Twelve months after they committed to pursuing a regional approach to the Somali refugee situation, Member States of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) came together in a high-level stocktaking meeting in Nairobi. Reaffirming their commitment to taking practical steps towards comprehensive responses guided by the CRRF, they underscored the critical role of the Federal Government of Somalia to foster effective coordination between government line ministries and federal states, and to ensure coherence at policy and technical levels in finding solutions for IDPs, returnees and refugees, in line with Somalia’s National Development Plan. IGAD and CRRF actors in Somalia are working on assessments for area-based development, with World Bank funding ($3million) which aims to support Somali authorities to define appropriate development responses at federal, state and local government levels. All IGAD Ministers at the stock-taking meeting presented their CRRF national roadmaps/National Action Plans and agreed to finalize them by the end of 2018. Following the first successful thematic meeting on Education in Djibouti in December 2017, they also committed to hold the second regional thematic meeting on refugees within six months, on the subject of livelihoods and economic growth in refugee-hosting areas. To access the communique: https://igad.int/communique/1785-communique-of-the-first-interministerial-meeting-on-the-nairobi-action-plan-on-durable-solutions-for-somali-refugees-and-reintegration-of-returnees-in-somalia
In an encouraging step towards broader application of comprehensive approaches in Africa, in January 2018 the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), based in Addis Ababa, requested and encouraged Member states and the AU Commission to support the CRRF, the process towards a global compact on refugees, and the African Humanitarian Agency. The first decision requests that when Member states design their civil registration and vital statistic systems, they should include all refugees, IDPs and anyone who is at risk of being stateless. The second decision urges the Commission and Member states to work with UNHCR to implement the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, in particular the CRRF and contributing to the development of a global compact on refugees. The third decision requests the Commission to facilitate the Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government on forced displacement and the humanitarian crisis in Africa. This decision aims at accelerating the implementation of the Common African Position on Humanitarian Effectiveness and the operationalization of the African Humanitarian Agency.
Through a note verbale on 14 February 2018, Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINAFET) notified UNHCR that it is officially rolling out the CRRF. Further building on Rwanda’s inclusive refugee policies, discussions are currently underway to define the next steps to establish key priorities to deliver on comprehensive approaches. The application of the CRRF in Rwanda will build on the pledges made by the Government at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in September 2016 including to enhance employment opportunities for refugees, issue ID cards and travel documents and enhance refugees’ access to national systems. In April 2018, the Government will convene a workshop to agree on detailed commitments for the CRRF roll-out and agree on an inter-governmental facilitation mechanism to coordinate the roll-out. In the image above, students from the Paysannat L School are walking home after class in the Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda. The Paysannat L School follows a nationwide program that helps keep girls in school. 80% of the students are from Burundi and the other 20% are from the Rwandan host community.
The meeting was held in Kampala on January 31st 2018. It was chaired by the Prime Minister of Uganda Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and attended by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, government line ministries, NGOs, refugee and host community representatives, the UN Country Team, and development and humanitarian partners. During the same visit by High Commissioner, Uganda’s CRRF roadmap was endorsed unanimously with the agreement that it will be reviewed periodically and it was also agreed that there will be coordination mechanisms at the district level to merge the existing legal frameworks. Moving forward, the national ReHoPE database will be used to track resources and mapping of actors in refugee-hosting districts.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, H.E. Mr Filippo Grandi, met with the members of the inaugural UNHCR Global Youth Advisory Council (GYAC) on 11 December 2017. The members of the GYAC were in Geneva for the High Commissioners Dialogue on Protection Challenges and to contribute their unique experiences and recommendations to the Programme of Action for the Global Compact on Refugees. The GYAC prepared a written recommendations paper which can be accessed under documents on this portal (http://crrf.unhcr.org/en/documents/details/118) and a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL5FIjUZdJQ&feature=youtu.be
A high-level Regional Conference on Refugee Education was held in Djibouti on 12 December 2017 under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Among attendees were the Prime Minister of Djibouti and Ministers, the High Commissioner, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, the Special Envoy for the Somali Situation, and the Regional Refugee Coordinator and Special Advisor to the High Commissioner for South Sudan. As an outcome of the meeting, IGAD Member States established a strong foundation for improving standards not only for refugees, but for returnees and refugee-hosting communities. Commitments made by IGAD countries were endorsed at the Ministerial level and resulted in the Djibouti Declaration on Regional Refugee Education and its Plan of Action.
Children at the Wadajir pre-school in Ali Addeh refugee camp. Eight-year-old Omoulgire Aden Abdi (middle) was born in the camp and has never been to Somalia. © UNHCR/Petterik Wiggers. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the coming into force of new Refugee Laws in Djibouti that streamline refugee status determination procedures and grants more opportunities for their socio-economic integration. Read more:
The UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, Ahunna Eziakonwo-Onochie, takes the platform at the launch of Ethiopia's Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework in Addis Ababa. On 28 November 2018, the Government of Ethiopia formally launched the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), paving the way for the implementation of the nine pledges it made at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in September 2016 in New York. Those pledges promote self-reliance, improved sustainable responses that include wider support for host communities, the furthering of peaceful coexistence and the inclusion of refugees into national development plans. Ethiopia is committed to significant shifts in meeting refugees' needs, including a transition away from a camp-based model to refugees living and integrating within host communities.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes the launch of civil registration for refugees in Ethiopia. Starting today, all refugees in the country will be able to register their vital life events, including birth, death, marriage and divorce, directly with national authorities. This is a historic first and a ground-breaking development for refugee protection in Ethiopia, not previously realized over decades. Civil registration for refugees has been made possible following an amendment to an existing legislation. UNHCR and the UN’s Children Agency (UNICEF) collaborated with the Government of Ethiopia in the preparation of the amendment.
A regional conference hosted by the Government of Honduras in San Pedro Sula, concluded Thursday with a series of concrete initiatives by the countries in North and Central America to strengthen protection and solutions for asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons and refugees. States and other important stakeholders, including affected population, civil society, the private sector and the international community, have pledged strong support to all these initiatives. Further information concerning the regional conference can be found at http://www.mirps-hn.org/en/