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|2021 planning figures|
|1,200||vulnerable households will receive cash assistance|
|200||people of concern will be provided with entrepreneurship or business training|
|100%||of people of concern will have access to primary health care services|
|95%||of primary school-aged children will be enrolled in primary schools|
|2019 year-end results|
|90%||of primary school-aged children were enrolled in primary education|
|3,600||conditional cash grants were provided for education|
|2,500||households received multipurpose cash assistance at least once in 2019|
|2,100||personnel from national institutions and civil society were trained on refugee protection|
|1,700||refugees had access to secondary and tertiary medical care|
|155||refugees and asylum seekers benefited from legal assistance to access civil documentation|
|120||people of concern benefitted from some 85 income generating activities|
People of Concern
Operational environmentThe number of refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Morocco has consistently increased in the recent years, with a nearly 30% increase in 2020 when compared to 2019. As of 31 October 2020, there were 12,658 people of concern to UNHCR from 45 countries registered with UNHCR Morocco, including 7,790 refugees and 4,868 asylum-seekers. Around 55% of the refugees originate from the Syrian Arab Republic, 16% from other Middle Eastern countries and 25% from Sub-Saharan African countries.
In 2018, the Western Mediterranean route overtook the Central Mediterranean route as the first entry point to Europe due to reinforced controls in Libya. In response, Morocco scaled up its border monitoring capacity to reduce the number of illegal departures from its coasts towards Europe, and worked to dismantle smuggling and trafficking networks.
Despite these challenges, Morocco continues to offer refugee protection and promote local integration opportunities through a multi-stakeholder approach, in the spirit of the Global Compact for Refugees and the Global Refugee Forum. This was highlighted by the partnership agreement signed in 2020 between the National Council of the Order of Physicians (CNOM) and UNHCR to improve refugees’ access to specialized medical care.
The 2013 National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum (SNIA) remains the framework under which UNHCR operates to support the establishment of an asylum system. Under the SNIA, refugees have facilitated access to national services, such as education and primary health care.
Pending the adoption of the asylum law, UNHCR registers new asylum applications and conducts refugee status determination before referring eligible cases to the Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons. Working closely with national institutions and civil society to build local capacity, and with a view to gradually transfer responsibilities to the state, UNHCR delivers protection services to refugees. These include multipurpose cash assistance, secondary and tertiary healthcare, education support, socioeconomic integration opportunities, referrals for victims of gender-based violence, psychosocial support, and providing legal support for the issuance of civil documentation.
The COVID-19 pandemic particularly affected refugees and asylum-seekers in Morocco as highlighted in a study on the socioeconomic impact of the crisis conducted by Morocco’s High Commissioner for Planning in September 2020. The number of vulnerable families significantly increased, with little to no source of income during lockdown and limited access to employment when movement restrictions were eased. The majority of refugee households in Morocco have been in need of cash assistance to cover basic needs since the beginning of the pandemic.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, while adapting to the uncertainties related to the pandemic, UNHCR will focus on:
- Ensuring the continuity of asylum procedures.
- Improving the delivery of protection services to people of concern, who are living in more than 70 localities throughout the territory.
- Maintaining close coordination and building on strong partnerships with national authorities and civil society.
- Pursuing the continuity of the implementation of the SNIA.