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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

27 July 1987

United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Forty-Second Session
Supplement No. 12 (A/42/12)

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


1. Although the world refugee situation remained a source of preoccupation during the period covered by this report, there were no emergency situations comparable to the one in Africa in 1985. New refugee influxes were generally offset by organized or spontaneous repatriation, principally in Africa and, to a limited extent, in Latin America and Asia. In dealing with these problems, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) endeavoured to translate into action in all operations an approach that combined effective emergency response, the prompt establishment of basic services (e.g., health, sanitation, education) and early action to establish income-generating activities leading to self-reliance, while efforts continued to promote repatriation, local integration and resettlement as appropriate.

2 In the field of international protection, although more than 100 States have now acceded to the United Nations Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees1 and/or its Protocol of 1967,2 which is a milestone towards universal acceptance of these instruments, serious problems continued to affect the protection of refugees, such as restrictive measures to combat irregular movements of asylum-seekers and refugees travelling long distances to seek refuge in other continents, violation of the rights of refugees to life and safety through piracy and military and armed attacks, refoulement and expulsion of asylum-seekers. Within the framework of the Executive Committee and various consultative groups, UNHCR has discussed with interested Governments the adequate responses to these various challenges.

3 In pursuit of its policy of linking refugee aid and development, UNHCR promotes self-reliance and durable solutions in order to avoid the dependency syndrome, to reduce the resentment of local citizens towards refugees and, whenever possible, to remedy environmental damage and to compensate for some of the burden imposed by the presence of refugees. A significant illustration of this approach is to be found in Pakistan where UNHCR has reached an understanding with the World Bank on the general principles governing their collaboration, the details of which will be found in chapter III (para. 116). UNHCR/World Bank negotiations for the co-financing in Somalia and the Sudan of agricultural and infrastructural projects are at an advanced stage. Exploratory discussions in this field have been held with other potential partners, notably the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The important collaboration between UNHCR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) continues and the guidelines concerning that collaboration have been reviewed in the reporting period.

4. In Africa, new refugee situations emerged, mainly in the southern African region, where local disturbances, exacerbated by the drought affecting Mozambique, caused an exodus of some 250,000 persons. UNHCR established programmes in affected neighbouring countries to assist people falling within its mandate. In 1986, the number of Indochinese refugees in Asia awaiting durable solutions decreased by 9 per cent as compared to 1985. However, the closure of certain camps in the region has been a source of concern and negotiations have been conducted with the competent authorities to ensure appropriate protection for the affected evacuees. The number of persons seeking asylum in Europe Increased from 170,000 in 1985 to 202,000 in 1986. This development has prompted many States in the region to take restrictive measures aimed at addressing this situation. In Central America and Mexico, UNHCR assistance has taken the form of a combination of care and maintenance and efforts towards rural self-sufficiency. In the South-West Asian region, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan still host the majority of Afghan refugees and UNHCR is continuing its programmes in order to meet their needs.

5. In keeping with its mandate to achieve durable solutions to the problems of refugees, UNHCR promoted voluntary repatriation movements in several parts of the world, notably in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

6. Local integration programmes were also undertaken in many countries, while resettlement in third countries remained the primary solution for Indochinese refugees, some 51,137 of whom were resettled during 1986. An additional 18,418 people were reunited with their families abroad under the Orderly Departure Programme. While acknowledging that resettlement is a difficult solution to accomplish, it is necessary to recall its importance in the context of protection - especially where the physical security of a refugee is in danger, and its role as a vital symbol of international burden-sharing.

7. UNHCR attaches great importance to inter-agency co-ordination, particularly in the area of assistance, and is taking a number of initiatives to enhance co-operation with other agencies in the formulation of new and more streamlined approaches. Non-governmental agencies continue to be an asset to UNHCR as operational partners and also in the areas of fund-raising and public information.

8. UNHCR voluntary funds expenditure in 1986 totalled $440.7 million, including $281.1 million under General Programmes and $159.5 million under Special Programmes. Thanks to the generous response of donors, the 1986 General Programmes were fully funded.


A. Introduction

9. The lack, or denial, of national protection is at the core of being a refugee. To compensate for this lacuna, UNHCR is vested with the responsibility of providing refugees with international protection. In carrying out this function, the High Commissioner must be able to count on the full support and understanding of States. Today's refugee problems affect countries in all parts of the world and some refugees and asylum-seekers increasingly travel within and between continents. Only concerted international action involving the States concerned can create the conditions for appropriate solutions for refugee problems and thereby also facilitate the High Commissioner's international protection responsibilities.

10. Generalized violence and danger to the life and security of groups of persons, rather than individually experienced persecution or fear thereof, are increasingly at the source of today's refugee movements. Many refugee problems differ in both nature and scope from those that existed when UNHCR was established in 1951, and new ways in which they can be resolved in an adequate and humane manner must be urgently identified.

11. In the Middle Eastern and Asian region, which presently harbours perhaps the largest number of refugees, there are indications of positive developments that could lead to solutions if the political will of all the parties concerned can be sustained. As for other areas in Asia, the fact must be underlined that the outflow from Indo-China has continued, albeit on a lesser scale. This outflow, coupled with the reduction in resettlement places available to them - so far the only feasible solution - has called for a readjustment of UNHCR policy with a view to exploring alternative solutions. The success of these efforts will depend on the will and co-operation of States.

12. Liberal practices of asylum continued to be followed by most States in Africa. A considerable portion of the world's refugee population today is located on the African continent and most of the refugees continue to benefit from asylum. Repatriation movements, either organized or spontaneous, gained momentum in the period under review. However, experience has shown that in order to sustain such movements, there is a need to ensure that the return can be made in dignity and security and that both the protection needs and the assistance requirements for integration purposes in the country of origin are taken into account. In the southern African region, receiving countries have continued to show exceptional hospitality to those seeking refuge on their territories, even though in some cases this has entailed great sacrifice to their economy and even to their security. During the reporting period, UNHCR co-operated with the receiving States in self-sufficiency programmes, while at the same time, exploring possibilities for durable solutions. A matter of particular concern in the African region has been the physical safety of refugees subjected to armed and military attacks.

13. In the American hemisphere, the situation of Central American refugees continued to be the main source of concern to UNHCR. There, as in many other parts of the world, refugee situations are an integral part of political, social and economic changes and of upheavals and divisions within the international community. As a result, humanitarian action for the benefit of refugees can never be fully successful without, at the same time, treating the underlying causes of refugee movements. The majority of refugees in Central America are located in camps close to the border with their country of origin; in several instances, this has given rise to tension and rendered more complex the carrying out of the non-political and humanitarian mandate of UNHCR. Nevertheless, in co-operation with the Governments concerned, UNHCR has pursued its efforts to find durable solutions, either through local integration or repatriation.

14. As far as Europe is concerned, the movement of large numbers of non-European asylum-seekers into countries of Western Europe continued to be the primary preoccupation of Governments. This movement, which is compounded by other migratory flows from the poorer nations of the third world to Europe and North America, has caused concern to both the Governments and population. The countries thus affected have reacted with a variety of legal and administrative measures aimed at containing the situation. UNHCR could not but be concerned that the measures taken to contain irregular migratory patterns reflecting a wide variety of root causes tend to affect asylum-seekers who are in genuine need of protection. Some measures, such as the introduction of visa requirements and the imposition of sanctions against airlines transporting illegal immigrants, can be justified in relation to countries where a situation giving rise to refugee outflows does not exist. However, where such situations do exist in the country of origin, as a result of persecution or fear for one's safety, such measures must give rise to legitimate apprehension to those working on behalf of refugees. The problem of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe was the subject of a series of consultations initiated and sustained by the High Commissioner in an effort to reach practical and humane solutions. That process of consultation continues.

15. During the reporting period, States have generally made considerable efforts to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are treated according to accepted international standards. However, much remains to be done to avoid refugee situations and the problems of refugees becoming institutionalized or people remaining refugees indefinitely. Greater attention must also be paid to the right of the refugees to physical safety and security, which, over the last few years, has been violated on an unprecedented scale. The foregoing constitute the most serious challenges confronting the international community and UNHCR in the area of international protection.

