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|2021 planning figures|
|78,300||people of concern will be supported with specialized services and assistance through local protection networks|
|520||refugee households will receive cash assistance|
|316||interventions in border and reception areas to monitor, identify and refer persons with specific protection needs|
|50||community centres and structures will benefit from interventions for community self-management, resilience and empowerment|
People of Concern
Operational environmentIn 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated pre-existing causes of forced displacement in Honduras, such as urban gang violence and organized crime, poverty, natural disasters, socioeconomic inequalities, and the State’s limited response capacity. Internal displacement in Honduras is expected to increase, exceeding 325,000 people by the end of 2021.
With national elections scheduled for 2021, there is a risk of social unrest and political turbulence further fuelling forced displacement in Honduras and the number people seeking international protection elsewhere.
Border restrictions throughout the region may result in a shrinking protection space for people in transit and those seeking protection in countries in the north of Central America, Mexico and the United States of America. As a result, deportations to Honduras are expected to continue at similar levels as in 2019 and 2020 (over 100,000 people), with a higher proportion of deportees with specific protection needs. Assistance to some 5,500 returnees with protection needs is foreseen, representing a 5% increase compared to 2020. An increase in the number of people on their way to northern countries stranded at border areas will add an additional strain to host communities and national protection systems also struggling with overstretched resources.
Elections scheduled in Nicaragua in 2021 may increase the arrival of people seeking international protection in Honduras, despite the country’s limited reception and asylum capacities. This gap will result in refugees and asylum-seekers being exposed to protection risks, with very limited prospects for local integration.
The State will continue to implement its commitments under the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS), as per its National Action Plan. UNHCR will continue to provide technical and strategic support to national and local authorities, particularly to ensure that IDPs, refugees, asylum-seekers and others who are forcibly displaced or in need of protection are included in relevant legal frameworks, development plans and public policies.
Under the MIRPS, UNHCR will also continue to engage with development actors, as well as with the private sector Corporate Social Responsibility Association (FUNDAHRSE), to promote economic inclusion and self-reliance, community-engagement and peaceful coexistence of refugees, IDPs, deportees with specific protection needs and prioritized vulnerable communities.
In 2021, UNHCR will still be on the lead of the Protection Working Group in Honduras, coordinating protection strategies, responses and contingency planning to emergency scenarios with humanitarian and State actors.
The official submission of the law on IDP protection at the National Congress in 2020 will be the base for UNHCR and civil society’s advocacy efforts on the development of public policies addressing root causes of internal displacement in 2021, bringing focus to the most vulnerable communities affected.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, the UNHCR operation in Honduras will focus on:
- Strengthening national protection systems, particularly through advocacy for the adoption of a legal framework on forced displacement and cooperation with national and local authorities to respond to the needs of IDPs.
- Increasing its presence at borders to monitor mixed movements, the situation of people stranded in transit and the arrival of asylum-seekers.
- Improving the asylum system, reception mechanisms and integration of refugees and asylum-seekers.
- Providing support to civil society in order to help them expand and strengthen their protection networks, including protection services, humanitarian assistance and shelter.
- Enhancing cash assistance and voucher programmes.
- Fostering early recovery interventions on economic inclusion to address the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable, in both displaced and at-risk communities.