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Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Executive Committee Meetings

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1 January 1975

United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-ninth Session

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/9612)


1. The period under review1 has witnessed the accomplishment of many of the tasks with which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been confronted, particularly in the field of material assistance. These have included the provision of emergency aid to many new refugees in Africa and Latin America, the completion of the United Nations immediate relief programme in southern Sudan, of which UNHCR had acted as coordinator,2 and the assistance programme for Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality. In acting, furthermore, as executing agent for the repatriation of displaced persons in the South Asian subcontinent, a responsibility entrusted to him in September 1973, the High Commissioner helped some 200,000 persons return to their respective countries by 31 March of this year.3

2. The fulfilment of these additional responsibilities was made possible largely through the understanding and goodwill of an increasing number of States, the co-operation of the authorities directly concerned - both governmental and local - and the support of other members of the United Nations system and of non-governmental organizations, each of which has participated in the work of UNHCR according to their respective expertise, experience and means. The presence of UNHCR country regional representatives in some 60 countries around the globe has also enabled the Office to act swiftly as needs arose, especially in areas where new refugee problems have emerged. The efforts of UNHCR have also benefited from the support of a general public which has been made more aware of the problems faced by refugees and displaced persons.

3. Despite the generally favourable results described above, efforts must, however, continue and increase to help the new refugees become self-supporting; this will imply substantial financial assistance to meet their immediate needs until longer-term solutions can be found to their problems.

4. With regard to international protection, the prime function of UNHCR and the cornerstone of the work of assistance to refugees, positive developments have mainly comprised new accessions to the legal instruments relating to refugee status and the entry into force of several of these instruments. Despite these achievements of a general character, individual refugees have been confronted with very serious legal problems in several countries, as will be seen in chapter I below. In several cases, fundamental rights enshrined in international agreements have not been fully respected by the contracting parties. Under the relevant General Assembly resolutions, however, the mandate of the High Commissioner's Office extends, without distinction, to all refugees within his competence and it is his duty to ensure the 14002 protection of each of them.

5. At a time when equality of rights, social justice, non-discrimination and rights in general are of uppermost concern, the international community is entitled to expect that the terms of the legal instruments it has adopted on the entitled to status of refugees should be observed in letter and in spirit - whether applied to groups or to isolated cases - particularly by countries which have acceded to these instruments and have pledged support to the work of UNHCR. For it is through strict observance of these legal provisions that the competent authorities can provide concrete proof of the sympathetic attitude shown by Member States towards persons of concern to UNHCR. This would also ensure that each refugee derived full benefit from the material assistance provided at the cost of considerable sacrifice by host countries and other contributing countries. It would represent, finally, the decisive step towards a continuing convergence of the aims pursued, both by the international community as a whole and by individual States, in seeking to ensure satisfactory legal status and living standards for all men, women and children who, for reasons not of their making, experience the sad fate of refugee.


A. Introductory remarks

6. The emergence of new refugee problems in Latin America, the continuous influx of new refugees in Africa and the increasing problems of individual cases called for considerable activity in the field of international protection. The strengthening of UNHCR representation where necessary, interventions by the High Commissioner and senior staff, and the co-operation received from other agencies and governmental authorities contributed to meeting the new challenge.

7. The tragic problems facing an increasing number of individual refugees have become a major concern of UNHCR. Whereas new refugees are often readily admitted to a country of refuge in large numbers as a group, individual persons often face insurmountable obstacles in being granted asylum, the right of residence and the right to work. There have been, since the beginning of 1973, several known cases of expulsion of refugees to their country of origin, in breach of article 33 of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951,4 involving in some instances very serious consequences for the refugees concerned and their families. It is furthermore exceedingly difficult for UNHCR to obtain information in respect of all such cases, so that the total number of persons affected may be even greater. This confirms previous experience that, for a refugee, admission and the right to remain in a country of refuge may be a matter of life or death.

8. The High Commissioner in keeping with the responsibility entrusted to him by the General Assembly under the terms of his Statute and taking into account the obligations assumed by States parties to the 1951 Convention and the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees of 1967,5 considered it his duty to bring to the attention of the Assembly this fundamental problem. The High Commissioner appeals to all States to ensure that the principles of asylum and non-refoulement are fully respected on their territory, in accordance with the basic principles of humanitarian law, including the provisions of the 1951 Convention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

9. On the positive side, there have been further accessions to basic legal instruments concerning refugees, in particular the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Convention concerning Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa of 19696 which entered into force in November 1973. A constructive interest in the human rights of refugees continued to be shown in the non-governmental sector. Thus, at the sixth World Conference on World Peace through Law, held at Abidjan in August 1973, which grouped judges and lawyers from many countries, the human rights of refugees were considered and specific resolutions adopted on such questions as asylum, family reunion, legal aid and treaties relating to refugees.

10. It is to be hoped that the steady improvements in the legal framework of the protection of refugees will be matched by effective practical measures on the part of States at both central and local levels for the benefit of refugees wherever they may be

B. International legal instruments concerning refugees

11. The reporting period has been characterized by additional accessions to the legal instruments which constitute the multilateral framework for UNHCR protection activities, by the coming into effect of the OAU Convention of 1969, and by the adoption of a Protocol extending the scope ratione personae of the 1957 Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen,7 to which four seafaring nations - Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden - have so far acceded.

12. Taking into account the universal character of the problems of refugees, it is essential that the greatest possible number of Governments throughout the world should be parties to the 1951 Convention, the 1967 Protocol and other legal instruments, which are listed in annex I to this report. This will strengthen the impact of these instruments, improve the position of ref gees and create greater awareness of their legal problems. It is to be hoped that further accessions will be forthcoming, in particular on the part of Governments which have already admitted large numbers of refugees to their territory. It would also be helpful if Governments which, at the time of acceding, found it necessary to make reservations in respect of certain clauses were able to waive those reservations, as has already been done by some Governments.

13. One of the most significant events was the coming into effect in November 1973 of the OAU Convention concerning Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa of 1969. As shown in annex I, seven African States had acceded to the Convention by 31 March 1973, followed since then by a further seven States, i.e., Algeria, Dahomey, Ethiopia, Guinea, the Sudan, Zaire and Zambia, bringing the number of parties to 14, thereby enabling the Convention to enter into force. This is all the more important since Africa is the continent with the largest number of refugees within the competence of UNHCR, i.e., approximately 1 million. The OAU Convention which constitutes a regional complement to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, will serve as an additional basis for the protection of refugees in Africa. It provides, inter alia., that the granting of asylum should not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any State and that no person should be subjected by a Member State to measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion, .which would compel him to return to or remain in a territory where his life, physical integrity or liberty would be threatened. As in the case of other basic legal instruments concerning refugees, it is to be hoped that many more States in Africa, including in particular those with a large refugee population on their territory, will accede to this instrument.

14. The signature of a Protocol extending the scope ratione personae of the 1957 Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen, and accession to it by four States, are significant in the sense that this Protocol will eventually enable refugee seamen who acquired refugee status as a result of events occurring after 1951 to benefit from the Agreement in the same way as they now benefit from the 1951 Convention. A further four accessions are required to bring the Protocol into force. In addition to benefiting the refugees concerned, the Protocol constitutes another important step towards the adjustment of the existing legal framework for the protection of refugees to the new refugee situations which have arisen since 1951.

15. Another important development was the deposit, in December 1973, of. the sixth instrument of accession to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,8 which will enable it to come into effect two years later, i.e., in December 1975. As explained in the paragraphs below concerning the effects of nationality, this Convention will help to avoid the perpetuation of refugee status, since it provides for the acquisition by operation of law of the nationality of a contracting State by children born of stateless parents in its territory.

1. Implementation of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol

16. In his report to the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session,9 the High Commissioner emphasized the importance, often stressed by the Executive Committee, of international instruments being translated into practical legal measures through appropriate domestic legislation. This is particularly true of the basic instruments concerning refugees, the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol.

17. The questionnaire on the subject, which was sent in 1970 to the Governments parties to the 1951 Convention and to the 1967 Protocol, had, as of 31 March 1974, elicited a total of 37 replies from the listed below,10 as against 36 replies a year ago. The High Commission is grateful to the Governments concerned for the valuable information they have provided in their replies, some of which may need to be supplemented at age by further data concerning the practical implementation of the legal regulations that have been adopted. Among the countries from which replies are still due there are several important countries of reception in some of which sizable assistance programmes have been or are being put into effect for refugees. The High Commissioner trusts that the outstanding 30 replies from these countries will be forthcoming as soon as possible so that he may be able to report in greater detail on the legal position of refugees in all the countries parties to the Convention and to the Protocol.

2. Asylum and related problems

18. The principles relating to asylum, including non-refoulement,11 are of capital importance for refugees. On their strict observance depends the fate of a man who has to flee his country and his home, sometimes leaving behind his family and all he possesses, in search of a country where he can live in freedom. There are cases when the granting of asylum may make the difference between life and death. The High Commissioner therefore attaches great importance to the principles relating to asylum and non-expulsion.

19. Man has concerned himself with the problems of asylum since the dawn of history. Provisions on the subject have been included in the constitutions and ordinary legislation of many States. As shown in more detail in recent issues of the United Nations Yearbook on Human Rights, a growing number of States are devoting their attention to the concepts of asylum and non-refoulement. In most cases, however, the relevant legislation does not provide for the granting of asylum as an inherent right of individual applicants. During the period under review, the Canadian Parliament adopted an Act providing that the deportation of an alien may by suspended - under a quasi-judicial procedure - on the specific ground that he is a refugee under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol. Provisions relating to asylum have also been included in the Yugoslav law on the movement and residence of aliens, promulgated on 31 January 1973.

20. The majority of States which are called upon to accept refugees on their territories have followed liberal policies in granting admission to refugees and have also observed the fundamental principle of non-expulsion, which constitutes an essential element of asylum.

21. Following the events which occurred in Chile in September 1973, the High Commissioner addressed an appeal to the Government of Chile that refugees in that country be adequately protected and on no account be expelled to their country of origin. Assurances were subsequently received from the Government to the effect that the provisions of the 1951 Convention and of the 1967 Protocol, to which it is a party, would be fully respected. The authorities agreed to the establishment of "safe havens" run by a national committee which included representatives of the churches, where refugees who wished to leave the country could receive the necessary assistance and protection pending their departure.

22. On the negative side, in a few States located in various parts of the world, many individual refugees were either refused asylum or, once admitted, were forcibly returned to their country of origin, in some cases by mutual agreement between the two countries. In a number of instances known to this Office, this procedure, which is in breach of article 33 of the 1951 Convention, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and of basic principles of humanitarian has had tragic repercussions on the fate of the refugees and of their relatives. In one known instance refugees were taken back against their will from their country of asylum to their country of origin by emissaries of the latter. It is regrettable indeed that the favourable record of States which are as a rule prepared to accept large numbers of refugees should be blemished by a number of isolated cases in which the most elementary human rights have been denied to refugees.