B. Principles of international protection and refugee rights

1. Asylum

16. If refugees are to enjoy basic human rights, they require, first of all, asylum on a State's territory. For this reason, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights3 embodies the principle that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. At the same time, asylum is an attribute of State sovereignty and the right to obtain asylum has not been translated into binding international legal norms. Even so, State practice in granting asylum generally continued to be liberal and the vast majority of those who sought asylum during the reporting period obtained at least temporary admission.

17. As indicated above, many refugee situations today involve persons who have been displaced from their countries as a result of armed conflict, foreign aggression or occupation, or internal upheavals. There is widespread recognition that these persons should also be protected from danger through the granting, as a minimum, of temporary asylum, i.e., until such time as conditions in their country of origin permit their safe return.

18. A growing phenomenon involved asylum-seekers who travelled considerable distances to seek refuge in countries or continents far from their own. Sometimes, refugees and asylum-seekers travelled in this manner from a country where they might appear to have already found protection in order to seek asylum or a durable solution in another State, without first obtaining the consent of that State's authorities. Such movements also included persons travelling with insufficient or no documentation.

19. This phenomenon, first noted on the European continent some years ago, was also identified during the reporting period, albeit to a lesser extent, in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Apart from creating problems between Governments, these movements also undermined public support and understanding in receiving countries, even in cases where the persons concerned could be considered to be genuine refugees. At the same time, it was evident that basic protection, including minimum human standards of treatment, was not always assured in the intermediate countries from which many of these persons travelled. Most important is the fact that durable solutions were usually not available there.

20. Partly as a result of these movements, a growing number of States introduced, or further reinforced, measures aimed at restricting the entry of asylum-seekers. These included visa restrictions for certain nationalities, penalties for airlines carrying insufficiently documented asylum-seekers, screening procedures at national borders, restrictions on assistance and on the right to work and systematic and prolonged detention of asylum-seekers. A few States also resorted to much stricter interpretations of the notion of refugee, as defined in the United Nations Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, coupled sometimes with the requirement that the asylum-seeker meet unduly high or unrealistic standards of proof.

2. Non-refoulement

21. Foremost among the principles of refugee protection is that of non-refoulement. This principle requires that no person shall be subjected to measures such as rejection at the border or, if already on the territory of a country of refuge, expulsion or compulsory return to any country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution or serious danger to life, liberty or freedom. This principle has been embodied in a large number of international treaties and declarations, as well as in the national legislation of many States. It is also reflected in the practice of States and can today be considered a part of general international law.

22. During the reporting period, the vast majority of States continued to adhere scrupulously to the principle of non-refoulement, though with some notable exceptions. Some countries thus continued their practice of pushing back asylum-seekers and a few States occasionally resorted to the refoulement of larger groups of asylum-seekers and even of some recognized refugees. There were also cases of forcible return of individual asylum-seekers and refugees from certain other countries.

23. Another basic principle of refugee protection is to be found in article 32 of the 1951 United Nations Convention, which prohibits contracting States from expelling refugees who are lawfully on their territory, except on grounds of national security or public order. Although expulsion does not have such serious implications as refoulement, it may, nevertheless, create serious difficulties for refugees and their family members.

3. Expulsion

24. By and large, expulsion of refugees in disregard of article 32 occurred only rarely during the reporting period. In one region, however, over 100 refugees were required to leave their country of asylum as a result of pressure exerted upon that country by the country of origin.

4. Detention

25. A further principle of refugee protection prohibits unjustified detention of refugees and asylum-seekers. Such detention continued to occur during the reporting period and several hundred refugees and asylum-seekers were automatically detained in a number of countries for no other reason than illegal entry or for having overstayed the validity of their entry visa. Such detention was in disregard of the fact that their illegal entry or presence was due entirely to the need to find asylum. UNHCR also encountered problems in obtaining access to refugees and asylum-seekers in detention in some countries.

26. In view of its growing seriousness, the High Commissioner submitted the subject of detention to the Sub-Committee of the Whole on International Protection for consideration in 1986. Subsequently, the Executive Committee of UNHCR, at its thirty-seventh session,4 adopted a conclusion which, inter alia, confirmed that detention of refugees and asylum-seekers should not be automatic and should only be resorted to if necessary and only on grounds prescribed by law for certain purposes. These purposes were defined as the following: to verify identity; to determine the elements on which the claim to refugee status or asylum was based (thus, if necessary, an asylum-seeker may be detained to undergo a preliminary interview); to deal with cases where refugees or asylum-seekers have destroyed their travel and/or identity documents or have used false documents; and to protect national security or public order. The conclusion also states that UNHCR should have access to refugees and asylum-seekers in detention and that a possibility of judicial or administrative review of detention measures should exist.

5. Physical safety and security of refugees

27. In regard to the basic rights to life, liberty and freedom of refugees, particular emphasis has been focused in recent years on their right to physical safety and security. During the reporting period, this right was violated in a number of instances. There were numerous cases in different parts of the world where the physical integrity and safety of refugee women and girls were violated through rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Refugees were also subjected to violence during their flight to safety, particularly in the waters of South-East Asia, where refugees fleeing in boats were attacked by pirates, resulting in large numbers of deaths, abductions, rape and other injuries. Efforts continued during the period under review to curb such attacks through the Anti-Piracy Programme established by the Royal Thai Government with the assistance of UNHCR and with funding provided by 12 donor Governments. In the area of physical safety, previously initiated measures were also continued to promote rescue' at sea through the Rescue at Sea Resettlement Offers (RASRO) and the Disembarkation Resettlement Offers (DISERO) schemes.

28. Furthermore, the reporting period witnessed a recurrence of military and armed attacks on refugee camps and settlements and attacks on individual refugees living in urban centres. These attacks occurred notably in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and resulted in the deaths of several dozen refugees, in many more being seriously wounded and in considerable material damage. Attacks occurred not only from across, but also from within national borders.

29. During the reporting period, an informal working group, composed of representatives of certain member States of the Executive Committee, continued consultations with a view to reaching consensus on a set of conclusions on these matters. Since no consensus emerged, the Executive Committee, at its thirty-seventh session, requested its Chairman and the High Commissioner to pursue their consultations, to review developments and to submit detailed reports in accordance with their respective mandates on the various aspects of the subject to the Executive Committee5 at its thirty-eighth session.

6. Economic and social rights

30. In order to facilitate the integration of refugees and to preserve their human dignity and self-respect (these latter reasons applying equally to asylum-seekers and to those who have only received temporary asylum), refugees must be granted certain social and economic rights. The 1951 United Nations Convention has, as one of its main objectives, the granting of such rights to refugees. Particularly significant are the provisions relating to gainful occupation, which place obligations on States concerning access to wage-earning employment, the right to self-employment and the practicing of liberal professions. These provisions are consistent with more generally applicable "right to work" provisions in other international instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.6

31. The situation varies considerably as regards the implementation of these rights. Many States, but by no means all, have enacted legislation to remove or lessen restrictions on their exercise by refugees. In certain countries, including some with the largest refugee population, refugees are unable to obtain any greater rights in regard to wage-earning employment than ordinary aliens or illegal immigrants, due to the absence of appropriate procedures under which their refugee status can be identified. Widespread practical obstacles to employment include a lack of programmes specifically aimed at assisting refugees to find work, limited access to technical and vocational guidance, non-recognition of foreign degrees or diplomas and the need for financial guarantees before self-employment is possible. With regard to asylum-seekers, the trend to further restrict the right to work continued during the reporting period.

32. Similar problems were encountered in respect of education. Many asylum countries do not have enough educational institutions to meet the needs of their own nationals and therefore cannot offer educational opportunities to refugees. This situation affected urban refugees in particular; refugees living in camps and settlements could often obtain education through special assistance programmes. Even so, in many situations, large numbers of refugee children were unable to obtain a certificate or diploma testifying to their education, since the national authorities did not recognize these special educational programmes.

7. Documentation

33. Most States parties to the 1951 United Nations Convention have continued to issue travel documents to refugees, as provided for under article 28. Some difficulties nevertheless occurred where such documents were issued without a return clause or with one of unduly limited duration. Many Governments, sometimes with UNHCR assistance, also issued refugee identity documents. In most instances, these documents not only established the identity of refugees but also attested to the holders' refugee status, thereby enabling them to benefit from the various rights laid down in international refugee instruments, national legislation and administrative regulations. They also were useful in protecting refugees from restrictive measures that may be applied to aliens in general.

