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|2021 planning figures|
|400||refugees and returnees will benefit from protection assistance|
|200||refugees will receive monthly multi-purpose cash assistance|
|40||refugees will benefit from facilitated voluntary return|
|2019 year-end results|
|100%||of refugees (80) in the Umkulu camp received permanent shelter and monthly food assistance (4.5kg of corn soya blend).|
|100%||of urban refugees (140) received monthly multipurpose cash assistance.|
|100%||of refugees had access to comprehensive health care, including referral services.|
|100%||of the refugees in the camp (over 2,150) received monthly cash assistance for the first 4 months of the year.|
|800||More than 800 school-age refugee children were enrolled in school during the first 4 months of the year.|
People of Concern
Operational environmentEritrea is host to some 200 refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, a majority of whom (approximately 140) live in urban settings, while some 80 are hosted in Umkulu refugee camp, as of end 2020. Furthermore, UNHCR expects an additional 200 Eritrean returnees from Libya, Sudan and South Sudan in 2021, all of whom will require assistance to reintegrate. The Office also anticipates receiving Ethiopian refugees from the Tigray region, given the ongoing conflict. A UNHCR-led Refugee Preparedness and Contingency Plan for some 10,000 Ethiopian refugees is in place.
The protection environment in Eritrea is challenging, with no legal framework for refugees as Eritrea is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and applicable frameworks, nor the two Statelessness Conventions. Since 2019, the relationship with the Government has remained strained, with cooperation increasingly conditional on UNHCR repealing its eligibility guidelines for assessing the international protection needs of asylum-seekers from Eritrea. UNHCR’s access to refugees and operational activities in Eritrea have been tightly constrained as a result, limiting the Office’s access to the refugee camp and ability to ensure service provision. In 2021 this will continue impacting UNHCR’s ability to support voluntary repatriations and the registration of new arrivals. Access to urban refugees, which has been denied by the Government throughout 2020, will likely also continue to be limited in 2021.
UNHCR will continue to work in cooperation with the UN Country Team, participating in the various inter-agency groups.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will focus on:
- Advocating for access to the refugee population.
- Advocating for access to asylum in Eritrea – including advocating for the ratification of the Refugee Convention 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, as well as the two Statelessness Conventions.
- Advocating for the Government to adopt national asylum legislation, in line with international law to ensure the right to asylum and to uphold its international obligations towards refugees, especially in light of regional uncertainties.
- Providing basic assistance and support to refugees in the camp and urban areas through partners or alternative arrangements, such as cash assistance.
- Advocating and working towards finding durable solutions for refugees and returnees in Eritrea.
- Prioritizing protection and assistance to support returnee reintegration.