23. As in previous years serious difficulties have also arisen in respect of individual asylum seekers who fulfilled the criteria of refugees under the Statute but were admitted in transit only. These refugees are obliged to seek a second and sometimes a third country prepared to admit them on a more permanent basis. For them, the term "refugees in orbit" has regrettably come to be an only too apt description. If they are unable to move on, their presence is frequently considered unlawful and, as a result, they may be subjected to measures of constraint and even detention involving particular hardship. Such persons have an urgent need to have their situation regularized in their first country of asylum - if only on humanitarian grounds - until such time as they are able to gain lawful admission to another country.

24. The foregoing examples illustrate the importance of the strict application of existing provisions concerning asylum and non-refoulement and the adoption by the international community of more effective provisions on the subject. These already exist in the OAU Convention of 1969, which has recently entered into force, and further steps to protect the right of asylum are also being explored in the Council of Europe. Furthermore, the desirability of a draft convention on territorial asylum in the framework of the United Nations was brought to the attention of the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session. In accordance with the wish expressed in the Assembly, the High Commissioner undertook consultations with Governments on this draft convention and reported on their results at the twenty-eighth session.12 He has pursued his consultations during the period under-review and will report the results to the Assembly. A favourable response on the part of Governments leading to the adoption of a convention on territorial asylum will no doubt contribute to the strict observance of the principles of asylum and non-expulsion on a more universal basis than heretofore.

3. Determination of refugee status

25. An important condition for the regularization of the situation of asylum seekers is frequently the determination of their refugee status within the framework of specially established procedures. Such procedures are of particular importance due to the special problems facing the asylum seeker. The latter is by nature an uprooted person who finds himself in a new environment and may have psychological and language difficulties in putting forward his case. Procedures for the determination of refugee status take these special problems into account and ensure that asylum requests are examined by specially qualified personnel having the necessary knowledge and understanding of legal and human elements involved. Such procedures therefore further facilitate the effective application of the concept of asylum. They have already been established in a number of countries in varying forms, having regard to the particular legal and administrative structure. In many cases, UNHCR is associated with their activities.

26. Further progress has been made in this field. Thus, in June 1973, the Eligibility Commission established in Senegal, pursuant to the law of August 1968 and a Decree of July 1972, held its inaugural meeting. Further meetings have been held subsequently and the procedure appears to be working satisfactorily. UNHCR is represented on the Commission in an observer capacity. In a number of other countries, the establishment of procedures for the determination of refugee status is under active consideration.

4. 'The effects of nationality

27. As explained in the report to the twenty-eighth session,13 by acquiring the nationality of his country of residence, the refugee ceases to be a refugee whereas, on the other hand, a person who loses his nationality may find himself deprived of national protection and, in some cases, of any protection, and may thus become the concern of the international community. This explains the importance attached to measures likely to facilitate acquisition by a refugee of the nationality of his country of residence and to measures which provide for the reduction of statelessness.

28. As to the first question, preliminary statistical data show that, in 1973, at least 101,000 refugees within the competence of UNHCR were granted the nationality of the country of permanent residence. Increasing facilities for naturalization have been provided or are under consideration in some of the countries with a large refugee population in Africa. Thus, for example, at the beginning of this year, naturalization fees were waived for 100 refugees who were granted Burundi nationality.

29. In keeping with article 34 of the 1951 Convention, facilities for the naturalization of refugees have been included by a number of States in their legislation. It is equally important, however, that these facilities, as well as the sometimes complex procedures involved, be brought to the attention of the refugees. The voluntary agencies, whose representatives are in close touch with the refugees, have a constructive role to play in this respect.

30. As for the reduction of statelessness, the 1961 Convention on this subject14 will contribute towards eliminating the perpetuation of refugee status in States parties to this Convention, since it provides for the acquisition by operation of law of the nationality of a contracting State by children born of stateless parents in its territory. It is to be hoped that many more accessions to this instrument will be forthcoming, especially on the part of States whose nationality legislation is based on jus sanguinis, where a person's nationality is based on that of his parents and does not depend on his place of birth.

31. Another legal instrument which concerns both refugees and stateless persons other than refugees is the Convention of 1954 relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.15 This Convention defines the basic rights of stateless persons by provisions similar to those of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It is of importance for stateless refugees who may find themselves in a country which has not yet become a party to the 1951 Convention. One further State, Australia, became a party to this Convention during the reporting period, thus bringing the number of parties to it to 28

5. The issue of travel and identity documents

32. Further progress has been made in regard to the issue of travel documents to refugees in accordance with article 28 of the 1951 Convention. Australia, having previously withdrawn its reservation to article 28, began issuing Convention travel documents in August 1973. The United States of America, which had previously adopted the necessary implementing legislation, started, issuing Convention travel documents during the same month. Rwanda, although not yet a party to the Convention, has decided to issue travel documents to refugees in the form of a laissez-passer giving them the right to return to Rwanda within a period of six months. Ethiopia has decided to issue refugees with identity cards and exit and entry visas at minimum fees in keeping with the provisions of the 1951-Convention.

33. UNHCR continues its efforts to promote the issue of travel and identity documents to refugees. It maintains contact with the United Nations Council for Namibia for putting into effect arrangements whereby the Office can co-operate with the Council with respect to the issue of the Councils travel documents.

6. Family reunion

34. The plea of refugees to be reunited with their close family members from whom they have been separated has continued to cause great concern in view of the obvious humanitarian considerations involved. The Office has continued to take a close interest in this matter, having regard in particular to the commendation contained in the Final Act of the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons16 which adopted the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. In this Recommendation (recommendation B) the Conference called upon Governments to take the necessary measures for the protection of the refugee's family, especially with a view to ensuring that the unity of the refugee's family is maintained, particularly in cases where the head of the family has fulfilled the necessary conditions for admission to a particular country. The question of family reunion was considered by a meeting of experts especially convened for the purpose and held at San Remo (Italy) in June 1973 under the auspices of the International Institute of humanitarian Law. It was also discussed at the sixth World Conference on World Peace through Law, held at Abidjan in August 1973, which adopted a special resolution on the subject. The High Commissioner renews his appeal to Governments to support his efforts to promote the reunion of separated refugee families.

7. Indemnification

35. UNHCR continued to allocate payments from the Residual Indemnification Fund to refugees who had suffered persecution under the national-socialist regime by reason of their nationality. This operation, based on agreements between UNHCR and the Federal Republic of Germany, is now nearing completion. It is expected that a final distribution of the remaining funds to qualifying beneficiaries, essentially hardship cases, will be made in the near future.

36. As at 31 March 1974, an amount of $US 2,353,055 had been awarded out of the Residual Indemnification Fund to 3,084 beneficiaries who had been refugees in the sense of the 1951 Convention at any time between 8 May-1945 and 31 December 1965 even if between these two dates, they had acquired a new nationality. The money made available for UNHCR for these payments accrued from reimbursements by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany. in respect of persons who first received payments under either of the two earlier UNHCR funds,17 but were subsequently found to qualify for larger payments under German indemnification legislation. As at 31 March 1974, 16,220 persons had benefited from the three funds and payments awarded totalled over $16,213,000. As regards the indemnification, under legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany of refugees persecuted under the national-socialist regime by reason of their nationality, DM 265,838,612 had been awarded to 5,647 persons as at 31 March 1974.


A. Introductory remarks

37. Despite the large-scale influx of new refugees in several countries of Africa and the new problems arising in Latin America, the UNHCR regular programme of material assistance for 1973 was carried out much as planned, the emergency relief required by the new refugees being provided through the co-operative attitude of Governments, the generosity of several traditional donors, and the flexible use of funds available to UNHCR. The main objective in the field of material assistance remained that of promoting permanent and speedy solutions to the problems of refugees, as recommended in past resolutions of the General Assembly, and notably in resolution 2956 (XXVII) of 12 December 1972. As a result of these efforts, over 285,000 refugees benefited from UNHCR assistance in 1973, as indicated in annex II, table 1, an increase of over 55,000 as compared with the previous year.

38. Voluntary repatriation played a considerable role in contributing to the achievement of permanent solutions. An estimated total of 110,000 persons within the competence of UNHCR returned to their homes in 1973, including some 100,000 Sudanese. In addition, the return of an estimated 500,000 Sudanese displaced within the Sudan, which started in 1972, was by and large completed in 1973. Of commitments totalling over $445,000 under the 1973 Programme to facilitate repatriation, a large share was used to cover the transportation cost of over 45,000 of these Sudanese returnees, within the framework of the United Nations immediate relief programme in southern Sudan. Full details of the role played by UNHCR in coordinating this programme are given in the High Commissioner's final report on assistance to southern Sudanese returnees and displaced persons (E/5483), submitted to the Economic and Social Council at its fifty-seventh session. In accordance with the basic principles governing the work of UNHCR, every effort was made to ensure the voluntary character of repatriation. In the case of the large-scale movements which took place from the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire, the Office was represented on the tripartite Repatriation Commission, which comprised representatives of the country of residence and of the country of origin and which was responsible for helping to organize the return of the Sudanese.

39. While applicable to a more limited number of persons, resettlement through migration, for which an amount of some $393,000 was committed in 1973, constituted the most appropriate solution for refugees in certain countries in Africa, Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and Latin America. Resettlement needs in the latter area became particularly urgent towards the end of 19 3, and immigration restrictions were waived by several countries in favour of the refugees concerned. Widespread sympathy was also demonstrated by a number of Governments in response to the appeals made by UNHCR with a view to the admission of Uganda Asians, as described in chapter III. In view, however, of the problems still facing refugees in certain areas, further efforts will be required in t he field of resettlement to ensure that immigration opportunities keep pace with demand, notably through speedier processing of applications and through the provision of statement opportunities in European countries for refugees who cannot gain admission countries of traditional immigration. It would, furthermore, be helpful if more countries were to pledge their participation in the "Ten or More Plan", proposed by UNHCR at the end of 1973 to promote the admission of handicapped refugees to countries where permanent homes and appropriate care can be offered to them.

40. Local integration has once more constituted the main solution for the majority of refugees assisted: some 210,000, mostly in Africa, benefited in 1973 from this form of assistance,, which claimed the major share (some $5,365,000) of total financial commitments under the UNHCR Programme. This number was substantially higher than in 1972, in view of the considerable influx of new refugees. In Africa, the assistance given by UNHCR was mainly in the form of help to settle on the land, as described more fully in section B below. In other areas, UNHCR help towards local settlement was geared to enabling refugees to integrate within their host communities and, ultimately, to enjoy the same conditions of life as nationals.

