Algeria - 2018 year-end report - Population trends


Compared to 2017, figures of both Syrian refugees, technically only registered as asylum-seekers by Branch Office (BO) Algiers, and mainly sub-Saharan refugees identified through mandate RSD, increased in 2018 (7,844 in 2018 compared to 6,082 in 2017). With regard to the Syrian refugees, the number registered with UNHCR still seems to be a minority of the estimated Syrian population present in Algeria. In total, 158 refugees were recognized by UNHCR Algeria in 2018, bringing the total number (excluding Syrians) to 345 recognised refugees, compared to 253 in 2017. The total population of concern in urban areas (asylum-seekers and refugees) registered with the office increased from 6,609 in 2017 to 9,307 in 2018 (+40%), due to a significant increase in the number of asylum applications since April partially linked to the rise in mass-arrests and forced removal of migrants in an irregular situation in Algeria. There was also an increase in the number of Yemeni nationals registering with the office with 115 registered in 2018 compared to 73 in 2017. There are 33 different nationalities currently registered. The largest nationality group remains Syrian, constituting 80.5% of the overall registered population of 9,307 individuals. This is followed by persons from Guinea, Mali, Yemen and Cote d’Ivoire. Of the 33 nationalities registered, 23 are countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Of these, the five largest groups are from Guinea, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and DRC, respectively. The sub-Saharan African population currently constitutes around 15% of the registered population. For the Sahrawis, they have been recognized as refugees by Algeria on a prima facie basis within the framework of the 1969 African Union Convention. With the support of UNHCR technical experts, an interagency working group on population figure was established in 2016 with the aim of revising the more than 10-year-old planning figure of 90,000 most vulnerable refugees and 125,000 individuals receiving food and nutrition assistance, which had remained the same since 2005. The report was issued and shared in March 2018, but the official release of the new population figure awaits the finalisation and issuance of another report of the multi-sectorial vulnerability assessment conducted in 2018. While the field work was largely completed, at the time of reporting the vulnerability assessment was not yet finalised.