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|2020 year-end figures|
|53,624||people from the north of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras received cash assistance to meet basic needs|
|52,006||people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras received legal assistance|
|41,300||people applied for asylum in Mexico in 2020|
|16,231||people have been registered since mid-March 2020 and had a remote protection interview with UNHCR to identify specific needs and provide individualized protection counselling|
|2,306||refugees and asylum-seekers from cities in southern Mexico were successfully relocated to municipalities with higher demand for workers 90,000 children were supported with school material during 2020|
|1,274||Venezuelan refugees and asylum-seekers received local support to integrate in different parts of Mexico|
|870||Venezuelan children were enrolled into school thanks to cash assistance|
|2021 planning figures|
|20,000||individuals to be relocated in different parts of Mexico|
|80%||people of concern will have access to legal assistance|
|75%||of refugees and asylum-seekers will achieve social and economic integration|
|70%||of applicants will benefit from refugee status determination procedure|
People of Concern
Mexico is likely to receive greater number of asylum-seekers, with some 70,000 new asylum applications expected in 2021, more than 50% higher than the projection for 2020, and on par with the record number received in 2019. People from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will arrive in search of protection, local integration and ultimately possibilities for a future in Mexico. Mixed movements transiting through the country are also expected to continue, and possibly increase, as Mexico represents the main gateway to the United State of America.
During 2020, countries in the north of Central America have experienced severe socioeconomic decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to bleak livelihood prospects. While authorities struggled to provide protection to their citizens, various criminal actors managed to consolidate their power during this period. As these countries will continue to lack the capacity to address the root causes of forced displacement and to mitigate their effects, additional movements across borders are expected in 2021.
As American economic activity continues to recover, many people fleeing from violence in Central America will view the United States of America as the preferred destination and attempt to move northward. Mexico will remain another key destination for refugees and others on the move due to the expanded capacity of the asylum system, along with prospects for local integration as the Mexican economy grows and greater employment opportunities arise (in industrial cities in particular). It is expected that 2021 may offer an opportunity to Mexico to consolidate its capacity to respond to continuing high levels of new refugee arrivals in line with Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS) and the Mexico-Central America Comprehensive Development Plan. UNHCR will provide Mexico with technical advice on increasing its processing capacity and enhancing the quality of asylum decisions.
The Government has recognised the extent of internal displacement in Mexico, and the drafting of a new law regulating the State responsibilities for the response to internal displacement is underway. In this context, and in response to Government institutions request for UNHCR expansion of the existing protection and solutions programmes to IDPs, a pilot programme will may be agreed in 2021.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR in Mexico will focus on:
- Addressing the needs of increasing numbers of asylum-seekers arriving in mixed movements in Mexico by improving reception conditions, the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and reinforcing the shelter network to respond to urgent needs.
- Ensuring that refugees have access to territory, asylum procedures and the full range of rights. This will involve capacity-building targeting Government agencies involved in refugee status determination and child protection, providing information to people of concern, and seeking full implementation of the recommendations of the quality assurance mechanism, with a special focus on registration.
- Consolidating local integration programmes, including though relocation; advocating for and providing technical and operational support for the inclusion of refugees in the national economy and public programmes and services, and in mobilizing development interventions to support these efforts.
- Implementing community-based projects to increase positive interaction between refugees, asylum-seekers and host communities, to prevent and reduce social tensions.