Data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that around 79.5 million people were living in displacement at the end of 2019. In addition to the growing number of displaced persons, the number of complex, persistent crises is also increasing. This trend is likely to continue as a result of climate change and a large number of violent conflicts. The UN General Assembly adopted a series of resolutions to respond to these challenges in the context of the New York Declaration of 2016. These were elaborated in more detail until 2018 in the Global Compact on Refugees. A key element is the application of a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF).
Under the Global Compact and the CRRF, the member states committed to fully protect the human rights of refugees and migrants. They also pledged support to those countries most affected by large movements of refugees or migrants. The CRRF aims to ease the pressure on host communities and enable displaced persons to become self-reliant. In order to achieve this goal, humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peacebuilding are to be more closely interconnected. UNHCR has been mandated by the UN General Assembly to implement the Global Compact and the CRRF in coordination with relevant stakeholders in order to find long-term solutions to current crises. The project supports UNHCR in this respect in the context of the special initiative ‘Tackling the root causes of displacement, reintegrating refugees’.
UNHCR is strengthened in its role of supporting and coordinating the Global Compact on Refugees for humanitarian aid, development and peace in selected refugee contexts.
The project implements joint approaches of UNHCR and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in selected partner countries. In Mexico, the focus is on protecting refugees and migrants, in Niger on better housing for refugees and host families. In Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, the activities focus on renewable energies. Activities on the ground are primarily oriented towards structure building and development. They are intended to improve the relationship between humanitarian aid and development cooperation.
The project develops a comprehensive monitoring system to document the results of the implemented measures. This makes it possible to analyse the lessons learned in a structured manner to the benefit of refugee support activities. As additional support, the project provides experts and consulting services to UNHCR’s new Division of Resilience and Solutions (DRS) and the national CRRF offices.
- With the financial support, 12 staff positions can be created in the new DRS to coordinate the Global Compact on Refugees.
- To strengthen the CRRF on site, the project seconds advisors to the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management in Rwanda and the CRRF Secretariat in Uganda.
- Together with UNHCR, the project has implemented measures in six partner countries for sustainable energy supplies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. A regular exchange takes place with UNHCR to improve access to energy for refugees and host communities. For example, energy kiosks have been set up in these countries, selling solar lamps, solar home systems and cooking stoves to provide the target group with environmentally friendly energy solutions.
- In Mexico, the joint measures with UNHCR are aimed at improving the social, cultural and economic integration of refugees and asylum seekers in their host communities. A total of 507 people have been relocated to date to enhance self-reliance and improve their livelihoods; 50 received legal advice and, as a result, Mexican citizenship.
- In Niger, 35,000 Malian refugees are being given land of their own as well as housing. Three support centres have been set up that provide protection and help to refugees and host communities. These measures enable refugees to live outside the traditional camps.
- In Uganda and Kenya, measures have been taken to secure energy supplies nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a refugee camp in the north-west of Kenya, for example, the power supply to two hospitals and four schools has been secured by means of solar energy. The facilities are to be used as treatment and isolation centres. This measure reaches 37,500 refugees.