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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion South Asia
People of Concern - 2021 [projected][["Refugees",244681],["Asylum-seekers",8993],["IDPs",17000],["Returned IDPs",3000],["Returned refugees",4000]]
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Operational environmentIn South Asia, UNHCR has offices in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and oversees other countries in the sub-region from its regional bureau in Bangkok, Thailand. UNHCR works to preserve asylum space in countries that are not signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It also supports Governments in ensuring protection and assistance for asylum-seekers and refugees, while also pursuing durable solutions and including people of concern to UNHCR in recovery support for the COVID-19 pandemic. UNHCR continues to work on statelessness issues in the sub-region.
In India, UNHCR works closely with the Government, which has voiced its support for the Global Compact on Refugees and is an important leader in the region on global issues, including development. The protection environment in India remains quite restricted, as people of concern can face a risk of detention or deportation.
In Nepal, UNHCR’s strategy aims to maximize protection and solutions outcomes for all people of concern, in close partnership with the Government and other relevant stakeholders. Nepal has not acceded to the 1951 Convention but has a long tradition of providing asylum to refugees and the Government collaborates closely with UNHCR to jointly address challenges.
For Bhutanese refugees, the right of refugees to voluntarily repatriate will be pursued. In the meantime, the focus will be on achieving local solutions through inclusion in public services, policies and plans for health, education and social protection, as well as enhancing livelihoods and self-reliance for the refugee and host community. Advocacy for the right of refugees to voluntarily repatriate will also be pursued. UNHCR will also work through partnerships for refugees’ inclusion in broader UN and Government emergency and development planning through multi-stakeholder approaches, in the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In support of the protection and preservation of asylum space, and in line with the SDGs, UNHCR will continue to advocate the issuance of legal identity documents for all and the adoption of laws and policies on asylum.
In Sri Lanka, UNHCR will work closely with Government counterparts to ensure asylum-seekers and refugees are protected and assisted until their claims are finally determined and solutions are found for them. Close coordination on a technical level will also continue, though space for advocacy on refugee issues is limited and refugees face challenges accessing certain rights, such as to work. UNHCR will continue to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in the region and seek to build partnerships for sustainable reintegration in areas of return. The Government is expected to continue to provide asylum-seekers and refugees with access to free health care at Government medical facilities, while UNHCR will continue to ensure other basic needs for people of concern are met. Advocacy for refugees and asylum-seekers’ access to public schools and work, and partnerships with UN agencies, NGOs and faith-based groups will remain pillars of UNHCR’s community-based work. Advocacy for solutions for Sri Lankan refuges in the region will also continue, with a focus on reintegration support and monitoring of returning refugees.
Strategy: Response and implementationIn 2021, UNHCR will work closely with Governments in the sub-region to continue ensuring protection and assistance for asylum-seekers and refugees, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNHCR will also continue its advocacy and technical support on issues of statelessness.
In India, UNHCR will prioritize dialogue on this with the Government and at central and state levels, as well as capacity development, to ensure refugees and asylum-seekers are protected. Opportunities to achieve self-reliance and economic inclusion for people of concern are limited, and UNHCR will work increasingly through innovative approaches, and in partnerships with the UN family and other external stakeholders, to ensure people of concern can access livelihoods and local services. UNHCR will continue to work with civil society, academia, think tanks and the private sector, using the “whole of society approach” outlined in the Compact, and will seek solutions for people of concern, such as voluntary repatriation for those who seek this option, and other solutions in India and in third countries.
In Nepal, UNHCR will focus on working, through partnerships, to include refugees in broader UN and Government emergency and development planning. It will take multi-stakeholder approaches in the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In Sri Lanka, UNHCR will work closely with Government counterparts to ensure asylum-seekers and refugees are protected and assisted until their claims are finally determined and solutions are found for them. UNHCR will continue to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in the region and seek to build partnerships for sustainable reintegration in areas of return.
2021 Budget for South Asia | USD
2021 Voluntary Contributions to South Asia | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|South Asia overall|
|United States of America||0||200,000||200,000|
|South Asia overall subtotal||0||200,000||200,000|
|UN COVID-19 MPTF||214,560||0||214,560|
|United States of America||0||500,000||500,000|
|United States of America||0||100,000||100,000|