Finding solutions that enable refugees to live their lives in dignity and safety is the core of our work. Such solutions may include voluntary repatriation and resettlement.
Voluntary repatriation is usually viewed as the most desirable long-term solution by refugees themselves as well as by the international community. UNHCR’s humanitarian action in pursuit of lasting solutions to refugee problems is therefore oriented in favour of enabling a refugee
to exercise the right to return home in safety and with dignity.
Currently, UNHCR Egypt facilitates voluntary return to certain areas of Sudan and Somaliland, and, for Ethiopians, to Addis Ababa. We also conduct intention and perception surveys with Syrian refugees to measure their interest in return, and we prepare for potential future return
of Syrian refugees.
For refugees who are unable to return, either due to ongoing conflict, wars, or persecution, resettlement in another country can be an alternative. Resettlement involves the selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they have sought protection to a third country that has agreed to admit them as refugees and grant them permanent residence status. This provides a resettled refugee and his/her family or dependants with access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. Resettlement also carries with it the opportunity to eventually become a naturalized citizen of the resettlement country.
We identify the most vulnerable refugees for resettlement. Since 2003, more than 27,000 refugees have departed out of Egypt to resettlement countries. In 2016 alone, over 4,035 refugees left Egypt for resettlement, marking the highest number of resettlement departures yet for UNHCR Egypt. UNHCR appeals to countries to accommodate on a sustained basis more refugees with acute protection needs.