Operational information on the South-Eastern Europe 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 South-Eastern Europe
People of Concern - 2017[["Refugees",34868],["Refugee-like situation",4415],["Asylum-seekers",1061],["IDPs",316027],["Returned IDPs",193],["Returned refugees",399],["Stateless",10288],["Others of concern",71348]]
Response in 2017This summary presents an overview of UNHCR’s response in South-Eastern Europe in 2017. For more information on key achievements, challenges and unmet needs by operation, please visit the Regional Office in South Eastern Europe page.
All countries in the subregion are party to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, and have relevant legislation in place. Nevertheless, asylum-seekers and refugees did not have reliable access to status determination procedures and protection. All countries are also party to the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions, with the exception of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which has not yet acceded to the 1961 Convention.
In most of the region, political events, including elections, took place resulting in stalling of progress in asylum related areas, while accession to the European Union continued to be a key priority and hence provide a useful reference in UNHCR’s efforts to promote a protection sensitive and solutions oriented asylum systems. The three key priorities continued to be asylum in the context of movements involving refugees, solutions for populations displaced in the region during the 1990s, and combatting statelessness.
In 2017, mixed movements continued in 2017 at a reduced pace compared to previous years but with an increased fragmentation of the routes which led to more arrivals of refugees and migrants in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. UNHCR strived to strengthen the asylum systems and build national capacity in the context of mixed migration, including through the EU-funded Regional IPA II project on protection-sensitive migration management in the Western Balkans and Turkey. At the same time, UNHCR focused on ensuring the protection of people of concern, and supported the identification and referral of vulnerable people, such as unaccompanied and separated minors, survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and women-at-risk, in order to provide appropriate assistance.
At the end of 2017, an estimated 350,000 remained affected by the conflicts of the 1990s. UNHCR focused on facilitating durable solutions for these groups especially in the context of the Sarajevo Process/Regional Housing Programme, while starting to recalibrate its operational engagement and building up the capacity of authorities and other national stakeholders.
Twenty years after the dissolution of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and related displacement, approximately 8,500 people remain at risk of statelessness in the South-Eastern Europe. Lacking civil registration and documentation to prove their existence or nationality, the stateless persons are unable to effectively enjoy their rights. In 2017, UNHCR continued to work with Governments, the EU, the OSCE, and partner organizations in the region to address obstacles to the acquisition or confirmation of nationality, notably in the area of law and administrative procedures on civil registration.
UNHCR will continue to address the needs of refugees and IDPs through its engagement in the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Agreement, of 2012, “Annex VII Action: Support to durable solutions of Revised Annex VII Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) Implementation Strategy” in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meeting the remaining needs of people of concern, including displaced Roma communities, will be a priority in 2017. If planned work on durable housing solutions proceeds, this will allow for the closure of some 120 collective centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia and Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999)). In Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, UNHCR will provide direct support to meet the shelter and other basic needs of vulnerable groups, while also strengthening local capacity with a view to handing over the process of achieving durable solutions to national authorities by the end of 2017.
For returnees and IDPs in Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999)), and within the context of the Regional initiative on durable solutions for displaced people from Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999)), known as the Skopje Process, UNHCR will focus on achieving durable solutions, including by facilitating voluntary returns, with priority for the most vulnerable groups such the residents of temporary collective centres and the Ashkali, Roma and Egyptian communities.
There was a significant change in the scope and scale of mixed movements along the eastern Mediterranean route at the end of February 2016, due to the progressive establishment of border restrictions between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, combined with further restrictions along the Western Balkans route. Following the adoption of the EU-Turkey statement in March 2016, which sought to limit the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, the eastern Mediterranean route became less used.
A number of people of concern to UNHCR remain in transit countries, including the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. Alternative, unofficial routes are also being exploited by smuggling networks, including through Albania, Montenegro and Serbia and Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999)). The majority of people travelling as part of these movements come from refugee-producing countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Since March 2016, there has been a downscaling of UNHCR operations in countries and territories in South-Eastern Europe, corresponding to the reduction in movements from Greece. These operations provided among other things, transit accommodation, protection monitoring, legal counselling, core relief items, safe spaces for women and children, and services for people with specific needs. UNHCR has sought to rationalize its services and activities, while maintaining a contingency capacity to respond to new events. The focus of UNHCR’s response in 2017 will be on ensuring protection of people of concern, detention and border monitoring, and strengthening of asylum systems. UNHCR will also seek to strengthen communication and advocacy, including with affected populations and communities.
2017 Budget and Expenditure in South-Eastern Europe | USD
|Regional Office in South Eastern Europe||Budget|
2017 Voluntary Contributions to South-Eastern Europe | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|Regional Office in South Eastern Europe|
|Council of Europe Development Bank||0||246,957||0||246,957|
|Private donors in France||170,648||0||0||170,648|
|Private donors in Spain||104,603||0||0||104,603|
|Republic of Korea||1,000,000||0||0||1,000,000|
|UN Department of Political Affairs||4,123,557||0||0||4,123,557|
|Regional Office in South Eastern Europe subtotal||6,870,266||346,957||113,125||7,330,348|