North Africa

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

| Algeria | Egypt | Libya | Mauritania | Morocco | Tunisia | Western Sahara

Subregion: North Africa

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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion North Africa

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2017 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[170.300354998,167.92820629,177.198864558,181.220773542,173.67452757,229.340676434],"expenditure":[90.40952572,96.75212898,99.32585745,92.25388047,97.53519033,126.88229088]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[153.305741688,162.87279954,174.738902408,178.952727542,168.62986455,215.195408434],"p2":[0.0688899,2.26498858,0.40996215,0.05,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[16.92572341,2.79041817,2.05,2.218046,5.04466302,14.145268]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[85.77810088,96.03934219,98.85414181,90.38762086,95.21022718,115.9172437],"p2":[0.06544535,0.39925112,0.08869164,0.03162106,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[4.56597949,0.31353567,0.383024,1.83463855,2.32496315,10.96504718]}
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People of Concern - 2017

[["Refugees",393122],["Refugee-like situation",26000],["Asylum-seekers",101474],["IDPs",180937],["Returned IDPs",149883],["Others of concern",1]]
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Response in 2017

Countries in North Africa have traditionally been transit countries, but have increasingly become destination points for refugees and asylum-seekers. Refugees and asylum-seekers in camps and urban areas were affected by the difficult economic situation across the subregion. Due to their unrecognised legal status, refugees often face difficulties in accessing employment and other services leaving the most vulnerable almost fully dependent on humanitarian assistance. In the absence of effective access to protection and long-term solutions, many refugees move onwards. An increase in mixed movements and instability in sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel region has nourished growing transnational criminal networks of smugglers and traffickers which many refugees fall victim to. Along the route, refugees and migrants are exposed to risks of trafficking, forced labour and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). With limited access to main entry, transit and departure points, particularly in the south of Algeria, Egypt and Libya, the access to and identification of people in need of international protection remains a key challenge for UNHCR.
 
In order to enhance the protection space for refugees in North Africa, UNHCR advocated and supported legislative processes to establish national asylum systems in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. UNHCR also worked towards ensuring that refugees are informed about, and have access to, their rights.
 
In 2017 alone, close to 2,900 people perished along the central Mediterranean. Libya remained the main point of departure for those attempting the perilous journey across the sea to Europe. In Libya, UNHCR strongly advocated for establishing adequate reception conditions at disembarkation points and establishing registration procedures to ensure an early identification of people in need of international protection. UNHCR promoted alternatives to detention, advocating for the immediate release of refugees and asylum-seekers currently detained in Libya. As protection and solutions for refugees within Libya remained limited, UNHCR scaled up efforts in complementary pathways, such as evacuations and resettlement. At the end of the year, a total of 389 individuals were evacuated from Libya, 162 to Italy and 227, under the newly established Evacuation Transit Mechanism (ETM), to Niger. The cases for 305 refugees were submitted directly for resettlement to third countries from Libya.
 
In line with UNHCR’s comprehensive strategy for the central Mediterranean route, all operations in North Africa focused their advocacy efforts on preventing refoulement, improving access to territory and empowering refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) through livelihood activities.
 
The lack of funding in 2017 had a direct impact on UNHCR’s operations in North Africa. In particular, funding shortfalls affected life-saving assistance to the 90,000 vulnerable Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf, Algeria, where only 20 per cent of basic medicines could be provided. In Mauritania, UNHCR continued to face a number of constraints related to insufficient funds, harsh weather and an increase in arrivals due to violence in Northern Mali. Resources for durable solutions, including self-reliance, were extremely limited.

Operations

 
Operations in  Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia are presented in separate chapters. For other UNHCR operations in the subregion, please see below.
 
Western Sahara
 
The main objective of UNHCR’s Confidence Building Measures (CBM) programme is to link the populations in the Tindouf camps and the Western Sahara territory, mainly through family visits and cultural seminars. Over 12,000 were yet to benefit from the programme when activities were suspended in 2014. In 2017, UNHCR continued to maintain minimum operational capacities in Western Sahara and in Tindouf, Algeria in order to restart CBM activities as soon as parties agree on resumption.

Operational Environment and Strategy

North Africa remains a region of origin, transit and destination for people travelling as part of mixed movements, including towards Europe. In addition to assisting long-standing and increasing urban caseloads, notably in Algeria, Egypt and Morocco, UNHCR will continue to provide protection and assistance to refugees living in camps, notably in Algeria (Tindouf camps) and in Mauritania (Mbera camp). 

Refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas are particularly affected by the difficult economic situation and lack of access to employment opportunities in the subregion, which leaves them fully dependent on limited humanitarian assistance. In Libya, UNHCR is concerned that refugees and asylum-seekers remain at risk of arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as violence and abuse. Living conditions are difficult for people of concern in the subregion, particularly for refugees in protracted situations living in camps located in isolated environments (e.g., Mbera camp in Mauritania where refugees have been present for more than four years; and Tindouf camps in Algeria where refugees have been present for over 40 years).  

