South Africa Multi-Country Office
Operation: South Africa Multi-Country Office
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|2018 year-end results|
|19,720||people of concern received legal advice and support|
|6,730||people with specific needs received social assistance and psychological support|
|>6,000||people of concern were reached through HIV outreach activities|
|1,150||people of concern were assisted through self-reliance and livelihood projects|
|110||refugee students were assisted with DAFI scholarships|
|2019 planning figures|
|40,000||people of concern will receive legal support|
|20,000||people of concern will be assessed for vulnerabilities|
|5,000||people of concern will receive psychosocial support|
|5,000||people of concern will receive targeted assistance in the form of vouchers or subsidy for food and accommodation|
People of Concern
South Africa Multi-Country Office
Working environmentCountries in the southern Africa region covered by the new South Africa Multi Country Office host over 280,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Ethiopia, and Burundi.
The region has experienced an influx and constant increase of new arrivals from DRC, the majority of whom are from the Kasai and ex Katanga Provinces.
It is foreseen that the population trends in 2020 will be similar to what was reported in 2018 for Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia. In view of the scale-down of resettlement from Madagascar in 2016 and the initiated advocacy for local integration, the refugee population in Madagascar is expected to grow over the coming years. Furthermore, a 10% growth per year is expected for the Kingdom of eSwatini .
Although several countries are experiencing economic growth, inequality, poverty, poor social protection,
xenophobia and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate remain prominent in the region. Mixed movements continue to put a strain on national asylum systems and trigger restrictive migration and refugee policies.
Key prioritiesIn 2020, UNHCR will endeavor to:
- advocate for accession to and ratification of international and/or regional instruments on refugees, IDPs and stateless persons, lifting reservations to these instruments and supporting the development of national legal frameworks;
- find comprehensive solutions, particularly to protracted refugee situations and former refugees still hosted by asylum countries;
- improve standards of assistance through empowerment of refugees, self-reliance, livelihoods and implementation of cash-based interventions;
- promote the implementation of the global action plan to end statelessness by 2024;
- pursue a multi-year multi-partner protection and solutions strategy for 2018-2021 as well as the implementation of CRRF of the Global Compact on Refugees in the sub-region.
South Africa hosts some 274,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. The country continues to receive high numbers of asylum applications combined with a large backlog and complex protection problems faced by people of concern. Upon the Government’s request, UNHCR has been assisting South Africa to address its RSD backlog through dedicated technical equipment and support. UNHCR will continue to advocate for fair refugee status determination procedures and quality decisions, as well as to provide support to relevant government departments and civil society in the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers. Social cohesion between refugees and host communities remains a challenge. In 2019, violence against foreigners has undermined their physical safety, security and livelihoods including that of some Persons of Concern. Working together with partners, UNHCR has stepped up its response to address the physical and legal protection needs of refugees and asylum-seekers and works towards minimizing the threat of violence. In line with the Multi-Year-Multi-Partner-Solutions-Strategy, UNHCR continues to establish and strengthen relationships with non-traditional stakeholders to enhance the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers in South Africa.
In Namibia,in line with the phase out strategy, UNHCR provides support remotely through implementing partners and is continuing with provision of shelter, food and core relief items and livelihoods support in coordination with the Government. UNHCR also supports the Government in the local integration of former Angolan refugees.
UNHCR provides protection and assistance mainly through a local implementing partner to some 1,750 refugees and asylum-seekers residing in Malindza Reception Center and in urban areas in the Kingdom of Eswatini. UNHCR is providing technical assistance to the Government in operationalizing the new Refugee Act. UNHCR also provided technical support to the Government in the development of the National Action Plan to eradicate statelessness.
Botswana hosts some 1,700 refugees and asylum-seekers in Dukwi refugee camp. UNHCR continues supporting the government in the management of refugees and asylum-seekers and will support the voluntary repatriation of people of concern willing to return to countries of origin.
Madagascar is hosting 165 refugees and asylum-seekers. UNHCR will continue to support Madagascar in the management of refugees and asylum-seekers through the provision of social and legal assistance by an implementing partner. In 2019, UNHCR provided technical support to the Government Madagascar in the development of the National Action Plan to eradicate statelessness. Once adopted, UNHCR will remain committed to provide support to operationalize the Plan.
Lesotho hosts 118 people of concern. UNHCR continues capacity building of the authorities on RSD and the management of refugees and asylum-seekers.
The Indian Ocean Island States host currently very few known people of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR continues to monitor the situation through partners and periodic missions. Comoros has committed to accede to both statelessness conventions by 2021 and reform nationality legislation to prevent childhood statelessness. UNHCR is encouraging Mauritius to accede to international refugee and statelessness instruments as well as to establish a referral mechanism to coordinate the management of asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons. Seychelles has requested UNHCR’s technical support in drafting a national legal asylum framework that could serve as a model for other Indian Ocean Island States. Seychelles has also shown interest in acceding to statelessness conventions.