8. Naturalization

34. Article 34 of the 1951 United Nations Convention calls upon States to facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees. Such, measures are particularly valuable for those refugees who are either well integrated into their country of asylum or for whom voluntary repatriation can no longer be envisaged. A number of refugees in such circumstances were naturalized during the period under review.

9. Family reunion

35. During the reporting period the High Commissioner's assistance was requested by many refugees seeking to reunite with their families. Indeed, despite the widespread recognition by States that separated members of at least the nuclear family should be reunited, many refugees seeking such reunion still encountered considerable obstacles, mainly associated with insufficient funds, limited access to support sponsorships, inability to provide documented proof of family relationships or to obtain exit and entry visas for the family members concerned. Furthermore, many States make entry permits for family reunion purposes conditional on the economic viability of the refugee applicant or sponsor and on the availability of adequate housing.

36. During the reporting period, UNHCR pursued its efforts to promote the adoption of criteria and measures facilitating family reunion and liberal admission policies, by also taking into account relevant cultural and social factors. The Office also provided advice and guidance to applicants on family reunion procedures and frequently intervened with the authorities, voluntary agencies, social services etc. on behalf of the refugee. UNHCR continued to assist in cases where family members, left behind in the country of origin, were denied passports and exit visas to join them. In this respect too, UNHCR pursued and/or consolidated its contacts with Governments. During the period under review, some 80 cases involving 158 persons were solved.

C. Voluntary repatriation

37. Whenever feasible, voluntary repatriation remains the preferred solution to a refugee situation and UNHCR continued to promote and assist the voluntary return of refugees to their countries of origin. In this task, the High Commissioner's office was guided by Executive Committee conclusions 18 (XXXI) and 40 (XXXVI). During the reporting period, two tripartite commissions were established, composed of representatives of the country of origin, the country of asylum and UNHCR. Ways and means to involve refugees themselves were also examined. In several refugee situations, other concrete measures were taken in an effort to promote and facilitate voluntary return, which included assistance with transport and transit and with the rehabilitation, reintegration and security of returnees.

38. During the period under review, close to a quarter of a million refugees returned to their countries of origin; the vast majority did so spontaneously, with little or no assistance from the international community. Although voluntary repatriation took place mostly on the African continent, considerable numbers of refugees also returned to their countries of origin in Latin America and, to a lesser extent, in Asia.

39. In many instances, voluntary repatriation calls for prior action in the countries of origin to promote conditions favourable to this solution. All UNHCR action is guided by the need to safeguard the best interests of refugees and to ensure that return takes place under conditions of safety and dignity. It is, therefore, particularly important that UNHCR be satisfied, not only that the nature of the refugees' decision to return is voluntary, but also that the refugees are fully informed of the situation in their country of origin (e.g., that they have not been misled as to the reception they will receive upon return) and, where appropriate, that conditions have improved sufficiently to permit successful reintegration.

D. Determination of refugee status

40. Formal procedures for the determination of refugee status are necessary if refugees are to benefit from the treatment stipulated in relevant international instruments. During the reporting period, more States adopted procedures of this kind, bringing to almost 50 the number in which such formal procedures now exist. Other States are actively reviewing, or considering the establishment of, refugee determination procedures. UNHCR continued to emphasize the need that all procedures meet basic requirements if they are to ensure that all claims to refugee status are dealt with in an efficient, expeditious, fair and humane manner. These minimum requirements are set out in conclusions adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's programme at its twenty-eighth,7 thirty-third8 and thirty-fourth9 sessions.

41. The General Assembly and the UNHCR Executive Committee have repeatedly stressed the importance of determination procedures and have urged those States parties to the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol that have not yet adopted formal determination procedures to give further consideration to this matter.

E. International refugee instruments

42. With the accession of Papua New Guinea and Venezuela and the succession of Tuvalu, the number of States parties to the 1951 United Nations Convention and/or the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees rose to 101 during the reporting period. In recognition of this milestone and of the importance of further accessions, the Executive Committee adopted the Geneva Declaration on the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol at its thirty-seventh session.10 That Declaration recalled the need for universal accession to these instruments and called upon all States that had not yet done so to accede to them. It also expressed the hope that by the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of the 1951 Convention, all Member States of the United Nations would have acceded. UNHCR has based itself on the Geneva Declaration in its ongoing efforts to promote further accessions.

43. The General Assembly and the Executive Committee of UNHCR have repeatedly called upon States that maintain a geographical limitation in respect of their obligations under the 1951 United Nations Convention and the 1967 Protocol to withdraw such restrictions. During the period under review, UNHCR continued its efforts to promote the withdrawal of these restrictions.

44. A number of instruments defining standards for the treatment of refugees have been adopted at the regional level. Such instruments are of particular value in so far as they reflect the specific problems existing in the area and supplement the standards already defined at the universal level. Of special importance is the 1969 OAU Convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa.10 With an additional accession during the period under review, the number of States parties to this instrument has risen to 34.

F. Promotion, advancement and dissemination of the principles of refugee law

45. UNHCR continued its action aimed at advancing and consolidating the acceptance by States and the public at large of the rules and principles applicable to refugee situations. Apart from its traditional co-operation with other United Nations bodies and regional intergovernmental organizations, UNHCR undertook special efforts to ensure the promotion and dissemination of refugee principles worldwide. This effort took two distinct forms; within UNHCR, emergency management training courses and training sessions devoted to refugee law and protection were held both at headquarters and in the field; externally-oriented seminars, courses and lectures were also organized for the benefit of government officials and officials of non-governmental organizations.

46. Seminars were organized with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Second World Congress on Human Rights, the Group of Experts on Humanitarian Issues in European Socialist Countries, in collaboration with the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the Czechoslovak Red Cross, which took place in Prague, and with other humanitarian and academic institutions. A Refugee Law Seminar for Government officials of Southern Pacific Countries was also organized by UNHCR in February 1987 at Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) to review refugee law and protection issues in the region.

47. Dissemination of refugee law and principles was likewise undertaken through the translation, publication and distribution of a variety of legal texts relating to the protection of refugees and related legal problems. The period under review also saw the reorganization and consolidation of the new UNHCR Centre for Documentation on Refugees.


A. Introduction

48. During 1986, UNHCR continued to co-operate actively with concerned Governments and the international community in efforts to meet the humanitarian needs of refugees throughout the world.

49. The promotion of durable solutions, i.e., voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement, remained the primary and long-term objective of the assistance programmes of the Office. UNHCR responded to requests for emergency assistance for many new arrivals and continued to pursue care and maintenance programmes for refugees for whom no immediate solution could be foreseen. Whenever feasible, relief-oriented programmes have also included measures aimed at promoting basic self-sufficiency activities among refugees.

50. UNHCR efforts to improve the management of assistance programmes have included training UNHCR staff to apply modern management tools and techniques, the organization of programme management workshops for UNHCR implementing partners and regional seminars on refugee-related issues. The existing monitoring and reporting system was also subject to a review, which led to the development of a new financial management information system which will ensure more efficient and effective control and reporting of UNHCR programmes.

51. Total UNHCR expenditure in 1986 amounted to $456.7 million (see table 1 of the annex). Of this total, voluntary funds expenditure represented $440.7 million, including $281.1 million under General Programmes and $159.6 million under Special Programmes. Voluntary funds expenditure in 1986 decreased by some $20 million, which reflects an overall improvement in programme delivery.

52. The following paragraphs provide a summary of the major areas of assistance, as well as an overview of significant developments in each of the geographical areas covered by the five UNHCR regional bureaux. Detailed information on expenditure levels for each country or area programme is given in tables 1 and 2 of the annex.

B. Major trends in assistance

1. Emergency response

53. Assistance is a major aspect of involvement of UNHCR in refugee emergencies, and the Emergency Fund, which enables the High Commissioner to allocate up to $10 million annually, was frequently used.11 In 1986, $3,213,858 were obligated from the Emergency Fund, of which nearly 85 per cent was used for emergency operations in Africa (see table 4 of the annex).

