CRRF - UNHCR

Multi-stakeholder emergency response in Nchelenge, Zambia

Country or region: Africa, Zambia
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 5
Actors: Host communities, Local goverment, NGO's, Goverment, Refugees, UN agencies, UNHCR, Development actors
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

In order to respond to the DRC refugee emergency in the north of Zambia, UNHCR and its government counterpart, the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR) under the Ministry of Home Affairs have led a multi-stakeholder response since the emergency began in September 2017. Ensuring a conducive asylum space, COR has led the biometric registration of all Congolese refugees entering through Zambia’s Luapula Province and providing legal documentation.

Partners involved in the response who are working hand in hand with district authorities to ensure that the response is in line with local development priorities are over six UN Agencies, multiple NGOs, six line ministries, refugees and host communities. In order to accommodate the over 15,000 Congolese refugees in Nchelenge, the Government decided to follow a settlement approach, in which refugees are being settled in a village setting together with some 5,000 Zambian host community members. This approach has allowed infrastructure development and service delivery such as health, education and WASH to be of equal access to both population groups, facilitating social cohesion and peaceful co-existence from the onset. In April 2018, over 80% of those receiving health services in Mantapala Refugee Settlement were Zambians.

As the number of new arrivals decreases and the situation becomes stable, UNHCR and COR are pro-actively seeking new partnerships that will bring early development to Mantapala. This includes involving development partners such as UNDP and FAO, as well seeking to establish private sector investment in the areas of energy, mobility and connectivity.

Collaboration with Programa Casa Refugiados (PCR)

Country or region: Mexico, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 3
Actors: UNHCR, NGO's, Academia, Private sector, Goverment
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

In Mexico City, UNHCR works through the implementing partner Programa Casa Refugiados (PCR) to support the integration of asylum-seekers and refugees, including through linkages to existing capacity-building and employment opportunities, among other services. PCR along with the American Institute for Educational Development (IADE) Foundation, started the network “Abriendo Puertas” (“Opening Doors”) to promote peaceful coexistence and human development through decent employment. To date, the network “Abriendo Puertas” is supported by several private sector companies. In 2017, as a result of collaboration between UNHCR and ILO, several public programmes such as Trabajo Digno (“Decent Work”), Mi primer empleo (“My first job”), and unemployment insurance modified their eligibility criteria in order to ensure the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers as beneficiaries. The Ministry of Labor is working in collaboration with PCR on providing access to various capacity-building, and economic and social development efforts for persons of concern. In August 2017, the Head of Government of Mexico City and the High Commissioner signed an agreement based on which persons of concern were included in 10 public programmes at the Mexico City level. Of note, 23 per cent of all the persons of concern reside in Mexico City.

UNHCR Mexico has worked with the municipal government, schools, and private sectors employers in Saltillo, Coahuila State, to implement the integration program for refugees in this city of solidarity. UNHCR is currently up-scaling its local integration programme in Saltillo aiming at relocating up to 500 refugees in 2018.

Since August 2016 to date, 227 refugees have benefited through the program (more than half in 2018), which provides relocation support, one-off integration cash grant for the first month, job placement in the first week of arrival and enrollment of refugee children in local schools. All participants have been employed in the formal sector, have opened bank accounts, and have access to formal health insurance. In May 2018, UNHCR relocated the first group of 10 refugees to Guadalajara.

City of Solidarity in Mexico

Country or region: Mexico, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 3
Actors: UNHCR, Municipal government, Schools, Private sector, Goverment, ILO
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

In the Southern border states of Mexico, where most asylum-seekers arrive, opportunities for socio-economic integration are very limited. As a result of baselines studies conducted by UNHCR in cooperation with ILO and the Government of Mexico, UNHCR decided to relocate refugees from the Southern border states of Chiapas and Tabasco to areas where local integration opportunities were identified in Mexico City, Guadalajara (Jalisco State) and Saltillo (Coahuila State).

RST Programme – Emerging Resettlement Country Mechanism

Country or region: Chile, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 4
Actors: Goverment, UNHCR, Persons of concern
CRRF Objectives: Objective 3

Chile is one of the first three countries (with Argentina and Brazil) to apply the Emerging Resettlement Country Mechanism (ERCM) to design and implement their sponsorship, resettlement and complementary pathway models. In May 2017, Representatives from the three countries attended a capacity-building visit to Ottawa, organised by the Global Resettlement Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), which was launched in 2016 with a view to develop practical guidance and tools to assist countries in setting up private sponsorship programmes.

Livelihoods in Chile

Country or region: Chile, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 3
Actors: Goverment, UNHCR
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

In Chile, the socio-economic assessment has been developed jointly with all key actors involved on livelihoods issues. Regular meetings were held with the research and operational sections of the Department of Social Action (DAS) and the Department of Alien Status and Immigration (DEM), both from the Ministry of the Interior, the university leading the study, the implementing partner and UNHCR to develop the study, validate results and ensure the report responds to all relevant questions.

The government was hesitant about the development of a livelihoods strategy as it already provides funding for humanitarian assistance and income generation for Persons of Concern (PoC) However, through the joint development and review of the study, together with training on livelihoods issues by UNHCR, it was possible to shift their opinion and increase their engagement in operational issues for livelihoods programming. This is crucial as it allows to jointly advocate for the inclusion of PoC in social protection and employment promotion programmes and services and address key challenges regarding the socio-economic inclusion of PoC.

