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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion North Africa
People of Concern - 2020[["Refugees",453129],["Refugee-like situation",26000],["Asylum-seekers",109700],["IDPs",278177],["Returned IDPs",105414],["Stateless",5],["Others of concern",54]]
Response in 2020Ongoing hostilities and security concerns in parts of North Africa and the Sahel gave rise to continued displacement which, coupled with the onset of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on movement, heightened protection risks and vulnerabilities among refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, IDP returnees, and stateless persons across the sub-region.
Following heavy hostilities in Libya during the first half of the year, the number of IDPs increased by 30% to 450,000 people by June 2020, before dropping to 278,177 by year’s end. The number of IDP returnees rose concurrently, with 105,414 returning to their place of origin by end-2020. Rescue and interception activities by the Libyan Coast Guard increased by almost 30% compared to 2019, with 11,650 individuals intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, and at least 143 reported deaths. A reliance by authorities on the detention model continued, though on a lower scale: as of end-2020, there were 1,462 individuals in official detention centres, of whom 329 were of concern to UNHCR – marking an 84% decrease from 2019. Following UNHCR’s intervention, 389 people were released from detention in 2020. Due in part to the closure of borders and movement restrictions, the total number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya decreased slightly by 8%, though protection needs rose significantly owing to the COVID-19 crisis. While access remained a challenge, particularly during government-imposed lockdowns throughout the pandemic, UNHCR maintained support to refugees and asylum-seekers through urban assistance packages—including food parcels for vulnerable people distributed in partnership with WFP—while continuing to find solutions for people of concern living in urban areas.
UNHCR worked to reinforce the resilience and protect livelihoods of people of concern across the sub-region and include refugees and asylum seekers into national COVID-19 response plans. In Egypt, UNHCR successfully advocated with local authorities to improve the welfare of registered refugees and mitigate the pandemic’s socioeconomic impacts, improving access to health, education, protection services among others. As with other operations in MENA, UNHCR Egypt reinforced the delivery of cash assistance to vulnerable asylum-seeking families, including emergency COVID-19 cash to meet their more immediate needs. Tunisia saw the number of registered refugees and asylum-seekers nearly double for a second consecutive year, with 6,354 total people registered and 1,800 awaiting registration by year’s end. The number of sea arrivals from Tunisia to Italy also rose by 43% from the previous year to 14,685 individuals. Progress was observed towards the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers into national services; following a ministerial decree, refugees in Tunisia with proof of official employment were permitted to enrol for national social security services, including health, insurance, and retirement benefits. This was further reinforced during the first ‘Mayor’s Forum on Inclusive Cities in North Africa’ in Tunis, which underscored the need for future continued inclusion and access to national services for people of concern.
Morocco remained a transit country for mixed movements in 2020, while also maintaining its position as a destination for refugees and asylum-seekers. During the year, over 41,800 arrivals to Europe from Morocco were observed—a nearly 70% increase from 2019—with movements along the Central Mediterranean route diminishing and a concurrent rise in arrivals observed in the Canary Islands. UNHCR worked with partners to ensure people of concern in Morocco had access to healthcare services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including through medical hotlines for remote consultations and delivery of medicines to persons with chronic illnesses; over 5,000 refugees benefited from UNHCR supported healthcare services during the year.
In Algeria, asylum applications and registrations decreased by more than 50 percent compared to 2019, due mostly to COVID-19 related confinement measures and border closure. UNHCR continued registration, RSD, documentation, and protection services for refugees and asylum-seekers living in urban areas, while reinforcing delivery of primary and secondary health services to Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf, in addition to WASH, energy, food, shelter, education and livelihood activities.
Mauritania saw a sudden increase in asylum-seekers in early 2020, with over 1,000 people fleeing hostilities in Mali and crossing into Mauritania—though the closure of borders during the pandemic impacted subsequent arrivals. UNHCR registered 3,375 new individuals in Mauritania in 2020, as well as 7,568 who had not previously registered for asylum. The Operation maintained assistance to refugees in Mbera Camp and surrounding areas, particularly in the areas of health, livelihoods, and education, while delivering cash assistance to mitigate the growing socioeconomic needs due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Malian refugees were included into Mauritania’s national public health services in Hodh Chargui region, through the support of a World Bank financed programme.
UNHCR maintained advocacy efforts and encouraged capacity-building with the Governments of Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia towards the adoption of national asylum legislation, with UNHCR providing technical guidance and support.
The greatest unmet needs in North Africa were in Libya, where despite a ceasefire agreement and significant progress towards electing a unity government, the protection environment remained characterized by restrictive access to territory and lack of durable solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic placed additional strain on social infrastructure, including vital health services, already impacted by years of armed conflict. UNHCR also maintained delivery of life-saving assistance to camp-based refugees in Algeria and Mauritania, who continued to face food shortages and limited access to medical services and medicine, which was further impacted by the COVID-19 situation in the sub-region.
