West Africa

Operational information on the West Africa subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries: 

| Benin | Burkina Faso | Cabo Verde | Côte d’Ivoire | Gambia (the) | Ghana | Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Liberia | Mali | Niger | Nigeria | Senegal | Sierra Leone| Togo |   


Subregion: West Africa


Latest update of camps and office locations: October 2017. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion West Africa

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2016 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[284.14940499,273.248311355,292.846334371,273.229858397,309.2295756,286.68751797],"expenditure":[154.60532666,135.78110033,122.94985885,129.67137704,null,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[245.22858108,205.830081875,229.700946219,184.51141581,182.59334357,175.45048207],"p2":[2.391416,3.83601618,5.92538567,8.50740967,8.41944047,15.38826693],"p3":[6.51146826,9.32947275,18.671615912,37.016635417,64.58144836,36.10680788],"p4":[30.01793965,54.25274055,38.54838657,43.1943975,53.6353432,59.74196109]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[132.96277402,118.99389722,99.31289964,92.52541498,null,null],"p2":[1.52248886,2.13033718,3.24029389,4.35927543,null,null],"p3":[3.20584556,4.1636139,6.17672818,8.83352232,null,null],"p4":[16.91421822,10.49325203,14.21993714,23.95316431,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2018 [projected]

[["Refugees",232881],["Asylum-seekers",7160],["IDPs",1660000],["Returned IDPs",555000],["Returned refugees",118140],["Stateless",674000]]
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Operational environment

The operational environment in the West Africa subregion has been marked for several years by a latent fragility, further impacted by multi-layered vulnerabilities in the areas of governance, development and humanitarian needs. The current situation is underpinned by a complex security environment which makes the region the epicentre of various types of trafficking, crime, violent extremism and irregular migration flows. These issues give a regional and global resonance to the overarching challenges faced by West Africa, and are the potential root causes of future conflicts and forced displacement in 2018 and 2019.
As of June 2017, people of concern in West Africa include some 290,000 refugees, of whom 179,000 are in situations of protracted displacement, and some 7,300 asylum-seekers. Over 2.5 million people are internally displaced in Niger, Nigeria and Mali. In addition, an estimated one million people are stateless in the region and several million more are at risk of statelessness.
Ongoing large-scale humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad Basin region and Mali have caused significant levels of internal displacement and refugee outflows. The situation in North-East Nigeria has forced over 2.4 million people to flee their homes, including some 200,000 refugees to neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and the complex emergency shows no sign of subsiding. Mali saw a significant deterioration of the security situation since the end 2016 leading to new displacement and increased insecurity in border areas of Burkina Faso and Niger. The situation is not expected to improve in 2018.
In addition, the region hosts an estimated 179,000 protracted refugees, including a number of smaller refugee populations, such as Mauritanians in Senegal and Mali, Senegalese in Gambia and Guinea Bissau, Togolese in Ghana, Ghanaians in Togo, Ivoirians in Ghana, Guinea and Togo, exempted, from application of the cessation clause, Liberians and Sierra Leoneans and a number of urban refugees of various nationalities. Durable solutions strategies have been developed for these populations. While all options are pursued in a comprehensive manner, local integration is the preferred solution for the majority of protracted refugees in the region, with the exception of Ivoirians who are opting for voluntary repatriation as the most viable option.
National institutional protection frameworks for refugees and IDPs present significant gaps. Despite the fact that all countries in the region, except for Cabo Verde, have legislation on asylum, key challenges include gaps in legislative frameworks, generally low quality and standards of asylum procedures, and limited financial resources and capacity. Regarding IDPs, eleven countries in the West Africa region have ratified the Kampala Convention (OAU) so far, and all have yet to ensure its domestication, though some countries in the region are at different stages of developing IDP laws or policies.
The region is also the location of significant and complex mixed movements, including both intra-regional movements and flows toward North Africa and Europe.  There has been an increase in movements by West Africans toward Libya in the past few years. Many face protection risks on the way. These movements have become a central political, security and humanitarian concern in many countries in the region, with an increasing interrelation of criminality, extremism, smuggling and trafficking networks.
An estimated one million people are stateless in the region and several million more at risk of statelessness. Key causes are gaps in nationality laws, low civil registration rates, massive intra-regional migration, and serious gaps in the management of civil registries.  In 2018-2019, UNHCR will continue to prioritize its partnership with ECOWAS and the implementation of the Abidjan Declaration, the Regional Plan of Action and training and sensitization activities to get the general public and stakeholders more understanding of the issue and the urgency to act.

Implementation and Response

In 2018-2019, in line with UNHCR’s corporate and regional strategic directions for the Africa region, the strategic response in West Africa will target the following key priority areas: 1. Improve data collection and information management in order to efficiently target durable solutions; 2. Tackle sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and enhance access to education; 3. Sustain an emergency response and preparedness capacity, and predictable engagement in IDP situations; 4. Bring about solutions and phase out UNHCR’ support to certain refugee populations 5. Nurture new partnerships and ensure multi-year planning in line with the New Ways of Working 6. Increase cash-based interventions to support better programming.
For detailed information on the 2018 response in Benin, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, please see the Senegal Regional Office page.


2018 Budget for West Africa | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Burkina Faso 24,147,881503,1140024,650,996
Côte d'Ivoire 2,415,7059,630,0123,954,285016,000,001
Ghana 8,085,8780008,085,878
Liberia 11,580,06300011,580,063
Mali 10,715,54709,262,5231,125,01921,103,089
Niger 73,739,374733,498011,310,94385,783,815
Nigeria 10,104,000022,890,00047,306,00080,300,000
Senegal Regional Office 34,662,0344,521,6420039,183,676
Total 175,450,48215,388,26736,106,80859,741,961286,687,518

2018 Voluntary Contributions to West Africa | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Burkina Faso
European Union 1,926,1000000 1,926,100
UNAIDS 000020,000 20,000
Burkina Faso subtotal 1,926,10000020,000 1,946,100
Côte d'Ivoire
Italy 01,155,2266,21400 1,161,440
UNAIDS 000020,000 20,000
Côte d'Ivoire subtotal 01,155,2266,214020,000 1,181,440
Private donors in Ghana 6210000 621
Ghana subtotal 6210000 621
UNAIDS 000020,900 20,900
Liberia subtotal 000020,900 20,900
European Union 465,21701,409,85300 1,875,071
Sweden 0000888,325 888,325
UN Peacebuilding Fund 0000550,000 550,000
Mali subtotal 465,21701,409,85301,438,325 3,313,396
Canada 0000706,991 706,991
European Union 8,587,0190000 8,587,019
Italy 1,343,8340000 1,343,834
Japan 1,800,0000000 1,800,000
Private donors in the United States of America 195,5780000 195,578
UN Peacebuilding Fund 142,2190000 142,219
UNAIDS 000035,000 35,000
United States of America 00004,600,000 4,600,000
Niger subtotal 12,068,6490005,341,991 17,410,641
Canada 000078,555 78,555
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 00865,85830,9230 896,781
Nigeria subtotal 00865,85830,92378,555 975,335
Senegal Regional Office
Private donors in Italy 1100000 110
UNESCO 0000108,070 108,070
Senegal Regional Office subtotal 110000108,070 108,180
Total 14,460,6981,155,2262,281,92530,9237,027,841 24,956,613