41. Counselling, as well as educational assistance, proved of increasing importance in 1973 in helping refugees to integrate, particularly those living in urban areas in Africa, whose numbers and problems have increased considerably. Counselling services to help refugees find appropriate solutions to their problems are being progressively developed, in particular in Africa. Commitments for such projects totalled some $120,000 in 1973. Educational assistance was provided to enable an increasing number of refugees to attend primary schools and to benefit from post-primary education and vocational training. Grants from the Education Account for the purpose of post-primary education totalled some $785,000-

42. Legal assistance in an amount of $78,000, was provided to a number of refugees, especially in Europe and Latin America, often enabling them to regularize their status and overcome administrative problems which delayed their full integration. An essential element of this form of aid has been the defense of refugees in courts. Pending the realization of more durable solutions, supplementary aid in an amount of over $255,000 was given to needy cases in many countries, especially the aged, infirm and otherwise handicapped.

43. As shown in annex II, table 2, total commitments under the UNHCR Programme for 1973, amounting to $7,582,718, were supplemented by allocations from the Emergency Fund for immediate relief, and by trust funds mainly contributed by Governments for essential, complementary, assistance projects, including those financed from the Education Account. In addition, sizable supporting contributions to UNHCR projects were made from within countries of reception. The indicative figure of over $5,000,000 is based on an assessment of the support provided mainly by the World Food Programme (WEP), by non-governmental organizations and also includes identifiable public services and contributions in kind made available by Governments.

44. In view of the considerable influx of new refugees, which had already begun in 1972, the financial target adopted for 1974 by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme was set at $8,739,000 (as against $7,839,40 for 1973). As shown in the country-by-country list given in annex II, tab! 40, the most substantial allocations are intended for rural settlement projects in the United Republic of Tanzania and in Zambia. Further financial arrangements of some magnitude will be required to meet the problems arising from the assistance and resettlement needs of new refugees in Latin America.

B. Assistance to refugees in Africa

1. General developments

45. The number of refugees in Africa was estimated at approximately 1 million as of 31 December 1973.

46. One of the major developments of the year was the return of some 100,000 Sudanese18 to their country, described in more detail in the section entitled "Voluntary repatriations' below. Reference has already been made in the general introduction to this report to the role of UNHCR in facilitating this movement. It involved a large-scale return of Sudanese from the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire, which subsequently enabled UNHCR to decrease further its assistance activities in these countries and, in the case of the Central African Republic, to close the UNHCR Regional Office.

47. Additional assistance, on the other hand, was required for the increasing number of Burundi refugees. By the end of 1973 their number had reached some 133,000, including 90,000 in the United Republic of Tanzania, 35,000 in Zaire and 8,000 in Rwanda. Emergency aid, including the provision of food, shelter, medicines and basic equipment, was provided to new arrivals in the course of the year, pending the conclusion of arrangements for their longer-term settlement on the land, either in existing or in new rural settlements, in consultation with the Governments concerned.

48. A further development in 1973 was the continued influx of refugees from various countries in southern Africa, whose number increased by approximately 13,000. By the end of the year, refugees from Mozambique were estimated to have reached over 59,000 in the United Republic of Tanzania, and 10,000 in Zambia. The number of Angolan refugees, estimated at 400,000 in Zaire, increased in Zambia from some 17,000 to 22,000, while that of Namibians reached 3,500, the great majority in Zambia. Close contact is being further developed by UNHCR with OAU and the liberation movements in Africa with a view to providing aid to refugees from the colonial territories through institutions linked with those movements.

49. It should be added that, besides the assistance provided by UNHCR in 1973 to these refugees under the annual assistance Programme, additional funds for their benefit were again channelled through UNHCR from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa ($80,000), and from the Special Trust Fund for Namibia ($10,000). Consideration has been given, moreover, to further arrangements to enable refugees from Southern Rhodesia applying to UNHCR for assistance to receive the necessary aid.

50. Another development causing concern to UNHCR in 1973 was the deterioration of living conditions of refugees living individually in urban areas. To alleviate their plight, increased efforts were made by UNHCR to provide not only subsistence allowances, but to offer improved counselling services and to increase educational and employment opportunities, as described in later sections.

Voluntary repatriation

51. The repatriation of Sudanese continued at an accelerated rate in 1973. Of those who returned to their homes from countries neighbouring the Sudan, estimated in 1973 at 100,000, 45,500 were repatriated with UNHCR financial assistance from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Zaire, as shown in annex II, table 1. This assistance was mainly to defray the cost of transportation, including that of an airlift for the aged and physically handicapped. Another estimated 5,000 refugees of various origin also returned to their homes in Africa.

52. Commitments under the 1973 Programme for assistance towards repatriation in Africa totalled $433,000, including over $425,000 for the repatriation of Sudanese.


53. The number of refugees in Africa resettled with UNHCR assistance in 1973 amounted approximately to 300. The difficulties underlying the resettlement, through migration, of such refugees have long been a matter of concern to UNHCR and to the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, with which close co-operation is maintained. These difficulties are linked to lack of employment opportunities in potential countries of resettlement and have given risen to problems of increasing gravity in recent years, with the increased proportion of urban refugees among the total refugee population.

54. Intensified efforts to overcome these problems were made by UNHCR in 1973, in consultation with OAU. Special attention was given in this respect to achieving effective implementation of the resolution adopted in 1972 by the Council of Ministers of OAU,19 which invited member States to make specific provisions, inter alia, for the employment of African refugees, on the basis of an annual quota. Furthermore, a plan of action for securing suitable openings for refugees within a reasonable period of time was discussed at a recent seminar of BPEAR correspondents, held at Addis Ababa in December 1973.

Local settlement

55. As in previous years, help in enabling refugees to establish themselves in agriculture, mostly within organized rural settlements, formed the major component of UNHCR assistance programmes in Africa in 1973.

56. As indicated in annex II, table I, some 210,000 refugees benefited from this form of assistance in 1973. This number was higher by one third than in the previous year, owing mainly to the large number of new arrivals and to the transfer to rural settlements of refugees hitherto living among the local population, especially in border areas. Financial commitments for this purpose under the 1973 Assistance Programme totalled over $4,220,000, representing the major part of total funds, amounting to some $5,125,000 committed for assistance projects in Africa. This assistance was supplemented by allocations totalling nearly $500,000 from the Emergency Fund to help meet the immediate needs of new refugees. Despite the shortage of supplies, the United Nations/FAO World Food Programme succeeded in providing considerable food supplies to assist refugees during the initial settlement process, pending the harvest of their first crops.

57. The major movements of refugees within the African continent, as described in an earlier section, have inevitably affected the pattern of land settlement assistance provided by UNHCR in the course of the year. With the large-scale return home of Sudanese, assistance to the settlements they had inhabited in the former countries of asylum (Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire) was restricted to immediate needs, before being phased out. The installations and equipment which had been used were then transferred to the Government concerned for use by the local population, in some cases in the framework of regional development plans.

58. The continued influx of Burundi refugees, mainly into Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire, made it necessary, on the other hand, for UNHCR to expand existing settlements or open new ones to accommodate the new arrivals. Similar measures were also called for to meet the needs of new refugees from colonial territories and of those newly transferred to settlements.

59. Although the number and location of the rural settlements assisted by UNHCR may have varied through changing circumstances, the basic features of land settlement have, however, remained constant. The main objective has continued to be that of enabling the refugees to attain self-sufficiency as rapidly as possible an aim based not only on obvious, economic reasons, but above all on considerations of the longer-term needs and aspirations of the individuals concerned. Details of specific measures to achieve this goal are given in the country descriptions which follow. They include the initial distribution of tools, seeds and land for cultivation, the construction of schools, health centres, warehouses and other essential buildings, and the general development, as far as possible on a self-help basis, of communal amenities including roads and water supply. The formation or extension of co-operatives, especially for the sale of produce, has also continued to be encouraged.

60. The support of Governments of countries of reception in helping to improve the infrastructure and communal services in settlement areas was again of major importance in 1973. A financial assessment of their supporting contributions is given in annex II, table 2. In addition, many of UNHCR land settlement projects benefited from the active co-operation of several members of the United Nations system and of voluntary agencies.

61. The progress of the rural settlement projects financially assisted by UNHCR was generally satisfactory in 1973, despite some setbacks owing to delays in implementation and, in some cases, to adverse climatic conditions, mainly drought. Their development is reflected in the profits derived by the refugees in several settlements from the sale of their crops and produce. In several cases, progress was sufficient to permit total or partial withdrawal of international assistance with a corresponding take-over of responsibility by the Government of the country of asylum.

Education and training

62. As in past years, UNHCR programmes of educational assistance have been carried out with the technical advice of UNESCO specialists seconded to the Office.

63. Assistance in the field of primary education was an important component of land settlement projects financed from the 1973 Programme. This assistance mainly comprised help to construct, extend and repair primary schools in the rural settlements and to meet initial running costs until such time as this responsibility could be assumed by the Governments concerned. With the arrival in 1973 of large numbers of new refugees, school facilities in several settlements had to be substantially increased. In addition, refugee. children living outside settlements and more particularly in urban areas have been helped individually to attend schools and thus benefit from the same opportunity as local children.

64. At the post-primary level, assistance was again given by UNHCR through the Education Account. As a result of the. increased need for such assistance, expenditure from the Account totalled some $730,000 in 1973, as against $560,000 in the preceding year. These funds helped to meet the construction and running costs of several post-primary schools, including the construction of the Teranga School in Ziguinchor (Senegal), constituting the largest single project financed in 1973 through the Education Account, of which details may be found in the section on Senegal below. They also served to provide individual refugees with scholarships, mainly for secondary education, but also for vocational training and university courses. As in previous years, the main concern of UNHCR in this respect has been to encourage refugee students to choose courses of study which correspond to manpower needs in Africa, as determined by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). This policy was designed not only to facilitate the employment and integration of each beneficiary, in co-operation with the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, but also to ensure that refugees could subsequently contribute to the general development in Africa.

65. Refugees from colonial territories again counted among the beneficiaries of UNHCR Education Account scholarships. These were awarded in accordance with the respective areas of competence as defined under the Agreement concluded in 1972 between UNHCR and the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa.


66. Mention has been made in previous reports of the Problems encountered by individual refugees, particularly those of non-agricultural background living in urban areas, with regard to employment, education and resettlement. The lack of opportunity in these sectors, combined in many cases with rising costs, has led to much discouragement and frustration and has made the need for effective, qualified counselling the more acute.

67. In an effort to meet this need, UNHCR appointed a social consultant in the course of the year, who is visiting capital cities in Africa in order to assess needs and promote appropriate counselling facilities.

68. UNHCR has also continued to help develop the counselling services which now exist in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Senegal and the United Republic of Tanzania. These services, which function in conjunction with governmental departments and voluntary agencies, offer invaluable help to refugees in a variety of ways, including advice and assistance with local integration, resettlement, repatriation, education and administrative matters. A sum of approximately $100,000 was committed under the 1973 Programme in support of these services.