Operational environmentNorth Africa continues to be a region of transit and destination for refugees and migrants. In 2019, mixed population movements continued within and from the sub-region, some in the hopes of reaching Europe, despite a clampdown on sea rescues by governments and other broader policy changes targeting such flows. The total population of concern in North Africa stands at some 1.2 million people, including 470,000 refugees and asylum-seekers (in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), as well as some 300,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) and some 447,000 IDP returnees in Libya. Internal displacement became more pronounced in Libya, when clashes in and around Tripoli restarted in April 2019, returning the country to renewed conflict and negatively impacting on civilians.
From January to August 2019, 5,922 people were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard, a decrease of 55% compared to the same period in 2018. In Tunisia, by July 2019, the number of new arrivals (1,180) surpassed the total (1,188) for 2018, a reflection of the deteriorating situation in Libya. With greater movements along the Western Mediterranean route, and a drop in arrivals to Spain by 43% compared to last year, asylum-seeker registrations in Morocco increased by 53% during the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 – reflecting its position as a place of destination as well as one of transit..
In 2020, mixed population movements are expected to continue, though at a lower rate, along the Western and Central Mediterranean routes, mainly from Morocco to Spain with smaller movements from Libya and Tunisia. In this context, sea rescues and interceptions are also expected to continue. Protracted camp situations in Algeria (90,000 Sahrawi refugees) and in Mauritania (over 50,000 Malian refugees) will call for greater engagement with development actors and donors, so that self-reliance opportunities for refugees and their host communities are expanded.
Despite high level negotiations that are underway to encourage a resolution to the conflict, the operating environment for UNHCR in Libya is expected to remain very challenging. Nonetheless, capacities of national partners will be strengthened to ensure access to people in need of international protection and humanitarian assistance. UNHCR will continue advocating for an end to detention and for alternatives to be established, that include pursuing durable solutions for refugees. The provision of life-saving humanitarian assistance at Libya detention centres and at disembarkation points to refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants will continue to be a priority, and enhancing assistance for people of concern in urban areas.
Across North Africa, UNHCR will continue to cooperate with governments and partners to improve access to safety, protection from refoulement, and solutions within existing migration frameworks. UNHCR will continue working closely with national and local authorities to develop and implement national asylum systems, as well as expand people of concerns’ access to public services and livelihoods opportunities.
2020 Budget and Expenditure in North Africa | USD
|Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures)||Budget|
2020 Voluntary Contributions to North Africa | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|North Africa overall|
|United States of America||0||0||2,100,000||2,100,000|
|North Africa overall subtotal||209,205||0||2,100,000||2,309,205|
|Private donors in Spain||218,341||0||0||218,341|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||165,648||0||0||165,648|
|United States of America||2,153,500||0||5,800,000||7,953,500|
|Egypt Regional Office|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||7,556||7,556|
|Private donors in Egypt||13,632||0||1,218,086||1,231,718|
|Private donors in Kuwait||1,265||0||0||1,265|
|Private donors in Lebanon||107,792||0||0||107,792|
|Private donors in Saudi Arabia||136,246||0||250,000||386,246|
|Private donors in Thailand||0||0||222||222|
|Private donors in the United Arab Emirates||4,901||0||0||4,901|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||508,586||0||0||508,586|
|United Nations Population Fund||280,476||0||0||280,476|
|United States of America||27,450,043||0||1,000,000||28,450,043|
|Egypt Regional Office subtotal||49,151,885||0||2,568,629||51,720,514|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||99,217||99,217|
|Private donors in Egypt||0||0||10||10|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||334,821||334,821|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||1,911||1,911|
|Private donors in Kuwait||0||0||199||199|
|Private donors in Lebanon||0||0||1,484||1,484|
|Private donors in Saudi Arabia||0||0||209||209|
|Private donors in the United Arab Emirates||0||0||443||443|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||0||0||50||50|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||888,681||0||0||888,681|
|United States of America||0||0||16,800,000||16,800,000|
|African Development Bank||2,667,042||0||0||2,667,042|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||600,000||0||0||600,000|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||66||66|
|Private donors in Egypt||147||0||0||147|
|Private donors in Kuwait||98,647||0||0||98,647|
|Private donors in Lebanon||9,022||0||2,272||11,294|
|Private donors in Oman||50||0||0||50|
|Private donors in Saudi Arabia||8,717||0||0||8,717|
|Private donors in the United Arab Emirates||64,527||0||0||64,527|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||246,851||0||0||246,851|
|United States of America||1,600,000||0||5,000,000||6,600,000|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||31,414||31,414|
|UN Trust Fund for Human Security||338,775||0||0||338,775|
|United States of America||500,000||0||400,000||900,000|
|Private donors in Japan||145,375||0||0||145,375|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||181,691||0||0||181,691|
|United States of America||800,000||0||0||800,000|
|Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures)|
|United States of America||22,396||0||0||22,396|
|Western Sahara (Confidence Building Measures) subtotal||22,396||0||24,995||47,391|