54. The success of longer-term solutions to refugee problems depends to a large extent on effective response at the initial, emergency stages of a refugee influx. The Emergency Section of UNHCR continued to promote the strengthening of UNHCR emergency preparedness and response capabilities through the development of procedures and training, and offered managerial support and advice in refugee emergencies. Through its Emergency Management Training Programme, the Office, to date, has trained 229 UNHCR and operational-partner staff at workshops that were held at Geneva, Nairobi, San José, Kampala and Madison in 1986. The following emergency resource materials were also developed: a Guide to In-Kind Contributions in Refugee Emergencies; a fourth refugee emergency profile - on Mozambique; detailed maps of refugee-prone areas (northern Uganda, Somalia, southern Africa); and the first issue of a quarterly update on developments in emergency management was distributed. The Section is also studying the use of computer technology in refugee emergencies, developing emergency staff shelter and a list of emergency supplies, and acting as a resource unit to emergency task forces.

2. Care and maintenance

55. Political, physical, environmental or socioeconomic factors often preclude the rapid identification and implementation of durable solutions or measures that would make refugees self-sufficient within a short time. In such circumstances, and at the request of the host Government, UNHCR provides intermediate assistance in the form of care and maintenance. This may include the provision of food, shelter, water, health services and sanitation, clothing, household utensils and equipment, and primary education. Whenever feasible, these programmes also include vocational training or income-generating activities that prepare refugees for a more productive life and promote a certain degree of self-reliance in reception centres, refugee villages or quasi-permanent camps.

56. In 1986, the largest single care and maintenance programme was the assistance programme for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, for which $48.3 million were obligated under the 1986 General Programme. Over $11.2 million of this amount was devoted to income-generating and self-sufficiency activities. Other countries where major care and maintenance programmes were implemented include Thailand, Somalia, Costa Rica and Honduras.

3. Self-sufficiency activities

57. The promotion of self-reliance seeks to allow refugees to help themselves, to limit the need for prolonged care and maintenance programmes, and to reduce the financial burden on the host Government and on the international community at large.

58. Self-reliance activities should be initiated as rapidly as possible in the interests of both refugees and host countries. Such an approach is consistent with concerns about infrastructure and related development in asylum countries which have recently been voiced in many forums, especially at the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. In order to promote self-sufficiency activities, it is essential that UNHCR co-operate closely with other United Nations organizations, the activities of which are development-oriented and which are better equipped to cope with these tasks. Full details of such collaboration are given in chapter III of the present report. As a follow-up to the Conference, the Steering Committee confirmed at its meeting in August 1986 that UNDP should undertake the identification and preparation of a pipeline of projects in various countries in close consultation with Governments. Such projects should be in the priority areas and sectors singled out at the thirteenth special session of the General Assembly and in the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (resolution S-13/2 of I June 1986).

4. Durable solutions

59. The primary objective of all UNHCR assistance activities is the achievement of durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration in the country of first asylum or, when these are not possible, resettlement in another country. In 1986, over $89.9 million were obligated under the General Programmes for the promotion of all three durable solutions. Some $11.1 million were made available under Special Programmes for rehabilitation assistance to returnees in their countries of origin.

60. Voluntary repatriation: During 1986, the Office continued to promote and support efforts towards the voluntary repatriation of individuals or groups of refugees. The largest movement during the year involved the spontaneous and organized return of over 130,000 Ugandan refugees. Some 11,000 Chadians from the Central African Republic and the Sudan also returned to their country of origin.

61. Towards the end of 1986, an understanding was reached between the Somali, Ethiopian and Djibouti authorities that permitted the start of voluntary repatriation movements of refugees to Ethiopia from Somalia and in December the resumption of similar moves from Djibouti. By 31 December 1986, some 8,000 refugees in Somalia and 1,100 in Djibouti had registered for voluntary repatriation, of whom 640 and 437, respectively, returned to Ethiopia before the end of the year. By June 1986, an estimated 65,000 Ethiopians of Tigrayan origin had returned spontaneously from eastern Sudan to Ethiopia.

62. Repatriation of Argentinian and Uruguayan refugees continued throughout 1986. Additionally, Nicaraguans (Miskitos) and Haitians also began to return to their countries of origin.

63. Local integration: Where voluntary repatriation is not feasible in the foreseeable future and the host Government is agreeable, settlement or local integration projects assist refugees to attain a level of self-sufficiency comparable to that of the local population. In urban and semi-urban environments, assistance is normally given to individual refugees. This may include, inter alia, the provision of housing, social amenities, education, language courses and the purchase of tools and equipment. Large groups of rural refugees are assisted mainly through the creation of rural settlements, the objectives of which are to become self-reliant communities. Expenditure on local integration activities in 1986 amounted to some $70.3 million.

64. Resettlement has continued to be promoted in the absence of other durable solutions. Resettlement assistance is also often provided for special groups of refugees, such as those separated from their families and disabled refugees in need of rehabilitation in countries where facilities for such treatment are more readily available.

65. A total of 51,137 Indochinese, comprising 25,094 Vietnamese, 16,658 Lao and 9,385 Kampucheans, were resettled in 1986. The restrictive resettlement criteria introduced by several countries in past years still apply to the Indochinese. Under the Orderly Departure Programme, a total of 18,418 persons left Viet Nam for family reunion abroad. A total of 2,591 refugees were rescued at sea in 1986, of whom 1,249 benefited from the RASRO scheme, while 292 persons were disembarked and resettled under the DISERO scheme.

66. Over 17,000 persons of various European origins benefited from resettlement opportunities offered by traditional countries of immigration. A total of 2,561 refugees were resettled from Africa, over 5,500 from the Middle East and some 700 from the Americas. Some 300 persons have been resettled under programmes of assistance for disabled refugees and their families.

67. Expenditure incurred by UNHCR for the promotion of resettlement and for the transportation costs of refugees to countries not in a position to assume such costs themselves amounted to some $15.0 million under General Programmes.

5. Social services

68. Counselling and community services: During 1986, counselling and community services continued in both urban and rural areas and emphasized the importance of refugee self-sufficiency. Social workers in UNHCR offices and the staff of UNHCR implementing partners provided social counselling to individual refugees, families and groups, through case or group work. Refugees were provided with information on available community resources and referral procedures were set up to ensure their access to such services. Guidance was given on health services, education and training, wage-earning employment, self-employment and income-generating activities.

69. In the rural settlements, camps and reception centres, social counsellors and social workers played a significant role in community development activities and in the promotion and organization of refugee participation. In this context, a workshop on refugee participation and social services in rural areas took place at Nairobi. Social workers were involved in different sectoral activities related to preventive health care, health education, nutritional programmes, self-sufficiency measures, educational programmes, and social work with vulnerable groups.

70. Special counselling and community work programmes to assist the recovery of refugees victims of pirate attacks continued in Thailand and Malaysia and were also extended to Indonesia in 1986. These programmes included in-service training for the counselling team.

71. Assistance to handicapped refugees: Medical facilities and physical, social or mental treatment and rehabilitation were made available to handicapped refugees in countries of asylum. The needs of some 10,755 refugees were met at a cost of $940,027, obligated under General Programmes. The medical evacuation programme enabled 28 disabled refugees who could not be treated locally to be referred to medical centres abroad at a cost of $41,471 under Special Programmes.

72. Education: In 1986, elementary education continued to be provided in local government schools or in specially established settlement schools. UNHCR had more than 108 programmes worldwide in the fields of post-primary, vocational/technical and academic education. In-service training, literacy programmes, special-skills training and language training still constitute the main activities under non-formal educational assistance programmes.

73. Some $10.4 million was obligated in 1986 to enable nearly 14,500 refugee students to study at the secondary and tertiary levels. Approximately 28 per cent of the students followed technical training courses, while 57 per cent attended secondary schools and 15 per cent university. Renewed emphasis was put on guiding students towards vocational and technical training, which was considered likely to lead to employment.

6. Supplies and Food Aid Service

74. The Supplies and Food Aid Service (SFAS), created on 1 May 1986, replaced the former Procurement Unit as well as elements of the Fund-Raising and Programming and Co-ordination Sections. The task of SFAS is to purchase various supplies and contract services on the international market, to handle global food aid planning for refugees, and to track food aid shipments. In 1986, SFAS issued 1,016 purchase orders for goods valued at $40 million. The goods were obtained from 39 countries and shipped to 42 others in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Purchases included foodstuffs, shelter materials, such as tents, tarpaulins and prefabricated houses, water supply and water treatment equipment, drugs and medical equipment, cloth, household utensils, educational materials and vocational training equipment, agricultural seeds, hand tools and machinery, and light and heavy vehicles, including spare parts.