69. The improvement and promotion of the refugee counselling services remains a primary objective of UNHCR. These services provide refugees with the guidance and assistance they need in finding durable solutions to their problems, rather than relying on short-term aid which can offer but limited hope for the future.

2. Main developments in various countries


70. A slow but steady influx of approximately 4,000 new refugees from Rwanda took place between November 1972 and May 1973. The total number of refugees in Burundi, all of Rwandese origin, was some 49,000 by the end of that year.

71. The new arrivals, most of whom were provisionally accommodated in or around Bujumbura, were provided with immediate aid in the form of food, shelter, medical care, equipment and household goods, at a cost of $150,000 from the Emergency Fund. Some 2,500 of these refugees were subsequently transported to rural settlements at Muramba and Bukemba. An amount of more than $70,000 was committed under the UNHCR Programme to provide them with tools, seeds and other essential equipment, as well as food rations while awaiting their first harvests. Those remaining in Bujumbura, mainly students and persons in search of employment, received immediate assistance from NTHCR in the form of grants until more durable solutions could be found. Projects covering these forms of assistance were implemented by Caritas Internationals (International Confederation of Catholic Charities).

72. Relatively little assistance was required in 1973 by the 45,000 Rwandese refugees who have been living in Burundi since 1964, of whom some 22,000 are living in four organized settlements and who are, on the whole, self-supporting, The water supply was, however, still deficient owing to difficulties encountered by the Government in maintaining the amenities which UNHCR had previously helped to install. Individual refugees in urban areas, especially the aged and handicapped whose needs remain the most acute, received various forms of aid.

73. Assistance was also given by UNHCR to help meet running costs of primary schools in the rural settlements and of one secondary school in Bujumbura.

74. Commitments under the 1973 Programme for assistance to refugees in Burundi totalled nearly $110,000, used mainly for local settlement as described earlier. This amount also included a sum of $35,000 for various forms of aid to individual refugees, mainly in urban areas. Financial assistance was also given to facilitate the establishment by Caritas Internationals of a counselling service to help the new arrivals. Grants in an amount of $110,000 from the Education Account were also provided to over 700 Rwandese refugees, including a number of the new arrivals, for studies at the secondary and university levels. These were administered by the World University Service.

Central African Republic

75. The number of refugees in the Central African Republic decreased in 10.73 from over 22,000 to less than 5,000, due to the repatriation of nearly 16,000 Sudanese refugees, following the Addis Ababa Agreement of February 1972. Those remaining comprised some 3,500 refugees from Zaire and 1,500 from Chad, most of whom have integrated with the local population.

76. The repatriation programme for tire Sudanese, which begun slowly in owing to difficult communications, following heavy rains, was in full swing by early 1973. From an allocation of $300,00,,) made available in 1972, vehicles were purchased or repaired, roads and bridges mended and an airlift organized for aged and infirm refugees. The programme was completed by the end of June 1973 thereby permitting the closure on 31 July 1973 of the UNHCR Regional Office at Bangui.

77. While organizing the refugees' departure, UNHCR continued to provide them with food, and to maintain the educational and health services at the M'Boki rural settlement where they had been living. Commitments for this purpose totalled $60,000 under the 1973 Programme. Upon the departure of the Sudanese, the installations and equipment of this settlement, which had benefited from the UNDP/FAO development assistance project for the province of Upper M'Bomou, were transferred to the Government of the Central African Republic. ,

78. Other assistance provided by UNHCR in 1973 included grants totalling some $10,000 from the Education Account to enable a number of Sudanese students to continue their secondary school studies. Small amounts to provide supplementary aid for clothing, food, medical care and other immediate needs were also made available from Programme funds, to individual refugees of various origins. Following the closure of the Bangui Regional Office, the UNDP resident representative in the Central African Republic undertook responsibility for administering funds required for outstanding refugee needs.


79. The number of refugees in Ethiopia, estimated at approximately 16,000 at the end of 1972, fell sharply in the course of the year to just over 5,000 as of 31 December 1973, owing to the large-scale Sudanese repatriation from Gambela. This led to the closure, on 31 May 1973, of the UNHCR suboffice at Gambela when installations were transferred to the Ethiopian authorities for use in a general development plan for the area.

80. There was, on the other hand, a continued influx into Ganduar of refugees from the northern areas of the Sudan: this group numbered approximately 5,000 at the end of the year. Relief assistance in the form of food and medical supplies was provided by UNHCR to these refugees, pending their voluntary repatriation or transfer to a new settlement at a suitable site to be made available by the Government.

81. Durable solutions continued to be sought to the problems of individual refugees living precariously in urban centres, notably Addis Ababa. Refugees in Ethiopia are granted work permits on the same conditions as nationals. There is, however, a serious lack of employment opportunities. The task of the Refugee Counselling Service, established by UNHCR in 1971 in conjunction with the World Council of Churches and the International University Exchange Fund, was particularly important in this context. Projects implemented by the Service included assistance with local settlement, counselling and supplementary aid. Educational assistance was also granted to over 200 refugee post-primary students in 1973.

82. Total commitments under the 1973 Programme amounted to nearly $160,000, including approximately $95,000 for local settlement assistance and $40,000 for supplementary aid projects. Commitments from special trust funds included over $40,000 in grants from the Education Account, and a special contributing of $25,000 for the establishment of a Government Refugee Bureau, for responsible coordinating refugee matters at the administrative level. Other trust commitments included an amount of $40,000 for relief aid for the refuge Ganduar. In addition, an allocation of $10,000 was made from the Emergency Fund to assist the Government in meeting the needs of refugees living in drought-stricken areas.


83. Owing to influxes into Kenya of refugees, individually or in small groups, from various African countries, the over-all number of refugees in Kenya .remained comparable to that of the previous year (2,400 as against 2,500), despite the repatriation of some 250 Sudanese.

84. UNHCR assistance in Kenya was focused mainly on offering guidance to these refugees and help in finding durable solutions to their problems, either through local integration or resettlement in another country. Commitments under the 1973 Programme for these projects totalled some $80,000, administered as in previous years by the Joint Refugee Services of Kenya.

85. Grants totalling nearly $70,000 were made available from the Education Account, enabling over 100 refugees to continue their post-primary studies in Kenya. A detailed review of needs at this level was begun in the course of the year in order to ensure that the assistance thus provided corresponds to the actual needs of the refugees.


86. The influx of refugees from Burundi continued in 1973, bringing the number of refugees in Rwanda at the end of the year to 8,000 compared with 4,000 at the end of 1972. The refugees were initially accommodate in a settlement opened for them in the East-Bugesera area and received food, blankets and other basic necessities. The League of Red Cross Societies and subsequently the Association Internationale de développement rural outre-mer (AIDR) implemented this project. However, as this site proved unsuitable, owing mainly to its proximity to the border, the refugees were subsequently moved further north to another location made available by the Government, at Mutara. UNHCR assistance to the new settlement was mainly directed to establishment in agriculture and the provision of educational and medical facilities.

87. Total commitments under the 1973 Programme for assistance projects in Rwanda amounted to some $765,000, of which nearly $675,000 was devoted to developing the rural settlements at East-Bugesera and, later, at Mutara. The latter amount also included some $155,000 for costs incurred as a result of the transfer. Smaller sums were committed under the Programme for multipurpose assistance to needy individual refugees. Grants under the Education Account amounted to over $15,000, helping at least 180 students to follow courses at the secondary and university levels.


88. The refugee population in Senegal was estimated to have reached 84,000 by the end of 1973, as against 82,000 at the end of the previous year. Most of refugees have settled in the Casamance region; in certain villages they represent a substantial percentage of the total population.

89. Owing, in part, to the severe drought affecting the country, the number of refugees at Dakar increased to 8,000. This influx caused new hardship in view of the lack of employment opportunities facing refugees already living in urban areas in Senegal. Assistance in meeting the immediate needs of these refugees was given by UNHCR through projects implemented by the National Committee for Aid to Refugees.

90. UNHCR assistance to refugees in rural areas was again aimed mainly at consolidating the settlement of those who had arrived since 1971. Support was also given to two mobile medical units operated by the Government which travel from village to village dispensing care. In the educational field, UNHCR helped finance the construction of 10 new classrooms and meet the salaries of teaching staff.

91. UNHCR Programme commitments for projects in Senegal totalled some $210,000 in 1973, mostly for local settlement assistance including the inland transportation of WFP supplies. Funds for projects outside the annual assistance Programme, channelled through UNHCR, included a grant of $200,000 from one Government for, the construction of the Teranga school in Ziguinchor. This school, for which equipment is provided by UNICEF, is administered by the Institut amitié, the socio-educative branch of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC); it will provide teaching in Portuguese. In addition, an earmarked contribution of $40,000 was made through TJDTIIC'R for the construction of a rural maternity hospital at Simbandi-Balante in the Casamance, which is due to open early in 1974. Grants totalling $24,000 were made from the Education Account for some 60 scholarships at the post-primary level. These were administered by tile World University Service.

92. An allocation of $1.0,000 was made available under the Emergency Fund for assistance to refugees affected by the drought this contribution was channelled through FAO, to complement the aid given by the Government of Senegal as well as other bilateral or multilateral support for this cause.


93. Taking into account approximately 2,000 new arrivals from Ethiopia and a downward revision of the over-all number of refugees from that country, the total number of refugees in the Sudan was estimated at 51,000 at the end of 1973, comprising 46,000 from Ethiopia and the remainder from Zaire.

94. As in previous years, UNHCR assistance to refugees in the Sudan aimed mainly at promoting their settlement on the land. In 1973 these activities were pursued concurrently with those of the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern region, to which fuller reference has earlier been made.

95. The assistance provided by UNHCR to the Qala-en-Nahal settlement for some 24,000 Ethiopian refugees, including the 2,000 above-mentioned new arrivals, mainly comprised measures of consolidation. Abundant crops of durra and sesame, as well as vegetables, were cultivated by the refugees. Additional agricultural equipment was purchased and pumps supplied for the water system, which is now fully operational. Eleven schools were functioning by the end of the year and wide-scale adult literacy campaigns were organized.

96. Delays have occurred in drilling for water, prior to the opening of a new settlement at, Esh Showak for non-settled Ethiopian refugees, some of whom have recently arrived, at Qala-en-Nahal, where they are living on a temporary basis, in excess of the settlement's regular refugee population. In consultation with the Government of the Sudan, ways are also being sought to facilitate the integration, mainly through local employment, of the 22,000 Ethiopian refugees living in the Tokar and Port Sudan area.

97. At the Rajaf settlement for refugees from Zaire, relatively large crops were produced for the first time on a co-operative basis. The production of charcoal brought additional income. Substantial supplies of equipment and medicines were provided by UNICEF for the new health centre on this settlement.

