Eastern Europe

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

| Armenia | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Georgia | Russian Federation | Turkey | Ukraine

Subregion: Eastern Europe


Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Eastern Europe

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2015 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[115.65619943,270.95338247,373.29339842,420.086669828,423.24577262,429.61548742],"expenditure":[66.62675063,93.80871945,129.57658867,127.2709373,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[99.81453782,254.58595382,348.65309119,370.486506469,379.80708326,392.92140748],"p2":[2.4645976,3.29116795,3.22419003,2.750744475,2.21052703,2.13815087],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[13.37706401,13.0762607,21.4161172,46.849418884,41.22816233,34.55592907]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[58.55360196,87.06124285,114.93678843,98.15642826,null,null],"p2":[1.56906292,1.55514895,1.28411391,1.14276108,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[6.50408575,5.19232765,13.35568633,27.97174796,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2017 [projected]

[["Refugees",3292495],["Asylum-seekers",408455],["IDPs",2280000],["Returned IDPs",200000],["Stateless",143480]]
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Operational Environment and Strategy

There are significant populations of concern to UNHCR in various countries in Eastern Europe, including refugees, returnees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and stateless people. UNHCR works to ensure that all people of concern receive protection, live in safety and dignity together with host communities, and progressively attain lasting solutions.
UNHCR supports the continued strengthening of asylum systems in the context of mixed movements. UNHCR advocates access to territory and fair and impartial asylum procedures, and remains concerned about the reliance on national security as grounds for rejection of asylum applications in some instances. Integration opportunities for refugees remain limited, in part due to the difficult economic situation, lack of integration support mechanisms, and incidents of xenophobia.
UNHCR supports the second phase of the Quality Initiative in Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus (QIEE) in 2015-2017, focusing on enhancing the quality of refugee status determination (RSD) procedures and related processes. A UNHCR regional protection support hub located in Tbilisi, Georgia, provides expertise and advice on a range of protection issues - including RSD and resettlement - to all the countries in the subregion.
Some countries in Eastern Europe have made significant advances in recent years in terms of aligning national legislation and procedures on asylum and statelessness issues with international standards. However, statelessness remains an ongoing challenge in the subregion and UNHCR continues to support and advocate measures to combat statelessness.
The conflicts in Iraq, the Syrian Arab Republic and Ukraine continue to impact the subregion. UNHCR closely monitors the situation of internally displaced Ukrainians, as well as the more than 1.4 million Ukrainians seeking asylum or other forms of legal stay in neighbouring countries and other countries in Europe.  
Unresolved conflict in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia continues to lead to displacement. While the needs of the displaced are gradually being met, many people of concern are still in need of durable solutions.
In 2017, UNHCR’s work in Eastern Europe will focus on:
  • Strengthening national asylum systems to ensure that people of concern to UNHCR have access to protection;
  • Supporting access to durable solutions for refugees, primarily through local integration and, where appropriate, resettlement and voluntary repatriation;
  • Supporting government actions for and accountabilities to all people of concern, especially IDPs;
  • Strengthening national legislation and procedures to prevent and reduce statelessness, and advocating accession to the two statelessness conventions;
  • Assisting people of concern with specific needs, while working to facilitate access to livelihoods for all people of concern.

Reponse and Implementation

Operations in the Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine are presented in separate country pages.

In Belarus, the effects of the situation in Ukraine will continue to be felt in 2017. About 139,000 Ukrainians had arrived in Belarus by mid-2016. Some 5,600 stateless people and 2,300 refugees and asylum-seekers, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Syrian Arab Republic, were also present in Belarus. In 2017, UNHCR will support efforts to strengthen the asylum system and provide protection. Activities will include: monitoring the application of the 1951 Convention and national asylum legislation; provision of legal and technical assistance to the Government; building capacity of Government departments dealing with statelessness; ensuring full and unhindered access to territory and RSD procedures; prevention of refoulement; and enhancing local integration capacity.
Armenia has been significantly impacted by the arrival of Syrian refugees in recent years, and some 14,000 Syrian nationals of Armenian origin remained in the country as at mid-2016. The most vulnerable Syrians will continue to benefit from support provided by UNHCR, in cooperation with the Government and NGOs, including in terms of accommodation.
As of mid-2016, some 1,300 refugees, 260 asylum-seekers, 3,600 stateless people, and 623,000 IDPs were present in Azerbaijan. UNHCR will continue to cooperate with the Government to strengthen implementation of international legal instruments; improve the national legislative framework; develop Government action plans aimed at achieving solutions for people of concern; improve the national asylum procedure; ensure access to basic services and the labour market for all people of concern; and advocate for a rights-based approach to meeting the needs of IDPs.
In Georgia, UNHCR will support efforts by relevant stakeholders to protect, integrate and improve living conditions for displaced populations. As of mid-2016, some 2,000 refugees and people in refugee-like situations, 600 asylum-seekers, 600 stateless people, and 274,000 IDPs (including people in an IDP-like situation in Abkhazia) were present in Georgia. UNHCR will seek to ensure that people of concern are informed of their rights, improve access to State services, and expand ongoing socio-economic support based on a combination of livelihood and cash-based interventions, as well as social cohesion projects. Legal aid and counselling will continue to be provided to both refugees and IDPs, and the Office will carry out monitoring of reception conditions and access to territory. UNHCR will seek to strengthen the quality of national asylum procedures through capacity development activities and advocate a needs-based approach to assisting IDPs.


2017 Budget for Eastern Europe | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Belarus 1,300,66842,359001,343,027
Regional Office in the South Caucasus 11,626,979792,00204,324,91116,743,893
Russian Federation 5,247,423636,359005,883,781
Turkey 367,988,9852,79000367,991,775
Ukraine 6,757,353664,641030,231,01837,653,012
Total 392,921,4072,138,151034,555,929429,615,487

2017 Voluntary Contributions to Eastern Europe | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Canada 1,886,79200 1,886,792
European Union 58,257,06500 58,257,065
France 1,628,66400 1,628,664
Japan 5,378,17500 5,378,175
Private donors in Germany 0021,209 21,209
United States of America 39,900,00005,300,000 45,200,000
Turkey subtotal 107,050,69705,321,209 112,371,906
Canada 00792,135 792,135
Estonia 0212,0890 212,089
European Union 0638,0040 638,004
Germany 0530,7860 530,786
Japan 0325,9500 325,950
Private donors in Japan 0500,6050 500,605
Sweden 01,106,3170 1,106,317
United States of America 003,600,000 3,600,000
Ukraine subtotal 03,313,7524,392,135 7,705,886
Total 107,050,6973,313,7529,713,343 120,077,792