75. The annual amount of food aid for refugees, including that from the World Food Programme (WFP), totals some $200 million. WFP traditionally supplies about two thirds of UNHCR food requirements, approximately 500,000 tons and UNHCR, through its donors, about 200,000 tons. Bilateral donations account for the remaining 50,000 tons. In 1986, some $75 million in food aid was channelled through UNHCR.

7. Phasing-in and phasing-out of assistance

76. Once refugees have become self-sufficient, international assistance ceases and the host Government assumes overall responsibility for further economic and material needs of the refugees. However, due to the fragile nature of their economies this process is being hampered in the least developed countries. Prior to phasing-out its assistance, UNHCR endeavours to create self-sustaining structures and services in refugee communities, incorporating them with self-sufficiency activities already being implemented or designed in respective regional community development plans. In certain cases, however, renewed aid or phasing-in of fresh post-handover assistance becomes necessary when the infrastructure or economic viability of a settlement has been severely damaged by unforeseen circumstances. UNHCR is now focusing more attention on the establishment of the most appropriate schedules for phasing out UNHCR assistance, identifying potential post-handover problems, and phasing in new non-UNHCR sources of assistance, in co-operation with the World Bank and other United Nations agencies.

8. Evaluation of assistance activities

77. During 1986, UNHCR continued to carry out a wide range of evaluation activities, including self-evaluations for all projects and a limited number of more in-depth evaluations of selected programmes. Both approaches attempted to provide managers at all levels with information on programme and project results that could be used to improve planning and implementation. The evaluation process was further strengthened during the year with an increase in resources and the establishment of a committee aimed at ensuring that evaluation recommendations receive adequate follow-up.

C. Regional developments in Africa

78. During the reporting period, the overall number of refugees in Africa remained relatively stable. Influxes, notably from Ethiopia into north-west Somalia in the first half of the year, from the Sudan into south-west Ethiopia and from Mozambique into neighbouring countries, were offset by the return of Ethiopians and Ugandans from the Sudan, Ugandans from Zaire and Chadians from neighbouring countries. In addition, organized repatriation of Ethiopians from Djibouti and Somalia began in December 1986. While not leading to a marked increase in the number of asylum-seekers, events in South Africa created new and potentially grave problems.

79. UNHCR programmes in Africa placed emphasis on measures to promote the voluntary repatriation of refugees as soon as changes in circumstances permitted. Pending this, in the emergency phase, efforts were made to increase the effectiveness of immediate relief assistance. Particular attention was focused on the response to the influx into north-west Somalia and, in a different context, on the emergency needs of over 80,000 Ugandans who returned home in the second quarter of the year, the great majority having been compelled by insecurity to flee from areas on the east bank of the Nile in southern Sudan.

80. Once the immediate needs of new arrivals had been met, renewed efforts were made to promote self-sufficiency. A second year of generally good harvests allowed further consolidation of UNHCR emergency programmes in Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan. Arrangements were made to phase out these programmes by the end of 1986 or early in 1987, with assistance thereafter being provided under General Programmes. However, the severe economic difficulties facing many asylum countries at the start of 1986 continued and in some cases increased. As a result, progress in stabilizing the several critical emergency situations was not matched by progress towards self-sufficiency.

81. At the same time, economic difficulties and consequent social tensions increased the impact on national infrastructures of both assisted and spontaneously-settled refugees. Special attention was paid to measures that could address the needs of areas affected by the presence of refugees in an integrated manner and within the framework of national development plans. In this regard, progress was made in the formulation of projects by the European Economic Community (EEC) for financing under article 204 of Lomé III (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group and EEC Convention on Economic Co-operation, 1984), notably for the Sudan and Uganda, and in developing World Bank projects that benefited refugees as well as nationals, notably for Somalia and the Sudan. In this approach, national and international development institutions were encouraged to take the lead in their area of competence.

82. The needs in Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan and southern Africa continued to require major assistance programmes, as did the return home of Ugandans. In Ethiopia, care and maintenance assistance was provided to Sudanese refugees at Itang, in the Illubabor region, where some 121,000 persons had been registered by the end of 1986. In addition, a new influx of southern Sudanese into the Keffa region, south of Illubabor, began in mid-1986. Emergency relief assistance was provided to these refugees, who by the end of the year numbered some 11,000. Emergency relief assistance to some 400,000 registered Ethiopian returnees in the Hararghe region also continued: an average of 150,000 of the most needy received monthly food rations; health care and water resource development were also covered by this programme.

83. The influx of refugees from Ethiopia into northern Somalia increased in the first half of 1986. Emergency assistance was provided to new arrivals at the Tug Wagale Reception Centre, where 32,000 refugees were registered during a census conducted in August 1986. This assistance was incorporated into the overall programme of emergency assistance in Africa, which thus covered 140,000 recent arrivals. From mid-1986, some progress was made in restarting and promoting limited local settlement and self-sufficiency projects for the earlier arrivals. The planning figure of 700,000 continues to be used. However, agreement for a re-enumeration operation was concluded in March 1987.

84. In the Sudan, limited continuing influxes from Ethiopia and Uganda were substantially offset by the spontaneous or organized repatriation of some 170,000 refugees, the great majority being Ethiopians and Ugandans, but also including some Chadians. At the end of 1986, UNHCR was assisting some 45,000 Chadians, 330,000 Ethiopians (200,000 being recent arrivals) and 80,000 Ugandans. Government figures indicated that at least an additional 600,000 refugees were settled spontaneously. Satisfactory harvests permitted a resumption of activities aimed at self-sufficiency in the long-established settlements for Ethiopian refugees and in some Chadian settlements; while the great majority of settlements for Ugandan refugees were self-sufficient in food. The report of the United Nations inter-agency mission to the Sudan (A/41/264, annex) recommended measures both to assist refugees to become self-sufficient and to help ease the burden on their hosts.

85. Political developments in Uganda and security problems in parts of the Equatoria region of the Sudan resulted in a large-scale return of Ugandans, the great majority from the Sudan. Substantial numbers also returned from Haut Zaire. An appeal to assist returnees to north-west Uganda was made in June and updated in November 1986. By the end of 1986, some 130,000 returnees had been assisted under this special programme. Improved security in 1986 also permitted the resumption of the implementation of the rural settlement programme in south-west Uganda.

86. Insecurity and conflict within Mozambique, exacerbated by drought in some areas, resulted in an increasing exodus of Mozambicans to neighbouring countries. By the end of the reporting period, UNHCR assistance was required for some 250,000 Mozambicans: 150,000 in Malawi, 5,000 in Swaziland, 30,000 in Zambia and 65,000 in Zimbabwe. Special appeals were launched in March 1987 for assistance to displaced Mozambicans in Malawi and for assistance to some 15,000 Mozambican returnees to the Tete Province, which is a complementary programme to that covered by the Secretary-General's appeal of 27 February 1987 for emergency assistance to Mozambique.

87. In 1986, UNHCR assisted some 43,000 South African refugees in various countries in southern Africa and some 76,000 Namibian refugees, the great majority of whom are in Angola and Zambia. Support towards self-sufficiency programmes for refugees was also provided to the southern African liberation movements recognized by OAU.

88. During 1986, expenditure in Africa under UNHCR voluntary funds totalled $193.5 million, of which $86.8 million were obligated under General Programmes and $103.9 million under Special Programmes.

D. Regional developments in Asia and Oceania

89. As in previous years, refugees of Indochinese origin continue to constitute the largest group in the region. At the end of 1986, the registered number of Indochinese refugees at various camps and centres awaiting durable solutions was 145,227, a decrease of 9 per cent over the figure of 159,665 at the end of 1985. The majority of the refugees were in Thailand with 85,818 Lao, 26,949 Kampucheans and 7,023 Vietnamese. Other countries and territories in the region hosted 25,437 Vietnamese boat people. In addition, the two Refugee Processing Centres at Bataan in the Philippines and at Galang in Indonesia (which was closed at the end of 1986) were providing temporary accommodation for Indochinese refugees who had already been accepted for resettlement and who were in transit to third countries. There were also some 280,000 Indochinese refugees in China and an estimated 20,000 Kampucheans benefiting from UNHCR assistance in Viet Nam.

90. Resettlement in third countries remained the most viable solution for the majority of the Indochinese refugees and, by the end of 1986, nearly 1,100,000 had found new homes in third countries. Despite UNHCR efforts to promote voluntary repatriation for this group, no significant number of Indochinese refugees returned home. UNHCR continued to provide assistance towards the reintegration of those Kampucheans and Lao who returned to their countries of origin.