98. Total commitments under the 1973 Programme for assistance projects in Sudan amounted to some $395,000, of which $380,000 was devoted to local settlement assistance, supplemented by funds allocated under previous programmes and by World Food Programme supplies. Grants totalling $30,000 were provided under the Education Account to over 60 refugee students in 1973 for courses at the post primary level, including training in various trades and crafts at the Piastre Technical Institute.

99. An allocation of approximately $75,000 was made in July 1973 from the Emergency Fund to transport supplies which had been held up through floods and which were urgently needed by Sudanese returnees, as part of the final phase of the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern region.


100. The number of refugees in Uganda decreased from over 166,000 at the beginning of 1973 to 114,000 at the end of the year, mainly due to the large-scale Sudanese repatriation. Taking account of a new influx of 1,500 refugees from Rwanda, this total comprised some 74,000 Rwandese refugees, 34,000 Zairian, less than 6,000 Sudanese and a small number of refugees of various other origins, including some from southern Africa.

101. An important aspect of UNHCR activities in Uganda in 1973 was the assistance in the voluntary repatriation of the Sudanese of whom some 53,000 left Uganda in the course of the year, including 24,000 from rural settlements. UNHCR assistance to these settlements was thus limited to essential requirements, including some food rations pending the departure. Seven hundred Zairian refugees who had been living in the Nakapiripirit and Onigo settlements were transferred to Agago following the repatriation of the Sudanese and were provided with seeds and agricultural implements upon arrival.

102. UNHCR assistance to the settlements for Rwandese refugees was again aimed mainly at promoting communal activities, organized by the refugees themselves. These included the construction of houses for teaching staff, of roads and cattle dips, the formation or extension of co-operative societies for the sale of crops and the completion of the first phase of the water supply system at the Nakivale settlement. Immediate relief as provided to new arrivals Who entered the country in March 1973 and who were later transferred to existing rural settlements.

103. The needs of individual refugees in urban centres continued to cause considerable concern in view of the limited employment opportunities. Efforts were made, sometimes successfully, to place those possessing the necessary qualifications in administrative posts within the Ugandan Civil Service. Supplementary aid was provided to others, some of whom decided to settle in existing rural settlements.

104. Of the total amount of approximately $510,000 committed under the 1973 Programme for assistance to refugees in Uganda, nearly $310,000 was used for the Sudanese repatriation operation. Commitments for local settlement assistance amounted to some $195,000, most of which was allocated to the consolidation of the settlements for Rwandese refugees. An allocation of nearly $5,000 was made from the Emergency Fund for assistance to the new arrivals from Rwanda, later supplemented by commitments for their local settlement from Programme funds. Grants totalling nearly $50,000 were made under the Education Account, benefiting over 150 refugee students at the post-primary level.

United Republic of Tanzania

105. The influx of refugees from Burundi, which had constituted the major development in 1972, continued in 1973. Taking account of some 50,000 Burundi refugees who arrived in 1972 in the Kigoma region and whose needs were made known to the authorities only in the latter part of 1973, the number of Burundi refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania amounted to 90,000 at the end of the year. This increase brought the over-all number of refugees in the country to over 167,000 at the end of 1973, comprising, in addition to the refugees from Burundi, over 59,000 refugees from Mozambique, some 16,000 from Rwanda and several smaller groups of various origins.

106. In view of the continued influx of refugees to the Ulyankulu settlement, which was opened in October 1972 for Burundi refugees, an urgent programme of food production was undertaken in 1973 to gradually replace the food rations provided by WFP. Staff quarters, workshops, warehouses, a health centre and dispensaries were constructed as well as two complete schools which opened in July, with classes given by Burundi teachers. By the end of the year, the population had reached over 32,1000, a figure well in excess of the capacity originally envisaged. A second settlement was therefore opened in October 1973 at Katumba. By the end of the year its population had reached some 8,000 and was growing rapidly, 600 acres were already under cultivation and work had begun on roads, medical centres, schools and staff quarters. Amounts respectively of $680,000 and $220,000 were committed by UNHCR for these settlements under its 1973 Programme.

107. The settlements for refugees from Mozambique continued to make good progress towards self-sufficiency in 1973. New arrivals, as well as refugees living hitherto in the border area, continued to be transferred to the settlements at Muputa and Matekwe, which grew in population to 14,000 and 7,500, respectively. At the Mputa settlement, tobacco planting, fishing and poultry farming were further developed, roads were repaired and work was begun on a third primary school. At the Matekwe settlement work was completed on a water supply system providing piped water to each village. Administrative and, subsequently financial responsibility for the older settlements for Mozambiquan refugees at Lundo, Muhukuru and Rutamba is gradually being assumed by the Government. UNHCR assistance to these settlements in 1973 was directed towards consolidating communal amenities. The settlements for Rwandese refugees are already administered directly by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.

108. In addition, financial assistance was provided under the Programme to defray the cost of voluntary repatriation from the United Republic of Tanzania of some 200 refugees, mainly Zairians. Supplementary aid was also provided to a few hundred needy individual refugees in urban areas.

109. Commitments under the 1973 Programme in the United Republic of Tanzania totalled nearly $1,465,000, of which rural settlement projects accounted for nearly $1,445,000, the largest amount committed for this purpose in any one country. This sum mainly comprised the above-mentioned contributions for the Ulyankulu and Katumba settlements for Burundi refugees. Furthermore, an allocation of over $235,000 was made from the Emergency Fund for relief aid while establishing the latter settlement. The Lutheran World Federation/ Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service again acted as the main implementing partner of UNHCR, and substantial quantities of food were supplied by WFP. Amounts totalling some $540,000 were also provided under the UNHCR Programme for the Mozambiquan settlements mentioned above. Commitments in 1973 from special trust funds included a sum of $60,000 for resettlement of individual refugees and grants totalling $45,000 from the Education Account, enabling over 100 refugee students to follow vocational training, secondary and university courses.


110. The refugee population in Zaire decreased in 1973 from some 490,000 to 460,000 owing to the voluntary repatriation of nearly 36,000 Sudanese, partly offset by the arrival of some 4,000 new refugees from Burundi and a few hundred from Rwanda. It included an estimated 400,000 Angolan refugees, 35,000 refugees from Burundi, over 24,000 Rwandese refugees and a few hundred Zambians.

111. Pending completion of longer-term settlement plans, relief aid to Burundi refugees, most of whom had arrived in the Kivu province in 1972 together with some 20,000 Zairian nationals returning from Burundi, continued to be given by UNHCR in the early months of 1973. This aid, which comprised mainly food supplies, blankets, tools and medicines, was supplemented by the Catholic Relief Service which acted as implementing agent. According to recent indications, it appears that the Zairian authorities plan to transfer the refugees to a new, more permanent settlement site further inland and might require UNHCR assistance for this operation.

112. The Sudanese repatriation, for which preparations were started in 1972, began on a full scale in the early months of 1973. Notwithstanding serious initial difficulties, the programme was completed by 15 August. While awaiting their departure from the Nugadi and Amadi settlements, UNHCR provided the Sudanese with food and maintained health and educational facilities. This project was implemented by the International Organization for Rural Development. Following the closure of the settlements on 15 August, installations and equipment were transferred to the Government of Zaire. The UNHCR suboffice at Isiro was closed in September 1973.

113. The presence of large numbers of Angolan refugees living among the local population, especially in the region of lower Zaire, continued to pose serious economic and social problems for the area. Some assistance, mainly in the field of education, is already being given to "-, his group. However, a global assessment of problems and needs is being undertaken with a view to finding appropriate solutions.

114. The group of Zambians living in the province of Shaba became largely self-supporting in 1973. Only marginal assistance was provided to this group by UNHCR. No assistance was required from UNHCR by the Rwandese refugees living in the Goma area, who have integrated with the local population.

115. Some help was required for individual refugees in the urban centres of Kinshasa, Bukavu and Goma, especially for new arrivals in search of employment, for whom improved counselling services are needed. A number of refugee students, mostly of Rwandese or Sudanese origin, received grants from the Education Account for secondary and university studies.

116. Of total commitments under the 1973 Programme for projects in Zaire, amounting to some $755,000, sums of over $310,000 were devoted to relief aid and local settlement assistance to refugees from Burundi, $180,000 for assistance to Sudanese awaiting departure and $50,000 to promote the integration of Angolan refugees. Commitments in 1973 for the repatriation of the Sudanese totalled over $110,000. Smaller sums were committed for other forms of aid, mainly in the form of multipurpose projects benefiting individual refugees. In addition, certain administrative costs prior to the closure of the UNHCR suboffice at Isiro were met from Programme funds. Grants under the Education Account totalled nearly $50,000.


117. With the continued arrival in 1973 of refugees from colonial territories, mainly from Angola and Mozambique, there was a further increase in the number of refugees in Zambia, estimated to have reached over 37,000 by the end of the year. This number included some 22,000 Angolans, 10,000 Mozambiquans, over 3,000 Namibians, and 500 from South Africa. Many of the new arrivals integrated among the local populations; others were transferred to the rural settlements to which UNHCR assistance was again mainly directed. By the end of the year these settlements accommodated over 12,000 refugees, who had made further progress towards self-sufficiency.

118. The population at the Meheba settlement, accommodating refugees of Angolan and Namibian origin, had reached nearly 7,500 by the end of 1973. New arrivals were provided with seeds and individual plots of land for cultivation. For those who had been in the settlement for two consecutive harvest seasons, food rations provided by WFP were decreased by half as from 1 July. To ensure a balanced diet and increase the refugees' income, poultry schemes were developed and more vegetable gardens were opened. Improved houses were built under a community development programme and a 30-bed medical centre was opened. A new school complex comprising 12 classrooms and 12 teachers' houses was completed. The operating partner of UNHCR for the implementation of these projects was the Lutheran World Federation/Zambian Christian Refugee Service.

119. As planned, full responsibility for the Mayukwayukwa settlement, accommodating some 1,000 refugees mainly of Angolan origin, was assumed by the Government as from 1 July. Equipment and installations were transferred as of that date to the Zambian authorities. Despite the general drought of 1972, the maize crops cultivated by the refugees were sufficient to meet their needs and to bring additional income. UNHCR helped meet certain running costs of the settlement until the transfer of responsibility. It also financed the construction of two additional classrooms and teachers' houses.

120. No assistance was required in 1973 from UNHCR for the Nyimba settlement for Mozambiquan refugees, already administered by the Government of Zambia. However, with the arrival of new refugees from the border area, the population at this settlement rose to over 3,500, a figure well in excess of its capacity. -A preliminary soil survey was carried out in 1973 on a prospective, new settlement area with a view to the establishment of the surplus population and of refugees still living in the border region.

121. The needs of individual refugees outside the rural settlements, especially in urban areas, continued to cause concern to UNHCR. Further progress was made towards the creation of a counselling service in conjunction with the Government and various voluntary agencies. Meanwhile, assistance was given to those in greatest need, mainly in the form of subsistence allowances, temporary accommodation and medical care. Grants provided under the Education Account enabled over 50 refugees to follow courses at the post-primary level.