Protection Transit Arrangement (PTA)

Country or region: Uruguay, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 4
Actors: Goverment, Persons of concern, UNHCR
CRRF Objectives: Objective 3

Following the guiding principles of the Brazil Declaration and Plan of Action, and as an initiative to support regional efforts to create alternatives in response to the increased protection needs in the NCA Uruguay has resettled 16 Central American refugees (4 families) on November 2017.

Security Partnership Project (SPP)

Country or region: Africa, Kenya
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 3
Actors: UNHCR, Goverment, Persons of concern
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

The Security Partnership Project (SPP) with the Government of Kenya was established in 2011 to enhance the operational environment in refugee hosting areas following a series of security-related events, risks and threats.  Joint investments in deploying law enforcement personnel, assets, community policing techniques, and protection training have contributed to improvements in the area of security, the protection of persons of concern and their hosts, and the safety of humanitarian personnel. Through this Government-UNHCR project, UNHCR has facilitated the deployment of over 560 police officers in the above mentioned areas. It has provided them with office space, housing, transport and communications assets, and other non-lethal equipment, including community policing and protection training. Police posts and stations have been constructed along the common Kenya-Somali border and in refugee-hosting areas. In addition to capital investments, UNHCR funds police operations from incentives to fuel repairs and maintenance.

Impact:

  1. Improvement of the general security situation in areas of operation, sustained access to asylum and continuity of humanitarian operations.
  2. Reinforcement of the security infrastructure (numerous police stations including police barracks constructed) in North Eastern Kenya which would continue to benefit host communities after the departure of refugees.
  3. Improvement of working relationships among the Government of Kenya, people of Kenya and the UN (international community).

National Safe Spaces Network

Country or region: Guatemala, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 1
Actors: UNHCR, Persons of concern
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

The National Safe Spaces Network in Guatemala is comprised of 8 physical safe spaces and 12 protection points with mobile services, including spaces exclusive to LGBTI and UAC. The Network provides information on the right to seek asylum, humanitarian assistance, as well as national and cross-border referrals to protection mechanisms. Main beneficiaries are persons in transit with international protection needs, asylum-seekers, returnees and persons at heightened risk. It ensures that persons of concern are given a safe space to rest and be given advice on their best legal option, as well as assistance and referrals where needed. The roll out of innovative data collection tools (Kobo Toolbox) within the National Protection Network improved the collection and analysis of profiles and trends in the transit through Guatemala. Kobo Toolbox is a data collection system that can be easily operated through smartphones, including in areas with poor or none internet connectivity. The collection of data can be done offline and, once connectivity is available, data is stored in a cloud and compiled at central level. Reception in a context of Mixed Migration flows: non-detention policy combined with issuance of a 3 day pass permit to persons in transit, some of which have international protection needs but prefer to seek asylum elsewhere. The first LGBTI safe space of all NCA was established in Guatemala and provides information on the right to seek asylum, humanitarian assistance and referrals to protection mechanisms. It is a fully age, gender, diversity (AGD) sensitive space.

Living the Integration

Country or region: Costa Rica, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 3
Actors: UNHCR, Chamber of Commerce, Migration Authority, NGO's, Private sector, Public Sector
CRRF Objectives: Objective 1, Objective 2

“Living Integration” is a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme that aims to engage public and private sectors to develop job placement and job readiness for refugees and asylum seekers. The Institutions actively involved in this programme are the Chambers of Commerce, Chamber of Industry, Diverse Chamber of Commerce, Migration Authority, UNHCR and partner agency Women Foundation. This program provides opportunities for people of concern to connect with the labour market in Costa Rica. Living Integration also includes a Quality Seal to certify those organizations that work in favour of refugees and asylum seekers in Costa Rica. Living Integration Quality Seal is based on ISO 2600 and is designed to trace Human Rights compliance in five different categories, public sector, private sector, Academia, civil society organizations and municipalities. The Quality Seal will be awarded every year as part of World Refugee Day activities.

MoU between UNHCR, GoCR and IOM

Country or region: Costa Rica, Americas
CRRF Pillar: Pillar 4
Actors: Goverment, UNHCR, IOM
CRRF Objectives: Objective 3

In recent years, the North of Central America (NCA) has suffered a drastic increase in the levels of violence by organized crime groups. Following the guiding principles of the Brazil Declaration and Action Plan and as an initiative to support regional efforts to create alternatives in response to the increased protection needs in the NCA, the Government of Costa Rica, UNHCR and IOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 2016 to serve as a transit country for persons fleeing violence in the NCA region, already identified for resettlement to a third country. As per the MoU up to 200 persons are allowed to be present in Costa Rica at any given moment and their stay will be for a maximum of 6 months.
This programme provides an opportunity for the beneficiaries to receive proper medical attention, psychosocial support and English lessons, in a very peaceful environment, through one of UNHCR´s partner agencies, while in transit in Costa Rica.


  • European Commission
    This was created and maintained with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
  • German Humanitarian Assistance