91. In the course of 1986, the Royal Thai Government decided to close the Songkla, Sikieu and Khao-i-Dang Camps. Vietnamese refugees from Songkla and Sikieu, totalling some 5,000, were transferred to Phanat Nikhom Camp. UNHCR is still discussing the future of the Khao-i-Dang population with the Government.

92. The problem of attacks in the waters of South-East Asia continued to cause serious concern, even though the number of attacks decreased in 1986 for the third consecutive year. Depending on the routes taken, the percentage of boats attacked in 1986 varied between 13 and 19 per cent, compared to an average of 24 per cent in 1985. However, the level of violence during such attacks remained an area of serious concern: 18 people died and 143 were reported missing. In addition, 64 persons were abducted and 141 women were victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. Efforts to curb such attacks continued during the reporting period under an enlarged anti-piracy programme established by the Royal Thai Government, which was extended for a fifth year.

93. There are some 90,000 Filipino refugees in Sabah Province (Malaysia), the majority of whom arrived between 1972 and 1976. Since 1977, UNHCR has provided assistance in the form of housing, improvement of sanitary facilities, construction of classrooms and the strengthening of infrastructure, to enable the refugee to become self-supporting. UNHCR is now gradually phasing out its assistance.

94. The number of Irian Jayans in Papua New Guinea remained stable at 11,000. During the year, 1,135 persons returned voluntarily to Irian Jaya, the easternmost province of Indonesia; this number was offset by the arrival, in September and December, of some 1,100 Irian Jayans. Pending the elaboration of viable durable solutions, UNHCR assistance consisted mainly of care and maintenance to the camp population along the Indonesian/Papua New Guinea border. In August 1986, a plan was worked out with the Papua New Guinea authorities to move an initial 2,000 Irian Jayans away from the border and to relocate them at a new site in West Sepik Province.

95. During 1986, expenditure in Asia and Oceania totalled $73.4 million, of which $62.6 million were under the General Programmes and $10 million under Special Programmes.

E. Regional developments in Europe and North America

96. The arrival of refugees and asylum-seekers in European countries, particularly through irregular channels from outside the region and not directly from the country of origin, was the cause of much concern to the Governments of these countries. Consultations on the subject were convened by both UNHCR and Governments during the year. The number of persons seeking asylum in Europe increased from 170,000 in 1985 to a total of 202,000 at the end of 1986. Owing to a wide range of restrictive measures, both legislative and procedural, taken during the last quarter of the year by a number of countries, the increase in the number of registered asylum-seekers slowed down temporarily. The influx was again greatest in the Federal Republic of Germany, with a total of 99,650 arrivals, as compared to 73,850 in 1985. France recorded 23,450, Sweden 14,000, and Denmark 9,300 asylum-seekers in 1986.

97. While maintaining their geographical reservations to the 1951 United Nations Convention, Turkey permitted UNHCR to provide legal and material assistance to non-European asylum-seekers who were considered as being in transit and Italy granted transit facilities to refugees pending their resettlement to third countries.

98. During 1986, UNHCR continued to contribute to projects in European countries, as well as in Canada and the United States of America, particularly in the fields of legal and social counselling for asylum-seekers, assistance to aged and handicapped refugees and the promotion of self-help activities to facilitate durable solutions. Care and maintenance assistance was provided to destitute refugees in a few countries where no other source of assistance was available. A total of 757 persons, mainly originating from Latin America but including some from Haiti, repatriated voluntarily under UNHCR auspices.

99. During 1986, UNHCR expenditure in Europe and North America totalled $16.8 million, of which $12.8 million were under General Programmes and $0.8 million under Special Programmes.

F. Regional developments in Latin America and the Caribbean

100. In April 1986, some 7,000 newly-arrived Nicaraguan refugees of Indian origin were registered in Honduras. Since then, there has been no significant influx in the Mexican and Central American region and it can be considered that the most critical problems in the areas of assistance are now solved.

101. The number of repatriates, whether Guatemalans in Mexico, Salvadorians or Nicaraguans in Honduras, has continued to increase. The same is true for Haitians in Santo Domingo.

102. At the end of 1986, 120,200 refugees were receiving UNHCR assistance in the Mexican and Central American region. In Costa Rica, 20,700 refugees were assisted and the local integration programme for Salvadorians and Nicaraguans, in both urban. and rural zones, continued. In Honduras, there were an estimated 21,000 Salvadorians, 530 Guatemalans, 8,200 Nicaraguans (Ladinos) and 16,000 Nicaraguans (Miskitos and Sumos). In spite of the large number of people who repatriated (1,770 Nicaraguans in 1986 and 867 during the first quarter of 1987; 963 Salvadorians in 1986 and 205 during the first two months of 1987), material assistance was maintained at the same level for the various groups in that country. A census showed that there were 39,400 Guatemalans in Mexico. During the first three months of 1987, 675 persons repatriated as compared to 355 in 1986. Assistance aimed towards achieving self-sufficiency, especially in Campeche and Quintana Roo, as well as supplementary aid for refugees in Chiapas, continued.

103. During 1986, UNHCR expenditure in Latin America and the Caribbean totalled $38.4 million, of which $35.1 million were under General Programmes and $2.5 million under Special Programmes.

G. Regional developments in South-West Asia, North Africa and the Middle East

104. Pakistan hosts the world's largest concentration of refugees, mostly Afghans. The major influx of Afghans occurred between 1980 and 1982, although new arrivals continue to enter Baluchistan and the North-West Frontier Province every year. Apart from the Afghans, a considerable number of people of various origins, mainly Iranians, have also sought asylum in Pakistan.

105. The principal component of UNHCR assistance remains the provision of supplies and services, although the office has developed and expanded activities encouraging self-sufficiency. Total funds obligated by UNHCR for the assistance programme exceeded $78 million in 1986, most of which was for multi-purpose assistance and donations in kind.

106. The pilot phase of the UNHCR/World Bank income-generating project for refugee areas in Pakistan, the objectives of which have been to create income-generating possibilities for both refugees and the local population, as well as to create economically viable assets for Pakistan, will finish on 30 June 1987. At the end of December 1986, the project had generated 55 million work-days of employment, 80 per cent of which have been for Afghan refugees. of the total cost of the project, over 33 per cent accrued to refugees. An appraisal mission for phase II of the project took place during March 1987. A total of 91 sub-projects (compared to 40 in phase I) were selected in three provinces in the forestry, watershed management, irrigation, road and fishery sectors. Implementation of phase II is due to begin on 1 July 1987 and to continue until 30 June 1990.

107. UNHCR continued to provide assistance to vulnerable Sahrawi groups in Algeria within the framework of assistance programmes approved by the Executive Committee.

108. During the period under review, UNHCR has continued to assist Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran whose number is estimated by the authorities to be 2.2 million. In 1986, a total of $5 million was obligated for assistance to Afghan refugees,' principally in the sectors of health, water and sanitation. A comprehensive programme review was undertaken to strengthen the durable-solution component of UNHCR assistance activities and to develop an inter-agency approach. To this effect, a joint UNHCR/WFP mission and a World Health Organization (WHO) consultancy mission visited Iran during the latter part of 1986.

109. Some 2,900 refugees living in Lebanon continued to receive assistance from the Beirut UNHCR Regional Office in the Middle East. In view of the precarious security situation in Lebanon, it became increasingly difficult for the UNHCR Regional Office to operate out of Beirut. The Government of Bahrain has agreed to the temporary relocation of the Regional Office to Manama, and preparations have been made to move a major part of the Office's activities from Beirut to Bahrain.

110. In Yemen, 1,800 refugees of Eritrean origin living on the Red Sea coast were provided with basic assistance in the sectors of health, education, agriculture, shelter, community development and income-generating activities in 1986.

111. UNHCR continued to act as the Co-ordinator of the United Nations Programme of Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus, providing aid to persons displaced within the island as a result of the events of 1974.

112. During 1986, UNHCR expenditure in South-West Asia, the Middle East and North Africa totalled $97.5 million, of which $59.7 million were under the General Programmes and $37.5 million under Special Programmes.


A. Co-operation between UNHCR and other members of the United Nations system

113. UNHCR has further developed various programmes and activities to meet the needs of refugees in close co-operation with other members of the United Nations system.