UNHCR’s multi-year protection strategy in North Africa focuses on expanding protection space in the subregion and developing national asylum systems, notably in Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia, despite sometimes unstable political and security environments. Limited humanitarian access in Libya will continue to affect UNHCR’s ability to provide protection and assistance to populations of concern, pending a full return of the United Nations to the country.
 
The on-going conflict in Libya is expected to continue to lead to internal displacement, while security concerns in countries neighbouring Libya, as well as Mali, could affect the existing protection space in the subregion. Developments regarding the onward movement of refugees and migrants to Europe - increasingly through Libya following the agreement between the European Union and Turkey - will also guide UNHCR’s programming in the subregion, with the objective of preventing refoulement and improving access to territory and asylum, advocating for alternatives to detention, and ensuring that refugees and asylum-seekers are informed of their rights.

Response and Implementation

Operations in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia are presented in separate country pages.

Western Sahara: UNHCR maintains minimum operational capacities and stands ready to resume activities, suspended in 2014, as soon as the parties are available to implement the confidence building measures (CBM) programme as stipulated in UNHCR Confidence Building Measures (CBM) January 2012 Plan of Action.

 

2017 Budget and Expenditure in North Africa | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Total
Algeria Budget
Expenditure
36,540,226
15,471,442
0
0
0
0
0
0
36,540,226
15,471,442
Egypt Regional Office Budget
Expenditure
79,089,587
42,600,464
0
0
0
0
0
0
79,089,587
42,600,464
Libya Budget
Expenditure
59,926,440
33,187,947
0
0
0
0
14,145,268
10,965,047
74,071,708
44,152,994
Mauritania Budget
Expenditure
19,773,461
12,858,475
0
0
0
0
0
0
19,773,461
12,858,475
Morocco Budget
Expenditure
7,379,727
5,612,362
0
0
0
0
0
0
7,379,727
5,612,362
Tunisia Budget
Expenditure
6,570,697
4,200,839
0
0
0
0
0
0
6,570,697
4,200,839
Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures) Budget
Expenditure
5,915,270
1,985,714
0
0
0
0
0
0
5,915,270
1,985,714
Total Budget
Expenditure
215,195,408
115,917,244
0
0
0
0
14,145,268
10,965,047
229,340,676
126,882,291

2017 Voluntary Contributions to North Africa | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 4
IDP projects
All
pillars
Total
North Africa overall
Malta 23,22900 23,229
United States of America 007,200,000 7,200,000
North Africa overall subtotal 23,22907,200,000 7,223,229
Algeria
Canada 00371,747 371,747
European Union 1,491,22500 1,491,225
France 270,00000 270,000
Germany 1,074,11400 1,074,114
Italy 14,75100 14,751
Spain 839,24000 839,240
Sweden 553,15900 553,159
United States of America 003,500,000 3,500,000
Algeria subtotal 4,242,48903,871,747 8,114,236
Egypt Regional Office
Canada 754,71700 754,717
European Union 2,024,14500 2,024,145
Germany 5,428,88200 5,428,882
Italy 2,679,10800 2,679,108
Japan 1,159,45000 1,159,450
Netherlands 920,49800 920,498
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 90,95200 90,952
UNICEF 1,500,00000 1,500,000
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 99,64300 99,643
United States of America 14,000,00002,300,000 16,300,000
Egypt Regional Office subtotal 28,657,39502,300,000 30,957,395
Libya
Austria 00542,888 542,888
Canada 00371,747 371,747
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 429,768570,5730 1,000,340
European Union 009,263,954 9,263,954
Germany 0026,496,235 26,496,235
Italy 3,514,5372,055,9020 5,570,439
Luxembourg 001,046,025 1,046,025
Sweden 00553,159 553,159
United States of America 4,800,00004,400,000 9,200,000
Libya subtotal 8,744,3042,626,47542,674,008 54,044,786
Mauritania
Canada 00371,747 371,747
France 300,00000 300,000
Italy 562,50500 562,505
Japan 2,584,00000 2,584,000
Mauritania subtotal 3,446,5050371,747 3,818,253
Morocco
Italy 230,72800 230,728
Monaco 159,23600 159,236
Switzerland 493,09700 493,097
Morocco subtotal 883,06000 883,060
Tunisia
European Union 238,29800 238,298
Monaco 84,92600 84,926
Switzerland 394,47700 394,477
Tunisia subtotal 717,70100 717,701
Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures)
Morocco 0023,629 23,629
Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures) subtotal 0023,629 23,629
Total 46,714,6842,626,47556,441,131 105,782,289
Note: