurisdiction and globally through its robust asylum system, its high level of refugee admissions through resettlement, and financial contributions to UNHCR as one of the top donors. This positive support for refugees extends to the Canadian public, with funds raised through private sector partnerships having grown three-fold over the past three years. Canada has seen an ongoing increase in the number of people seeking asylum in recent years, including a notable increase in irregular arrivals from the United States of America.
As of early 2017, the operating environment in the United States of America considerably shifted as a result of uncertainty regarding the continuity of the American refugee assistance policy and funding following the 2016 elections. Furthermore, instability in Central and South America prompted large movements of refugees northwards, presenting new protection challenges for both the United States of America and countries in the Caribbean.
Throughout 2017, the States and territories in the Caribbean pursued both regional and country-level efforts to establish and strengthen protection-sensitive entry mechanisms, reception capacity, and asylum systems. As population movements increase, the region remains committed to enhancing protection standards within the Brazil Plan of Action.
Response and implementation
UNHCR continues supporting the Government of Canada to further align its asylum and detention systems to international standards and to increase resettlement levels, including through additional pathways such as private sponsors and scholarships. UNHCR intends to support Canada to maintain its fair asylum system with reasonable processing timeframes in spite of the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers, and supporting authorities to systematically implement alternatives to detention, for children and their parents, and people with mental health needs. A reform to end immigration-related detention, especially of children, was initiated with UNHCR accompanying the roll-out of alternatives to detention. UNHCR will also continue to work towards sustaining the increased public interest and support for refugees in Canada and globally, by implementing an expanded communication and visibility strategy.
2018 Budget and Expenditure in North America and the Caribbean | USD
|United States of America Regional Office||Budget|
2018 Voluntary Contributions to North America and the Caribbean | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|United States of America Regional Office|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||1,070,000||0||1,070,000|
|United States of America||3,000,000||600,000||3,600,000|
|United States of America Regional Office subtotal||4,070,000||1,199,010||5,269,010|