114. WFP continued to provide the majority of refugees, food needs and in certain situations also provided assistance for refugees involved in productive activities. In 1986, UNHCR and WFP undertook a joint mission to Pakistan to assess refugee food needs. In that year, WFP food assistance amounted to approximately 500,000 tons.

115. A recent exchange of correspondence between UNHCR and UNDP has reviewed the guidelines governing co-operation with a view to its expansion. During the first months of 1986, UNDP continued to provide assistance for the establishment of a water point maintenance unit and for integrated development planning in the Sudan. it also administered various projects on behalf of UNHCR in countries where the latter is not represented. UNHCR and UNDP are currently studying ways of incorporating a number of established refugee settlements into the normal development process.

116. UNHCR has given equal importance to the expansion of its co-operation with the World Bank. Following high-level discussions held in October 1986, the following principles governing collaboration between the two institutions have been agreed upon. The Bank and UNHCR, in agreement with the Government concerned, co-operate in planning, financing and implementing projects aimed at promoting self-reliance through, for example, agricultural activities and at creating employment opportunities for refugees and returnees it their country of asylum or country of origin, respectively. The Bank and UNHCR jointly work with Governments to determine which of the Bank's projects can cover refugee-related programmes. The Bank, through its co-financing office, will assist UNHCR in raising funds for project preparation and for project financing. Governments must recognize, however, that this co-financing may not be additional, given the overall limitations on its availability. The Bank will use its Special Project Preparation Facility for the preparation of refugee-related projects in sub-Saharan Africa, subject to the availability of funds at the time of project preparation and to the agreement of the Government concerned. UNHCR will be invited to participate in Consultative Group meetings where there is a UNHCR programme on a scale warranting discussion in that forum or where there is a major influx of refugees or returnees into a country that is creating a substantial financial and economic burden. UNHCR is responsible for agreeing with countries of asylum and with countries of origin on refugee-related projects and on UNHCR co-financing of these projects. UNHCR will inform the Bank whenever it wishes to make a grant or to cost-share a Bank project.

117. Details of the pilot phase of the UNHCR/World Bank income-generating project, as well as of phase II, which is scheduled to begin on 1 July 1987, are given in paragraph 106 of the present document. As far as UNHCR/World Bank co-operation in Somalia is concerned, negotiations towards a memorandum of understanding on the Furjano settlement project are under way. An appraisal mission will visit the site in mid-June and a project identification mission is scheduled to go to the Hiran/Jalalaqsi area during 1987.

118. In eastern Sudan, an agriculture/infrastructure project is to be co-financed with the International Development Agency (IDA). A team, including a UNHCR representative, has already visited the area and preparations are now under way for a project-identification mission.

119. A preliminary meeting was held in March 1987 with IFAD, at which discussions centred on certain countries where refugee-related development activities might be undertaken by IFAD at the request of UNHCR.

120. UNHCR has worked closely with the United Nations Office for Emergency Operations in Africa (OEOA) to ensure that the former's emergency programmes were properly coordinated within the overall response of the United Nations system. To this effect, a UNHCR staff member was seconded to OEOA in New York until the phasing out of its activities at the end of October 1986.

121. Co-operation between UNHCR and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has continued to focus on ways of enabling refugees to become more self-reliant. Current activities involving ILO participation include small-enterprise development projects, co-operation development projects and vocational training projects in Costa Rica, Kenya, Lesotho, Pakistan and the Sudan. UNHCR continued to benefit in 1986 from the secondment of an ILO expert in income-generating activities.

122. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been associated with UNHCR programmes, mainly in Africa, in the fields of primary health care, water supply and basic sanitation. In December 1986, WHO sent a consultant to the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop a programme of primary health care for Afghan refugees in the Khorasan Province. In 1987, WHO will appoint a coordinator who will be responsible for the UNHCR health programme for Afghan refugees in Iran. In Cyprus, the joint activities of the two organizations continued during the period under review. UNHCR has also retained the services of a public health and nutrition adviser on secondment from WHO. Also in the medical field, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) has been co-operating with UNHCR in family-planning programmes.

123. No provisions were made in 1986 for associate experts from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to work with UNHCR in the field of refugee education. UNESCO has, however, participated in various consultancies and in the production of textbooks and educational programmes for refugees.

124. The arrangement between the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and UNHCR, whereby a physical planning and construction engineer was seconded to UNHCR to provide technical advice on matters relating to refugee settlements, was extended in 1986. The arrangement with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that provided a maritime expert to assist in tasks relating to anti-piracy and rescue-at-sea operations was also continued in 1986. The United Nations Volunteers programme (UNV) has participated actively in refugee programmes by providing some 50 volunteers who have been working in Honduras, Malaysia, Somalia and the Sudan.

125. The United Nations Disaster Relief Organization (UNDRO) collaborated closely with UNHCR in its response to the African Emergency. Close contact was maintained and possibilities for co-operation were explored with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Within its 1986 Fellowship Programme the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has agreed to the financing of fellowships for refugee candidates in various countries of asylum.

126. In 1986, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development continued its survey of the socioeconomic conditions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. UNHCR has pursued its co-operation with the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa (UNETPSA) and the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa with regard to training facilities and assistance to refugees from southern Africa. UNHCR has granted assistance to the United Nations Institute for Namibia in Zambia and co-operates closely with the United Nations Council for Namibia. Refugees have also benefited from fellowships awarded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

127. UNHCR collaborates with other United Nations bodies, such as the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Office at Vienna and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and participates in global endeavours of the United Nations system, such as the Decade for Women, the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons, the Vienna International Plan of Action on Aging, the International Youth Year, the International Year of Peace, the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless etc.).

B. Relations with other intergovernmental organizations

128. At the invitation of the Government of Zimbabwe, UNHCR attended the Meeting of Senior officials of the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, within the framework of its Eighth Summit Meeting. Upon the recommendation of the Co-ordinating Bureau and the Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, the Eighth Summit decided to grant UNHCR "guest status" at all future meetings of the Movement.

129. During the period under review, UNHCR has maintained close co-operation with OAU through its various organs, such as the Committee of Fifteen on Refugees, the Co-ordinating Committee for Refugees and the OAU Bureau for Refugees.

130. UNHCR participated at various OAU meetings including those of the Council of Ministers. Of particular note was the adoption, by the Council of Ministers at its forty-fourth ordinary session, of resolution CM/RES.1040, in which the Council, inter alia, welcomed positive developments with regard to repatriation and recognized the urgent need to integrate the formulation and implementation of refugee and returnee programmes into the national medium and long-term development plans.

131. OAU and UNHCR have continued their consultations on the evolution of the refugee situation in southern Africa, particularly in the light of the proposed international conference on the situation of refugees in southern Africa to be convened by OAU at a later stage. A joint UNHCR-OAU mission to West African countries is planned for 1987 to seek resettlement places for those South Africa refugees who cannot remain in the front-line States.

132. UNHCR continued to co-operate with the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration (ICM) in all regions. Access by ICM to concessional travel rates and other arrangements permitted substantial savings to be made in the transportation of refugees accepted for resettlement in third countries.

133. UNHCR maintained regular contacts with the Organization of American States (OAS) and in particular with OAS Under-Secretary for Legal Affairs and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Based upon a specific recommendation of the Cartagena Colloquium, the joint programme for the study on the legal condition of refugees, asilados and displaced persons in the member States of the OAS continued, focusing on the problems related to refugee mass influx situations. Field research for case studies in settlements and camps in Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica started at the end of the reporting period. As in previous years, UNHCR attended the OAS General Assembly, which took place in Guatemala. The Assembly adopted, by consensus, a resolution on the question of refugees and their voluntary repatriation. UNHCR also contributed to the fourteenth international law course organized annually by the Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro by giving two lectures on subjects of its concern.

134. During 1986, UNHCR continued its close co-operation with the League of Arab States by maintaining regular contact with the Permanent Observer of the League in Geneva and by sending missions to its headquarters in Tunis.

135. UNHCR also continued to develop its co-operation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Apart from regular contacts between officials of the two organizations, the High Commissioner attended the meeting of the Heads of Islamic States held in Kuwait in January 1987. UNHCR continued to act as focal point for humanitarian questions within the framework of co-operation between the United Nations system and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

136. The European Parliament took an increasingly active interest in global and European refugee issues. The Council of Europe, in both the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers, continued its consideration of current refugee issues, in close co-operation with UNHCR.

137. The European Community continued to provide strong support to UNHCR during 1986, both in cash and in kind (food aid), with a total level of contributions of over $50 million. Particular interest was shown in the UNHCR relief programmes for refugees and returnees in Africa. A first contribution was made at the end of the year, under article 204 of the Lomé III Convention, for assistance to Ugandan returnees. The Commission demonstrated its world-wide support for UNHCR operations through the funding of programme activities in all geographic regions.

C. Humanitarian co-operation with liberation movements

138. During the reporting period, UNHCR has maintained its traditional close co-operation with the national liberation movements recognized by OAU and the United Nations through humanitarian assistance programmes in favour of refugees under their umbrella. In Angola, Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania, a number of UNHCR-financed projects for Namibian and South African refugees continued to be implemented through their respective liberation movements: the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) in Angola and Zambia, the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) in Angola, Zambia and the United Republic of Tanzania and the Pan African Congress of Azania (PAC) in the United Republic of Tanzania. A programme management workshop was conducted by UNHCR for officers from the liberation movements involved in refugee project planning and implementation. As in past years, these three national liberation movements participated as observers at the thirty-seventh session of the Executive Committee of UNHCR.

D. Relations with non-governmental organizations

139. During the period under review, UNHCR has attempted to consolidate its working relationship with NGOs concerned with refugee issues. This was particularly so with agencies involved in emergency operations e.g., in Tug Wajale (Somalia) and northern Uganda. Co-ordination meetings with NGOs involved in these two operations took place at UNHCR headquarters in July and September 1986. These meetings set the pattern for co-operation in the field, where follow-up co-ordination meetings, are held regularly.

140. The Consultative Groups on Protection and Refugee Operations (formerly Assistance) met again during the period under review. These meetings helped to strengthen the relationship between NGOs and staff of the Division of Refugee Law and Doctrine through the study of basis priority protection issues. The Consultative Group on Refugee Operations devoted a long working session to assistance-related themes, such as emergency and rehabilitation assistance and the role of NGOs, as well as such practical problems as the improvement of existing UNHCR Guidelines on Co-operation between Non-Governmental Organizations and UNHCR in the Planning and Implementation of UNHCR-funded projects and accounting and reporting procedures. In this context, NGOs met with members of the UNHCR Working Group on Implementing Instruments on 15 January 1987.

141. The NGO Liaison Unit regularly attended monthly meetings of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in order to provide participants with the latest information available on refugee issues. In addition, the Unit attended the thirty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross (October 1986) and the Commemoration of the twenty-fifth Anniversary of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) (March 1987). The Unit also visited seven major non-governmental organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany, where issues of common concern were discussed.

142. The NGOs of the five Nordic countries, with UNHCR support, undertook an information and fund-raising campaign entitled "Nordic Refugee 86", which was very successful, both in terms of fund-raising and of increasing public awareness.

E. Nansen Medal Award

143. The Nansen Medal for 1986 was awarded to the people of Canada in recognition of outstanding services rendered to refugees. It was because of the efforts of the nation as a whole that the unusual decision to award the medal to the entire people of the country was taken. The Medal was received on 13 November 1986 by the Right Honourable Jeanne Sauvé, Governor General of Canada, who announced that the $50,000 accompanying the Award would be used for the training of refugee women in Africa.


144. As explained in detail in paragraph 51, UNHCR Voluntary Funds expenditure was $441 million in 1986, as compared to $459 million in 1985.

145. Financial support was crucial to the ability of UNHCR to maintain its operations. Contributions from a total of 81 Governments, 55 non-governmental and 9 intergovernmental organizations and funds, as with as donations received from private sources, provided a primary income of $417 million - some $24 million or 6 per cent more than in 1985 (and $93 million or 29 per cent more than in 1984). UNHCR is very grateful for the continued exceptional financial support given to its programmes in 1986 by the international community. Contributions to the General Programmes (Annual Programme and Emergency Fund) reached $255 million, while contributions to Special Programmes and other Trust Funds totalled $162 million.

146. In addition to the regular appeal by UNHCR for funds to cover the General Programmes, several special appeals relating to the emergency situation in Africa were issued during the year, as a continuation of the relief assistance provided to refugees and returnees in Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan. Further appeals were issued for a programme of limited assistance to returnees in Uganda and for the 1986-1987 phase of the Anti-Piracy Programme. During 1986, members of the Executive Committee and interested donors were kept informed of the funding requirements and financial situation of the office through periodic information letters from the Head of Fund-Raising Services. Reports on major UNHCR programmes were issued and provided information on the progress of assistance activities and related expenditures.

147. At its thirty-seventh session, the Executive Committee approved the amount of $360.4 million for General Programmes in 1987. As at March 1987, the total Voluntary Funds requirements for 1987 for the General and Special Programmes, including the Refugee Education Account, were estimated to be in the order of $419.6 million to cover all assistance to refugees, returnees and other persons of concern to the High Commissioner.

148. As at 31 March, total contributions in 1987 for both General and Special Programmes amounted to $200,707,927. Table 3 of the annex details those contributions for 1986 and 1987 that had been paid or pledged as of that date. In pursuing efforts to expand its donor base, UNHCR continues to explore new sources of contributions, governmental, non-governmental and private, while improving its donor reporting record through the introduction of more rational standards.

149. The High Commissioner much appreciates the considerable financial support provided by the international community. UNHCR can only fulfil its mandate if adequate resources are made available through voluntary contributions. The High Commissioner, therefore, relies on the international community to maintain its support and generosity so that effective help can be given to refugees through the full funding and implementation of the programmes approved by the Executive Committee.


150. UNHCR has maintained its efforts to promote greater public awareness and understanding of the world-wide refugee problem through the production and distribution of various information material, co-productions of such material with the media and numerous NGOs, daily supply of oral and written information to media representatives (journalists, radio and television channels) and through the organization of special events such as an itinerant media seminar to Central America and a round table on the theme "Helping refugees - contributing to Peace" on the occasion of the International Year of Peace. UNHCR Representatives and Public Information Officers in the field continued to keep the press in their respective countries informed, and requests from journalists and television crews for UNHCR assistance in reporting on refugee situations around the world continued to increase.

151. The magazine Refugees provides up-to-date information on refugee problems worldwide. It was published monthly in English, French and Spanish and special editions were published in German, Italian and Japanese. Other publications included a booklet written for schoolchildren, a report of the proceedings on the round table on "Helping Refugees - contributing to Peace", a leaflet on UNHCR, a series of 10-page posters for exhibitions, other photo and thematic posters, a world refugee map and a 12-page colour-photo calendar. A series of 10 "country fact sheets" provided detailed and regularly updated information on UNHCR's assistance programmes in Central America and Mexico, South-East Asia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Sudan, South America, Zaire, and southern and West Africa. Other language versions of this material were produced as warranted.

152. Throughout the year, the photo-library distributed some 39,000 photographs (black and white and colour slides) to the media, schools and NGOs. In addition to servicing external demand, the photo-library continued to provide support for all UNHCR information publications and to arrange exhibitions.

153. During the period under review, UNHCR continued and intensified its policy of film co-productions with major television networks on refugee situations around the world. These co-operation arrangements, which contain provisions that the resulting films must be telecast at "prime time" and the spare footage given to UNHCR for non-commercial use, continued to prove very useful.

154. The public information material described above, along with calendars and educational kits were also provided in various languages to NGOs to support their fund-raising projects and information campaigns.

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

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

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

3 Article 14 of the universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly in its resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948

4 Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-first Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/41/12/Add.1), para. 128.

5 Ibid., para. 129.

6 General Assembly resolution 2200 A (XXI) of 16 December 1966.

7 Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/32/12/Add.1), para. 53 (6).

8 Ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/37/12/Add.1), para. 70 (4).

9 Ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/36/12/Add.1), para. 97 (2).

10 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1001, No. 14691, p. 45.

11 General Assembly resolution 35/41 B of 25 November 1980 on the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

12 Including expenditure amounting to $US d,213,858 for Emergency fund spent in Ethiopia, Honduras, Malawi and Zambia.

13 Including simple transfers.

14 Does not include $US 69,121 obligated under the Revolving fund for Staff Housing.

15 And therefore not including expenditure for programmes support and administration.

16 Including income-generating activities.

17 Including assistance to returnees.

18 Including donations in kind, e.g., food, etc.