122. Commitments under the UNHCR Programme for assistance to refugees in Zambia totalled approximately $505,000 in 1973. These were mainly used for settlement on the land, in particular at the Meheba settlement for which commitments of nearly $425,000 were made. Smaller amounts were committed for other projects, including that of Mayukwayukwa, and for supplementary aid to individual, needy refugees. Allocations from trust funds, including the Education Account, totalled nearly $50,000.

Other countries in Africa

123. The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in various other African countries was estimated at 12,500 as of the end of 1973.

124. In Botswana, the settlement accommodating nearly 4,000 Angolan refugees at Etsha continued to make good progress; marginal assistance was provided. by UNHCR for agricultural development and educational needs. Efforts also continued, with varying degrees of success, to facilitate the local integration of individual refugees living in towns and cities in Botswana, as well as in Lesotho and Swaziland. Commitments under the 1973 Programme for these forms of assistance totalled over $30,000, supplemented in some cases by contributions from voluntary agencies which acted as implementing agents.

125. Refugees in various countries of West Africa, including Dahomey, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo, were given help 'through multipurpose projects to facilitate their local settlement, repatriation or resettlement. Commitments for this purpose totalled nearly $60,000 administered by the resident representative of UNDP in the area. Grants totalling over $55,000 were made under the Education Account to a number of refugee students at universities in the Ivory Coast and Liberia.

126. In Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, supplementary aid was provided by UNHCR to a small number of refugees mainly of European origin, many of whom are aged and unemployed. Commitments for this purpose amounted to some $14,000 under the 1973 Programme.

C. Assistance to refugees in Asia

127. UNHCR activities in Asia were characterized in 1973 by two parallel developments; on the one hand, a strengthening of contacts with Governments in South-East Asia, following the appointment of a UNHCR regional representative in 1972, accompanied by an appraisal of the situation and needs of various groups of refugees who might be of concern to UNHCR; and, on the other, a phasing out of assistance to established refugee communities in the area whose members had reached a satisfactory level of self-sufficiency.

128. The latter development permitted the closure in mid-1973 of UNHCR branch offices in Nepal and Macau, in consultation with the Governments concerned.

129. In India, the main responsibility is now borne by the Government, assisted by funds available under the Common Project of the 1966 European Refugee Campaign. The team formed in 1972 under the Joint Medical Scheme for the prevention and control of tuberculosis continued its work among various communities throughout the country. This project, implemented by the Central Relief Committee (India) with the support of the Government of India and of WHO, has screened and treated a large number of persons, resulting in a marked improvement in their general health. UNHCR provided marginal assistance to this and other local settlement projects implemented by the Government of India, notably those for the rehabilitation of Buxa Lamas, vocational training schemes and the consolidation of a number of rural settlements established under former UNHCR programmes.

130. In South-East Asia, UNHCR provided assistance amounting to $30,000, mainly for food supplies, to groups of refugees who had crossed into Laos from Upper Burma. This allocation from special trust funds, was administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in co-operation with the local Red Cross Society.

131. In 1973, reception and resettlement assistance was again given by UNHCR to refugees of European origin in transit in Hong Kong, awaiting emigration. Seventy-four such refugees were resettled in the course of the year, leaving 22 still in transit as of 31 December 1973. Final arrangements were made towards the end of the year to terminate the joint UNHCR/Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) representation in Hong Kong, hitherto responsible for administering this assistance. Representatives of the World Council of Churches will henceforth assume this responsibility, with the continued financial support of UNHCR.

D. Assistance to refugees in Europe20

132. By 31 December 1973 there were approximately 580,000 refugees in countries of reception in Europe, somewhat fewer than at the end of 1972. This decrease was mainly due to a lower influx of refugees from the Caribbean area into Spain, combined with an increase in the numbers of those resettled from that country. However, the influx of new refugees, in particular those of non-European origin, increased in some other countries in 1973. The Federal Republic of Germany, for instance, nearly 45 per cent of applications for asylum were from non-Europeans whose integration presents considerable problems. Should the economic problems now facing Europe have an adverse effect on employment, refugees are likely to encounter increasing difficulties in the years ahead.

133. Many European countries were faced with additional requests for admission particularly of Uganda Asians and refugees from Chile. Some 3,100 of the latter group had been resettled in Europe by the end of 1973.

134. As in past years, assistance measures essentially covered projects for local settlement, including housing assistance, the promotion of resettlement, supplementary aid for refugees facing special problems, and counselling aimed at assisting refugees to seek realistic solutions. An amount of some $US 640.000 was committed under the UNHCR Programme in 1973 for this purpose. In most countries of residence,, sizable matching contributions were made from governmental sources, mainly through public services, and also from private sources, in order to enable the refugees to meet their needs. The gradual transfer to local authorities of responsibility for assistance to needy refugees continued. The voluntary agencies, acting as implementing agents for certain projects, also contributed sizable amounts.

135. Resettlement through migration to other countries . mainly overseas, again contributed considerably to solving refugee problems in Europe. A total of 10,284 refugees were so assisted by UNHCR at a cost of some $US 128,,000, in co-operation with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM). This figure includes some 120 handicapped refugees who were generously admitted to Austria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The "Ten or More Plan" for the settlement of the handicapped, referred to in paragraph 39 above, also received a very favourable response. Further efforts will, however, be required to obtain increased resettlement opportunities for other refugees and to help reduce the waiting period for those in transit.

136. In Spain, the number of refugees arriving from the Caribbean area dropped from 12,000 in 1972 to 2,500. At the same time the number of those leaving Spain for resettlement elsewhere, notably to the United States increased considerably. This trend was further amplified following the introduction by the United States' authorities of an expanded parole programme. At the end of 1973 the caseload of persons awaiting emigration was estimated at 17,600, compared with approximately 25,000 at the end of the preceding year. Other assistance to the refugees in Spain included annuities to a number of aged refugees, immediate aid in the form of temporary shelter, warm clothing and other necessities for the 1,350 new arrivals, while those wishing to remain in Spain were assisted in finding employment.

137. One of the main difficulties hampering the integration of refugees in several European countries is shortage of accommodation. This is particularly so in the large cities where refugees are more apt to find employment opportunities. A major portion of the $US 387,000 allocated for local settlement projects was, therefore, again used to provide housing assistance.

138. In view of the increasing number of non-European refugees in Europe, counselling services have assumed an increasingly important role and a sizable part of available funds was also used for counselling projects.

139. One of the more serious problems facing refugees in some countries in Europe concerns elderly or otherwise handicapped refugees whose only source of income is the annuity provided some years ago under UNHCR programmes, the purchasing power of which is now totally inadequate to meet their needs. Expert studies have therefore been undertaken with a view to exploring how this situation can be remedied.

140. The integration of many refugees was speeded up through individual legal aid provided by experienced lawyers in the countries of asylum. There was a greater need in 1973 for this type of assistance, in particular for non-European refugees.

E. Assistance to refugees in Latin America

141. The major development in Latin America has been the refugee emergency which followed the events that took place in Chile in September 1973. First reports indicated that a growing number of refugees found themselves in distressing circumstances. At the time of the events, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 refugees were living in Chile, including a group of 5,000 to 7,000 from other countries in Latin America - the others originating from European countries. For many of those of Latin American origin, major problems of protection, material assistance and resettlement arose. These problems assumed new dimensions when growing numbers of Chileans began to leave the country.

142. As soon as the emergency broke out, the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and subsequently the Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme addressed an appeal to the Government of Chile to the effect that refugees in Chile be adequately protected and on no account be expelled to their country of origin. A positive response was received from the Government, as explained in paragraph 21 above. With the approval of the authorities, a National Committee for Aid to Refugees, which included representatives of the churches, established six "safe havens" to offer protection and assistance to refugees who were obliged, or wished to migrate to other countries. A UNHCR office was opened at Santiago and a special Chargé de Mission was appointed to head this office. Additional staff were seconded to UNHCR by the United Nations agencies represented in the country, (UNDP, ECLA and UNESCO) whose co-operation was to prove invaluable.

143. In the early days of the emergency, some 240 foreign refugees who were under the protection of UNHCR in Chile were deprived of their freedom of movement. Following interventions on their behalf by UNHCR, most of these refugees were subsequently moved to one of the "safe havens". The High Commissioner, his Regional Representative for Latin America and the UNHCR Chargé de Mission at Santiago also made representations on behalf of a number of other individual cases in a critical situation, of whom several were under detention The majority were subsequently allowed to move to "safe havens", prior to their migration to other countries. At the time of there remained, however, some 20 individual cases whose whereabouts have not so far been traced. Every effort is being made to follow up on these cases.

144. To help the immediate material needs of the refugees, the High Commissioner allocated $34,000 from the Emergency Fund. This was used to finance essential assistance in the "safe havens", transportation costs, counselling and individual legal aid, resettlement in other countries and, where necessary, to assist their permanent settlement in those countries. By the end of 1973, some 3,250 refugees had benefited from these various forms of assistance, which continued to be provided in 1974. A particular tribute is due to several Governments which provide a total amount of $700,000 as trust funds to assist the refugees in settling in the countries concerned.

145. Many Chileans have also left, meanwhile, and been given asylum in Europe and in other parts of America, notably in Argentina, where they are allowed to settle, and in Peru, where they are in transit pending their resettlement in other countries. A great many of these refugees are in urgent need of emergency relief until such time as they are able to found new lives, either through local integration or through migration to another country. For the latter purposes very sizable sums will also be required. At the time of writing, total expenditures incurred for assistance to refugees from Chile were of an order of magnitude of $1,300,000. The new needs were not, however, anticipated when the 1974 Assistance Programme was adopted by the High Commissioner's Executive Committee in October 1973. To enable the Office to meet the new challenge, considerable further support, financial and otherwise, will be needed both from Governments and from the Office's traditional partners: the voluntary agencies.

146. Taking account of these new developments and of a slight decrease in the over-all number of European refugees, the total number of concern to UNHCR in Latin America amounted to some 108,000 by the end of 1973. It has increases further in 1974.

147. Refugees of European origin, numbering some 95,000, live mostly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, where they have been resident for some time. The assistance provided by UNHCR to these refugees has mainly been in the form of housing, establishment in craft and trades, counselling, supplementary aid and legal assistance, benefiting in all some 1,700 of these refugees. Special care was again given to the aged and infirm through medical treatment, placement institutions or allocation of annuities. Rehabilitation treatment was provided to handicapped cases, while those suffering from mental illness were treated either as out-patients of specialized clinics or admitted to full-time care. By the end of 1973, a cumulative total of 877 places in institutions had been assures for aged and mentally ill refugees throughout Latin America.

