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|2020 year-end results|
|2,228||refugee children were enrolled in primary education|
|371||refugees were supported with entrepreneurship/business training|
|128||refugees were trained on gender-based violence prevention and response|
|124||refugee children were registered and issued documentation under regular birth registration procedures|
|88||locally integrated Liberians received resident permits|
|2021 planning figures|
|3,831||children will be enrolled in primary education|
|650||people of concern to UNHCR will attend entrepreneurship or business training, secure apprenticeships or obtain start-up business capital|
|200||children will be registered and issued with documentation under regular birth registration procedures|
|175||people of concern to UNHCR will be trained on gender-based violence prevention and response|
|150||people of concern to UNHCR will receive their passports and new resident permits, and 1,939 will see their residence permits renewed
People of Concern
Operational contextThe security situation in Ghana remained safe and calm.
There continued to be no restrictions on refugees’ freedom of movement, however COVID-19-related border restrictions constrained access to territory in 2020.
Ghana recorded the arrival of 815 Ivorian asylum-seekers as a result of the political unrest during the presidential election in October 2020.
Amidst the unfolding security and humanitarian emergency in the Sahel, which continued to pose a risk of an influx into Ghana, the Government took actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including its socio-economic impact, as well as taking steps to contain its spread.
Population trendsBy the end of December 2020, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Ghana included 6,563 females and 7,365 males bringing the total population of concern to 13,928.
50.5% of the population were based in camps and the remaining 49.5% in other areas, including the Volta Region.
- 1,943 Liberian passports were renewed and UNHCR began issuing residence permits to former Liberian refugees who opted to locally integrate.
- 337 people of concern were granted refugee status through virtual refugee status determination (RSD) procedures.
- Two isolation centers were constructed, 16 health facilities and 5 districts health directorate were supported with various personal protective equipment to support the Government in its fight against COVID-19.
- 78 handwashing facilities were constructed in all four refugee camps and camp schools.
- 20 television sets and 200 e-Readers were donated to schools that educated camp-based refugees to support remote learning.
- 708 people of concern were supported with cash assistance for basic needs.
- 366 households received shelter support through cash assistance to upgrade their homes.
- 35,000 masks were produced by refugees for refugees and host communities to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 and support refugee livelihoods.
- Refugee students were unable to take advantage of the DAFI scholarships programme in 2020, putting refugees who had gained admission to study in universities in a state of limbo. With the absence of the scholarship programme in 2020, 29 refugees had to defer their studies to 2021.
- COVID-19 resulted in the loss of livelihoods for many refugees, particularly those working in education (as a result of school closures), the production of goods, and the hotel/tourism industries. Many were in need of assistance for basic necessities after losing their jobs, and without additional resources, UNHCR was unable to support as many vulnerable refugees despite the challenging period.
Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)
- 393 refugee households received cash assistance for shelter construction.
- A total of 19 structures were constructed ranging from markets, ICT centers (equipped with 100 computers with internet connection), camp-school libraries, a police station, school blocks with modern toilet facilities, laboratory technician quarters and psychosocial nurse quarters.
Working environmentThe protection environment in Ghana is expected to remain favourable in 2020. General elections are scheduled for 2020. While the results of the elections may impact the protection space of people of concern, there may be positive economic opportunities for refugees and IDPs as the current government will give full speed to its economic and social agenda in its final two years, which may include advocacy for the inclusion of people of concern.
The UNSDP 2018–2022 sets out strategic priorities for partnership between the UN and the Government of Ghana. UNSDP includes refugees and migrants under the “vulnerable categories”. In 2020, UNHCR will continue its engagement with the SDGs to ensure people of concern are included in the various relevant strategies.
On the humanitarian front, UNHCR continues to participate in the Inter-Agency Working Group on Emergencies, including internal displacement issues arising from recurrent chieftaincy/land disputes in the north of Ghana.
A local integration policy framework with the Government of Ghana is under discussion. A long-term residency (for five years) is likely to be provided prior to indefinite residence permits, subject to approval by the Minister of Interior.
UNHCR will also continue to promote voluntary repatriation which started in early 2019. 1,000 Ivorians are planned to repatriate in 2019, and a further 1,350 in 2020. Discussions with the Government will take place on the remaining Ivorians who do not wish to return.
Key prioritiesThe operation continues with the implementation of the 2017-2021 multi-year, multi-partner protection and solutions strategy. While some aspects of this strategy have progressed, others are still pending approval from the Government of Ghana. Particularly, local integration options for protracted refugee groups. Refugees’ access to basic services such as health, education and security is at par with Ghanaians.
In line with the MYMP, in 2020 UNHCR will focus on:
- Increasing refugees’ access to durable solutions;
- Ensuring an effective and equal access to social protection, justice and security;
- Strengthening livelihoods assets and increasing self-reliance to allow effective integration;
- Advocating adequate legal and policy framework to be put in place for the eradication of statelessness;
- Maintaining and improving the quality, fairness, and efficiency of the asylum system, while working towards reducing the RSD backlog;
- Enhancing prevention aspects of the strategy to address mixed movements, in partnership with IOM and the UNCT.