A High-level workshop, co-organized today, Thursday, 21 September, in Cairo by the Government of Egypt (GOE) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, marks the formal launch of the planning process for the 2024 Egypt Refugee Response Plan (RRP), representing an opportunity to build on the strong partnership between GOE and the international community.
The 2024 Egypt RRP will outline how humanitarian and development organizations will address the needs of all refugee populations in Egypt, as well as host communities and other affected populations. Currently, Egypt hosts more than 350,000 officially registered refugees and asylum-seekers of 59 nationalities, mostly concentrated in Greater Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and other north coast governorates. The main nationalities are Sudanese, Syrian and South Sudanese.
“The Government of Egypt and the Egyptian people have a long tradition of welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers in the country. We have all borne witness to the recent Sudan crisis which led to more than 317,000 people fleeing to Egypt, that was a reminder that all actors need to join forces to respond to such a magnitude of displacement. To that end, it is crucial the international community provides life-saving aid to refugees while expanding support to Egyptian public services in a manner which benefits both refugees and Egyptians, and underpins Egypt’s efforts to uphold its tradition of hosting people in need of international protection,” said Dr. Hanan Hamdan, UNHCR Representative to the Government of Egypt and to the League of Arab States.
The workshop brings together participants from Egyptian line-ministries, embassies, the donor community, international financial institutions, international and national non-governmental organizations, UN Agencies including WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, UNFPA, IOM, UNWomen and others.
Participants discussed how to respond to the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers across different sectors with the objective of availing a comprehensive multi-sectoral life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance, promoting the inclusion of refugees in national social protection and self-reliance, especially education, and health systems, easing the pressure on host communities and supporting host governments in their response aligned with the Global Compact on Refugees.
“Egypt hosts a diverse community of refugees and asylum seekers; the vast majority originate from countries witnessing protracted crises. GOE maintains its unwavering commitment to ensure that the needs of all refugees and asylum-seekers are met, regardless of their nationality, while also strengthening the resilience of host communities. To this end, Egypt places great importance on the triple nexus that seeks to enhance collaboration and coherence between humanitarian, development and peace efforts. It is important that the international community shoulders its responsibilities through a more equitable burden-sharing, to ease the pressure on refugee-hosting countries and ensure that displacement crises are addressed in a sustainable and effective way,” said His Excellency, Ambassador Ehab Badawy, Assistant Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs and International Security.
Prior to this High-Level Workshop, a series of consultations have been held with GOE, the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office and civil society organizations in order to define the planning process. The Plan will be informed by data that was gathered by organisations working across the country to define the needs and gaps for refugees and other affected populations that should be addressed through the 2024 Egypt RRP in an inclusive and innovative way.
“Refugees and vulnerable migrants are a group that is at risk of being left behind. Egypt’s efforts, generously opening its schools and hospitals, offering education and health to this group, need to be recognized with more support from the international community,” said Ms. Elena Panova, the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt. She added, “enhancing access to public services, inclusion and protection provide a cornerstone of our UN partnership with the Government, embodied by the Joint Platform for Migrants and Refugees in Egypt.”
It is expected that the Refugee Response Plan will be launched in early 2024.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).