148. Other groups of refugees of Latin American origin totalling some 1,200 persons living mainly in Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic, received assistance under the 1973 Programme in the form of counselling, local settlement and, in particular, legal aid. Mention should be made in this context of the sustained efforts by UNHCR to strengthen co-operation with voluntary agencies throughout the area, granting support to the social counselling services they provide to individual refugees.

149. Commitments for aid to refugees of European origin and other groups of refugees of Latin American origin mentioned in paragraph 148 above totalled in all some $335,000 in 1973, including $225,000 to promote durable solutions to enable them to become self-supporting and to provide medical aid and permanent care in institutions. In addition, assistance through the Education Account was given to a limited number of refugees for courses at secondary, technical or university level.

F. Assistance to refugees in the Middle East

150 The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR increased during 1973. At the end of that year, it was of an order of magnitude of some 10,000 to 12,000. They mainly comprised stateless Armenians and Assyrians and refugees of European and African origin, living mostly in Egypt, Lebanon and the Gulf area, with smaller groups in Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. The over-all increase in the number of refugees partly resulted from the presence in Egypt of a greater number of African refugees requiring UNHCR assistance. Rising costs of living, limited employment opportunities and diminished emigration possibilities made it necessary for UNHCR to provide increased assistance throughout the area.

151. In Egypt, the home of some 3,600 refugees of concern to UNHCR, help was again given to the old and handicapped - those most vulnerable to rising costs. Monthly allowances and medical care were provided to those in greatest need. Grants for post-primary courses were provided from the Education Account to a number of refugee students, mainly from Africa, whose number increased in 1973; those in special need received supplementary aid to improve their health and living conditions. In view of the limited employment and resettlement opportunities, efforts were also intensified to provide them with adequate counselling services. A number of refugees from South Africa benefited from UNHCR assistance through funds provided by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa.

152. In view of the new increase in the number of refugees to Lebanon, many of whom wished to emigrate, UNHCR directed much of its effort in that country to promoting speedy resettlement. Nearly 1,300 refugees were thus able to leave Lebanon in 1973 for permanent homes elsewhere, over 40 per cent more than in the previous year. Of these, some 800 received assistance from UNHCR, mainly in the form of temporary care and maintenance pending emigration. For those remaining, UNHCR continued to promote durable local settlement, particularly through the provision of adequate accommodation, and special care to the old and handicapped through placement in specialized institutions and the purchase of annuities. Further progress was made, meanwhile, on special projects for the construction of a home for aged Armenians and of a poultry and dairy farm for needy Assyrians, for which allocations were made under previous UNHCR programmes.

153. The number of refugees in the Gulf area, mainly comprising Zanzibari refugees of Arab origin from East Africa, increased to some 3,000 in the course of New arrivals were provided with initial help, including language courses, as well as educational, medical and establishment assistance as required. Work began on the housing project to provide low-cost accommodation to 50 refugee families in Dubai, for which UNHCR allocated a sum of $77,000 to be supplemented by a matching contribution, land and services, supplied by the Government, as well as by financial contributions from the refugees themselves, in the form of bank loans obtained for this purpose. In Abu Dhabi, arrangements have been pursued with the Government to include 100 Zanzibari refugee families in the general social housing programme, with a marginal contribution from UNHCR to cover essential equipment.

154. Total commitments under the 1973 Programme in the Middle East amounted to approximately $340,000. The greater part, i.e. $230,000, was used for local settlement projects and most of the remainder for supplementary aid and for the promotion of resettlement. Commitments under the Education Account and other special trust funds totalled over $125,000.


155. The programme of assistance to Asians of undetermined nationality who were expelled from Uganda in November 1972 constituted an important aspect of the activities carried out by UNHCR in 1973, outside its regular assistance Programme. Its main objective was to find permanent homes for this group of persons - a challenge calling for swift and effective action and for a compassionate response from Governments to the High Commissioner's appeals for resettlement opportunities.

156. As stated in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth session,21 this action was undertaken at the request of the Secretary-General towards the end of October 1972, following the request made to him by the Government of Uganda to arrange for the departure of this group by 7 November of that year. Through urgent appeals then made to Governments by the High Commissioner, immediate resettlement opportunities were made available to a substantial number of these persons, while provisional transit accommodation was offered by several European Governments to those remaining. In all, some 4,500 Asians were brought to the transit centres which had been made available in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Malta and Spain. To help meet the cost of their care while in transit and their travel costs to the countries of permanent settlement, substantial financial contributions totalling $3.4 million were made by 15 September 1973, mainly by some 12 Governments, in response to the High Commissioner's appeals.

157. The process of resettling the Asians in permanent homes was accomplished gradually, bringing to a welcome end, for the refugees concerned, the strain and uncertainty which had marked the waiting period. Some 20 Governments offered homes: they included Abu Dhabi, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Dubai, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States. In addition, Austria, which offered transit accommodation to over 1,500 Asians, undertook to assume full financial responsibility, as from 1 September 1973, for the care of those still remaining, then numbering over 300, and offered to provide permanent homes to all who were subsequently unable to gain admittance to other countries. In view of the substantial resettlement difficulties encountered by handicapped persons or families with a handicapped member, Denmark, New Zealand and Switzerland agreed to include a number of such cases within their respective quotas. Also, on compassionate grounds, the United Kingdom accepted further contingents of Asians of undetermined nationality whose family members had already been admitted to that country late in 1972, along with the 27,000 Asians who were holders of British passports. These decisions led to the reunion of many divided families.

158. By April 1974, the operation was considered virtually complete, with the departure from the transit centres of the last of the Uganda Asians. Investigations made by UNHCR following the resettlement of the Asians in their new homes have revealed that despite initial difficulties their efforts to integrate have been largely successful. Invaluable help in overcoming these difficulties, which have mainly included problems of housing, employment and language, have frequently been given by local authorities, by the local population and, in particular, by the voluntary agencies.

159. There remains, however, the problem of those Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality who went to India, Pakistan and to some other countries in Africa and whose families have, meanwhile, resettled in other countries. It is hoped that these countries will, as a matter of urgency, admit the separated members, thereby enabling the families concerned to be reunited.


A. Relations between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system

160. In pursuance of the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, including Economic and Social Council resolution 1768 (LIV) of 18 may 1973, UNHCR has participated in the increased efforts made by members of the United Nations system to harmonize and rationalize their activities. The Office took part, as usual, in the meetings of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination and certain subsidiary bodies, and in those of the General Assembly, of the Economic and Social Council and of other United Nations bodies whose activities have a bearing on those of UNHCR. It was also represented at meetings of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and of the International Conference of Experts for the Support of Victims of Colonialism and Apartheid, which was held at Oslo in April 1973, and has contributed,, as in previous years, to the reports drawn up by the Secretary-General on this subject.

161. In the field of assistance, special mention should be made of the concerted efforts of the members of the United Nations system in carrying through the Immediate Relief Programme in Southern Sudan, for which UNHCR has acted as coordinator. This Programme which is described in a separate report by the High Commissioner (E/5483) to the Economic and Social Council, called for the active participation of several members of the United Nations system, in particular the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

162. As regards the UNHCR regular assistance Programme, activities in 1973 were characterized by the increased efforts of members of the United Nations system, in co-operation with UNHCR, to assist refugees from colonial territories, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and of the General Assembly. The increased flexibility introduced by a number of agencies with regard to procedural arrangements has proved particularly beneficial in enabling them to extend the scope of assistance they could provide to these refugees.

163. Relief supplies were again provided by other United Nations organizations, proving of special importance in meeting the needs of new refugees. Despite critical commodity shortages, substantial food aid was provided by WFP to refugees in several countries, notably in Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania. Supplies of emergency equipment and medicaments were provided by NICEF.

164. The efforts of UNHCR to promote the local settlement of refugees again benefited from the expert services made available by the specialized agencies. These services included soil and agricultural expertise by FAO, prior to the establishment or expansion of rural settlements; advice by WHO on health and sanitation requirements in new settlements, notably in the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia; and co-operation by the ILO in arranging for a survey of the situation of refugee annuitants in Greece, Italy and Spain. Close contact was maintained, moreover, with UNDP to ensure a coordinated approach at the country level to the development of areas where refugees are settled.

165. Interagency co-ordination in the field of education and training, particularly at policy and programming levels, continued to be of concern to ACC, and to its Sub-Committee on Education and Training, with which UNHCR has maintained close co-operation.

166. At the practical level, expert assistance was again provided to UNHCR 'by a team of educational specialists assigned by UNESCO to advise on suitable projects and their implementation. This agency also undertook several missions at the request of UNHCR to determine specific educational needs, in particular those of refugees in the Casamance province of Senegal and in the Kivu region of Zaire. Educational equipment was again made available by UNICEF, notably for schools for refugee children in Senegal. In co-ordination with UNHCR, a number of scholarships were again granted by the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa to refugees from Southern Africa, while training facilities were made available by WMO and UPU to refugees from colonial territories.

167. UNHCR, for its part, as a token of its solidarity with humanitarian activities undertaken by other United Nations bodies in 1973, and in pursuance of Economic and Social Council resolutions 1759 (LIV) of 18 May 1973 and 1797 (LV) of 11 July 1973, made a modest cash contribution to the relief operation coordinated by FAO in the Sudano-Sahelian region.

168. The need for economy, which has become acute in many sectors, has given added significance to the increased efforts, which have characterized the period under review, to improve co-operation between the members of the United Nations system. These efforts have already resulted in marked progress with regard to assistance to refugees, especially in Africa; still further improvements could, however, be achieved if priority were to be given by Governments of countries of residence to the development projects proposed by members of the United Nations system in areas where refugees are located.

B. Relations with other international organizations

169. Co-operation with intergovernmental organizations outside the United Nations system has continued throughout 1973.

170. In Africa, in particular, where continued influxes of refugees have inevitably caused renewed suffering, close contacts were maintained with the Organization for African Unity (OAU), at headquarters level and in the field, in an effort to find appropriate solutions. OAU was represented by an observer at the twenty-fourth session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, and the High Commissioner attended the OAU Summit Meeting, held in May 1973 at Addis Ababa. In addition, active support has continued to be given to the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees in an attempt to help solve, through concerted effort, the problems of individual refugees of non-agricultural stock, especially those in a number of capital cities where their numbers are increasing.

171. In the Americas, a constructive dialogue has been maintained with the Organization of American States on the problems of refugees in the area.

172. In Europe, the long-standing co-operation of UNHCR with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration has again proved its value, in particular with regard to the resettlement of refugees from Chile. Other specific examples of co-operation during the year include that of the European Economic Community, which donated 5,000 tons of soft wheat in the context of the United Nations Immediate Relief Programme in South Sudan. The Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, true to its traditional concern for refugee problems, again expressed its support of various aspects of the work of UNHCR in the form of a recommendation addressed in January 1973 to the Committee of Ministers of this Organization, 22/urging that appropriate help be given by member Governments on protection as well as material assistance matters.

