United States of America Multi-Country Office
The United States of America Multi-Country Office covers operations in the United States, 15 Caribbean states and 9 overseas territories including Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize (until 2017), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana (until 2020), Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname (until 2020) and Trinidad and Tobago (until 2020); the British overseas territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and Turks and Caicos Islands; and the Dutch overseas territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curacao (until 2020) and Sint Maarten.
Operation: United States of America Multi-Country Office
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|2020 year-end figures|
|4,939||households received cash assistance or vouchers to meet basic needs in the Caribbean|
|2,666||refugees and migrants received legal assistance in Aruba, Curacao and Trinidad and Tobago|
|2,000||people in the USA provided with information on government status determination procedures though UNHCR’s Protection Hotline|
|501||people supported with family reunification in the USA|
|214||individuals submitted for resettlement out of the Caribbean|
|153||survivors of gender-based violence received psychosocial counselling in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago|
|2021 planning figures|
|91,400||stateless persons or people still at risk of statelessness in the Dominican Republic will be provided with legal aid|
|3,000||vulnerable Venezuelan refugees and migrants will receive multisector assistance in the Dominican Republic|
|300||vulnerable stateless persons will be provided with cash assistance in Dominican Republic|
People of Concern
United States of America Multi-Country Office
Operational environmentUNHCR expects that at least half a million asylum-seekers will arrive through the southern border of the United States in 2021, primarily from the north of Central American countries. An increase in the number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers is also foreseen as a result of the deteriorating protection space in the Americas. In addition to the increase of asylum-seekers and refugees, the United States of America could see a surge in the arrival of people fleeing economic devastation and/or heightened sociopolitical instability in Latin America and the Caribbean related to the COVID-19 pandemic. An asylum backlog of over 1 million cases will continue to exist.
With regard to the situation at the border between the United States of America and Mexico, new opportunities for meaningful cross-border engagement will continue as UNHCR expands its operations and protection presence in Mexico and consolidates a small field presence on the American side.
In the Dominican Republic, the new political scenario following the elections held in June 2020 provided opportunities for solutions for the large stateless population, as well as for the 114,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants - 100,000 of whom remain in irregular status. As the situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate, UNHCR foresees a rise in new arrivals, and fears an increase in refoulement, xenophobia, and significant vulnerabilities affecting Haitians in the Dominican Republic.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR in the United States of America and Dominican Republic will focus on:
- Prioritizing activities to strengthen access to asylum, preserve protection safeguards and advance the integration of refugees in the United States of America. UNHCR also intends to back American engagement in regional responses, including support for regional asylum capacity-building in Mexico and the North of Central America and the Protection Transfer Arrangement.
- Supporting the implementation of the American refugee admissions programme, while exploring avenues to expand co-sponsorship models, as well as supporting the national action plan to end statelessness by 2024.
- Promoting protection-sensitive management of mixed movements, emergency preparedness for a potential influx from Haiti, as well as coordinated humanitarian efforts to address the most pressing needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, alongside Response for Venezuelans (R4V) platform partners in the Dominican Republic.
- Assisting the Government of the Dominican Republic to progressively develop asylum laws, policies and processing systems.
- The progressive eradication of statelessness in the Caribbean, including through the pursuit of nationality solutions in the Dominican Republic will also be a key strategic priority.