Senegal Multi-Country Office
Operation: Senegal Multi-Country Office
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|2021 planning figures|
|3,000||refugees will benefit from the Senegal national health insurance scheme|
|500||refugee children born in Togo, Guinee or Guinee-Bissau will be registered in the civil status offices|
|450||refugee children in primary and secondary schools will be provided with cash assistance to support the enrollment|
|392||refugees in Sierra Leone will be assisted to obtain residence and work permits and be included in the national social security scheme|
|130||refugees will be naturalized in Senegal|
|103||refugees will obtain long-term residence permits in the Gambia|
|27%||of refugees in Guinea will benefit from agricultural and other income-generating activities|
|2019 year-end results|
|5,500||refugees received documentation in Guinea Bissau with the support of UNHCR (including some 4,300 Guinean identification cards; 4,100 birth certificates; and 3,400 certificates of nationality)|
|1,930||cases were submitted for resettlement|
|1,160||Ivorians repatriated from Guinea, with the assistance of UNHCR|
|900||refugee children were enrolled in primary school in Benin, Guinea and Senegal|
People of Concern
Senegal Multi-Country Office
Operational environmentUNHCR’s Senegal Multi-Country Office, based in Dakar, covers the Office’s operations in Benin, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Gambia and Togo, where a total of 47,700 refugees and asylum-seekers are hosted, the majority (94%) of them in protracted situations.
The rising threat of terrorism and violent extremist groups in West Africa compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue hindering access to asylum in 2021, due to tightened security and border controls. The pandemic has also had a severe social and economic impact which will continue to affect the livelihoods of the most fragile populations, including refugees.
In line with the Refugee Coordination Model, and in coordination with Governments, UNHCR will lead the inter-agency coordination of emergency preparedness for refugee emergencies and certain sectors for mixed situations on a case-by-case basis.
Covering countries at the heart of mixed movements in and across the region, the Multi-Country Office in Senegal will reinforce and expand its coordination with Governments and partners, looking for ways to effectively provide support and information to affected populations and improve the protection environment along these routes.
As part of its efforts to seek inclusion and durable solutions for refugees and other forcibly displaced populations, the Senegal Multi-Country Office will sustain its engagement with Governments, as well as humanitarian and development partners, to ensure refugees, asylum-seekers and IDPs are systematically considered and included in national development strategies and programmes, including those pertaining to COVID-19 vaccination, in line with the principles of the Global Compact on Refugees.
UNHCR will also support their refugee status determination systems and address any challenges in case-management procedures that create bottlenecks, backlogs or secondary movements of asylum-seekers.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will focus on delivering solutions, increasing or maintaining States’ protection capacity and reducing care and maintenance activities.
In Senegal, UNHCR will focus on three key objectives, namely improving refugee documentation, preventing statelessness, and building partnerships and capacity in the context of asylum and mixed movements. UNHCR will advocate the renewal of refugee cards and support the issuance of civil status documents, which are needed to acquire nationality and facilitate refugees’ local integration. To prevent statelessness, UNHCR will engage in awareness-raising activities, strengthen civil registration systems and the data collection system, as well as partnership and advocacy. Finally, UNHCR will aim to improve coordination and response for refugees and asylum-seekers to prevent life-threatening irregular movements, in addition to building capacities and partnerships in the context of asylum and mixed movements.
In Sierra Leone, UNHCR’s primary focus will be on ensuring durable solutions for refugees by mainstreaming the remaining refugee population into national development plans for self-sufficiency. While strengthening the national legal framework and administrative institutions, a conducive asylum environment will be ensured and refugees will be provided with adequate protection and solutions. Assistance to people of concern will be improved by building the capacity of relevant government-line ministries, agencies and departments, civil society and other national institutions.
In the Gambia, UNHCR will advocate administrative and legal reforms that will pave the way to providing national documentation to more than 100 Senegalese refugees, allowing them to acquire the Gambian nationality and/or access legal alternative status in the long term. Moreover, biometric registration of refugees and the processing of any pending asylum-seeker cases at the national asylum system will be improved. UNHCR will also advocate including people of concern in national development plans.
In Benin, UNHCR partners will advocate the integration of people of concern into the protection services offered by the State or civil society organizations at the local, departmental and national level. As a result, UNHCR will help improve reception conditions, particularly for people with special needs, such as women, children, unaccompanied children, older persons and persons with disabilities, etc.
In Guinea, UNHCR will prioritize durable solutions, including voluntary repatriation and local integration, as well as basic assistance to the communities that host new asylum-seekers arriving from Côte d'Ivoire.
In Togo, UNHCR’s priority will be to work with the Government to issue long-term residence permits for refugees, granting Togolese nationality to rural refugees born in Togo and pursuing voluntary repatriation, particularly of Ivorians and Central Africans. The closure of the Avepozo camp will pave the way for the local integration of 1,200 refugees.
In Guinea-Bissau, UNHCR's 2021 priority will be the new census of the refugee population. While the Government carried out a census in 2014, it focused mainly on the region of Cacheu bordering Senegal. Since the naturalization of refugees was only open to refugees included in the 2014 census living in the Cacheu region, the naturalization process was unavailable to refugees from other regions. To extend these benefits to others, in 2021 UNHCR and the authorities will aim to carry out a new census, focusing on the areas that were not included in the first exercise and extend the same benefits.