C. Relations with non-governmental organizations

173. As recalled in previous reports, UNHCR, in its work of assistance to refugees, depends on the co-operation and generosity both of the public and private sectors of the international community. Thus an important part is played by international non-governmental organizations and their national counterparts, many of which have wide experience in refugee problems.

174. In 1973 their co-operation was again especially valuable in dispensing emergency aid, such as that provided for new refugees from Burundi, and as implementing agents for a number of UNHCR projects, including refugee rural settlements in Africa.

175. The experience of these organizations was also particularly helpful in dealing with individual cases.

176. special mention must also be made of the important role played in 1973 by national refugee councils and committees, established in agreement with the Governments concerned, either on a permanent or an ad hoc basis, and which co-ordinate the activities of various voluntary agencies for the benefit of refugees. The action undertaken for the protection and resettlement of several thousands of refugees following the change of government in Chile in September 1973, owed much of its success to the efforts of an ad hoc National Committee of this kind, composed of church groups in Chile.

177. Close relations have again been maintained by UNHCR with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and with its Commission on Refugees and Migration, which provides a forum for regular discussion aimed at harmonizing non-governmental activities in the field of assistance to refugees. Special working groups have also been established by ICVA on such subjects as rural development: these groups are currently studying the question of professional counselling of African refugees, as well as other subjects of specific interest to UNHCR.


A. Introduction

178. The additional humanitarian tasks undertaken by UNHCR in 1973, at the request of the Secretary-General, inevitably led to increased demands for resources from the international community.

179. As mentioned elsewhere in this report, in 1973 the High Commissioner assumed responsibility as executing agent for the repatriation programme in the South Asian subcontinent. In order to meet the financial requirements of this operation, then estimated at $14 million, a special appeal was launched in September 1973. As indicated in annex II, table 5, the contributions received by 31 March 1974 in response to this appeal totalled $10,235,338 comprising $8,606,070 in cash and $1,629,268 in kind (provision of transport facilities), not including governmental bilateral contributions. This prompt response allowed for the smooth and speedy implementation. Of the airlift, on which the success of the operation was to depend.

180. Financial support continued to be given, throughout 1973, to help meet the cost of care and maintenance, transportation and other expenses relating to the programme for the resettlement of Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality. It is recalled that an appeal for financial support for this programme was made by the High Commissioner in October 1972. As indicated in table 5, contributions received by 31 March 1974 had reached a total of $3,424,940, by which date all but 17 of this group had been resettled.

181. In addition, contributions in cash and kind continued to be made in 1973 towards the United Nations Immediate Relief Programme in Southern Sudan, for which the High Commissioner acted as coordinator. A list of these contributions, totalling in all some $16,000,000, is appended to the High Commissioner's final report on this operation (E/5483).

182. It is gratifying to note that despite these heavy additional needs, the financial requirements of the High Commissioner's normal assistance activities, both under the Programme and those financed from trust funds, were met in 1973, thanks to the generous response of the international community.

B. Financing of the UNHCR Assistance Programme for 1973

183. As indicated in table 5, a total of $5,562,422 had been contributed by 79 Governments by 31 March 1974 towards the UNHCR Assistance Programme for 1973, an encouraging response to the recommendations of the Executive Committee that the High Commissioner's Programme, being essentially the responsibility of Governments, should be largely financed by them.

184. Contributions from non-governmental sources as of the same date, totalled $38,920.

C. Financing of the Emergency Fund

185. In 1973, expenditure from the Emergency Fund totalled $825,342. This was financed from the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund ($715,166), from refunds ($14,581) and from cancellation of obligations ($95,595).

D. Financing of complementary projects outside the UNHCR Assistance Programme for 1973

186. Table 5 also indicates contributions to special trust funds as of 31 March 1974 from both governmental and non-governmental sources, for complementary projects outside the annual Assistance Programme. These contributions included $711, 884 for the UNHCR Education Account, a substantially higher amount, than in previous years, in view of the increased assistance which UNHCR has sought to provide to refugee students at the post-primary level. A further amount of $2,362,131 was donated in contributions for other assistance outside the Programme.

E. Financing of the UNHCR Assistance Programme for 1974

187. Table 6 lists contributions totalling $6,756,216 announced as of 31 March 1974 by 51 Governments towards the financing of the UNHCR Assistance Programme for 1974. It is recalled that the financial target for the Programme was approved by the Executive Committee at its twenty-fourth session, in October 1973, in an amount of $8,739,000, a somewhat higher figure than for 1973, due to increased needs notably in the field of local settlement assistance.

F. UNHCR long-playing records scheme

188. The sale of "Top Star Festival", the latest long-playing record launched by UNHCR in 1972, continued in 1973. By 31 December 1973, receipts from the sale of records and cassettes totalled $919,766.

189. As in the case of previous records, the proceeds have been used to supplement the funds required for specific assistance projects. The success of this scheme has been due to a large extent to the co-operation of the artists, of record companies and of music publishers, and to the generosity of Governments in agreeing either to waive duties or taxes or to make a special contribution of an equivalent amount.


190. During the period under review the UNHCR Public Information Service was actively engaged in keeping Governments, private voluntary agencies and the public at large fully informed of the special ad hoc assignments entrusted to UNHCR, described in earlier chapters of this report, and of activities under the UNHCR material assistance Programme.

191. The coverage of the special undertakings called, in particular, for intensive promotional efforts, not only because of their intrinsic interest, but also as support for the major appeals, for funds they necessitated. Two television missions were carried out', for example, to cover key phases of the High Commissioner's activities in southern Sudan as coordinator of the United Nations immediate relief programme. The films made on each occasion were subsequently selected for distribution throughout the world by a commercial television agency. This operation was also featured in a 48-page illustrated magazine entitled Nursing a Miracle, published in the "UNHCR Report" series, as well as being the subject of articles appearing regularly in UNHCR, the bimonthly tabloid on the activities of the Office.

192. Another special operation given considerable attention was the resettlement programme for Asians of undetermined nationality from Uganda. A 32-page illustrated magazine entitled How They Did It was issued in April 1973, when several thousand Uganda Asians were founding new homes in countries of resettlement. This publication showed the success with which they were settling down in their host countries in North America and Europe. Simultaneously, a television documentary based on films supplied by UNHCR was given international distribution through commercial channels. A slide set on Uganda Asians was also compiled.

193. Special news coverage also proved essential to bring attention to the High Commissioner's role in the vast repatriation movement in the South Asian subcontinent, coupled with an appeal for $14,300,000 to meet the financial requirements of the operation. Immediately after the main UNHCR airlift began in September, a field visit was organized for representatives of nine important international media and a film was made in preparation for a television documentary, which again found ready acceptance through commercial channels. In addition, the steady progress of what has been described as the largest airlift ever organized for human beings, and the encouraging response to the High Commissioner's appeal for the necessary contributions in cash and kind were reported in a series of press releases, a photo feature, informal briefings and articles in UNHCR.

194. Besides the coverage of these special undertakings, efforts have continued to make known to the public activities within the UNHCR Material Assistance Programme. In view of the large-scale movements in Africa of refugees from Burundi, a television film was made in August of the Settlement of these refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania. Emphasis was also given to projects of assistance in favour of refugees from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.

195. The emergency resettlement programme for Latin American refugees who were living in Chile when the events of September 1973 took place was the subject of a series of press releases.

196. A television film, a 24-page illustrated magazine and a slide set were devoted to the "Ten or More Plan", a scheme put forward by UNHCR in the latter part of 1973 in an attempt to stimulate resettlement opportunities for severely handicapped refugees in Europe and the Mediterranean area generally. The non-settled cases featured in the magazine were all subsequently admitted to countries of resettlement.

197. The circulation of the bimonthly tabloid UNHCR covers 16,500 copies in English and 4,700 in French, and that of magazines in the "UNHCR Report" series, 25,000 in English and 5,000 in French. In addition, a new 32-page pamphlet, giving a comprehensive review of the work of the office, entitled The Refugee Problem Isn't Hopeless - Unless You Think So, was issued in English (33,000 copies) and in French (10,000). Budgetary considerations forced postponement of versions in other languages until later in 1974. These will be published in due course.

198. Co-operation with United Nations information centres continued throughout the year, while the Office of Public Information at United Nations Headquarters provided valuable assistance in the form of a camera team for the filming of Uganda Asians in the United States.

199. The UNHCR Photo Library was strengthened by the addition of thousands of new photos in black and white and in colour, nearly all taken by the staff of the UNHCR Public Information Section.

200. The need for the United Nations to be able to compete effectively for the attention of the media and the public "in what is essentially a market place" was stressed by Mr. G. Akatani, Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Public Information, in a statement to the Economic and Social Council in July 1973. In its emphasis on television, in the style of its publications and in its general approach to public information, UNHCR has continued its efforts to adapt its material to the ever-changing requirements of this market.

(Note: Financial and statistical data tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)

1 1 April 1973 to 31 March 1974, except for statistical and financial data which relate mostly to the budgetary year 1973.

2 See the final report of the High Commissioner entitled "Assistance to southern Sudanese returnees and displaced persons" (E/5483), which was submitted to the Economic and Social Council at its fifty-seventh session.

3 The report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the South Asian subcontinent repatriation operation is being issued as an addendum to this report under the symbol a/9612/Add.2.

4 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545, p. 137.

5 Ibid., vol. 606, No. 8791, p. 267.

6 Organization of African Unity document CM/267/Rev.1

7 Cmnd. 1578 (London, HM Stationery Office, 1962), p.3.

8 8 For the text of the Convention, see A/CONF-9/15.

9 9 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/9012 and Corr. 1 0 /Add.1), Supplement No. 12 A (A/9012/Add.1) and Supplement No 12 B (A/9012/Add.2).

10 10 Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany (Federal Republic of), Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Republic of Cameroon, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Zaire and Zambia.

11 Also referred to as non-expulsion.

12 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-eighth Session, Supplement No.12 B (A/9012/Add.2).

13 Ibid., Supplement No. 12 (A/9012 and Corr. 1), paras. 26 to 28.

14 See foot-note 7 above.

15 For the text of the Convention, see United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 360, No. 5158, p. 117.

16 United Nations publication, Sales No.: 51. IV. 4.

17 The first UNHCR Indemnification Fund, established on the basis of the Agreement concluded between UNHCR and the Federal Republic of Germany on 5 October 1960; and the Supplementary Indemnification Fund, placed at the disposal of UNHCR in accordance with the Agreement concluded between UNHCR and the Federal Republic of Germany on 24 November 1966.

18 This movement was accompanied, within the Sudan, by the return home in 1972 and 1973 of an estimated half a million displaced persons.

19 Organization of African Unity resolution CM 266 (XXX)

20 Not including Uganda Asians in transit in, or resettled from European countries as at 31 December 1973, as reported in chapter III.

21 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-Eighth Session, Supplement No. 12, (A/9012 and Corr.1), paras,146-150.