Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-fifth Session
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/8012)
1. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has continued its humanitarian work during the past year with a view to putting an end as quickly as possible to the refugee problems with which it has to deal. Its means of action are the protection of the refugees under its mandate, and its programme of material assistance, which depends mainly on voluntary contributions from Governments. Both these activities are of help in seeking permanent solutions, as recommended by the Statute,1 that is, voluntary repatriation or, failing that, resettlement in a country of reception. Emergency assistance for new arrivals or supplementary aid to the most needy of the refugees provide only temporary relief for immediate and pressing requirements.
2. Circumstances have compelled UNHCR to intensify and broaden its efforts, for there has been a steady increase in the number of refugees on whose behalf Governments have appealed for assistance, particularly in Africa. New projects have been embarked upon and in many cases projects already completed or in execution have been expanded or remodelled. In addition, assistance has recently been requested for new groups of refugees in Asia, where UNHCR has continued its work on behalf of the already existing groups. UNHCR has maintained activity on a limited scale in Europe, where, because of the intensified efforts of Governments and the possibilities of overseas emigration, the backlog of requirements can be gradually absorbed while, at the same time, action is taken to meet the needs of new arrivals. In Latin America, UNHCR has continued to give preferential attention to the handicapped, while providing some material and legal assistance, through trained social workers, to needy persons, students or young refugees receiving vocational training.
3. Thus, it is in Africa that the major part of UNHCR's refugee problems are now to be found, and settlement in a rural environment is still the main solution to those problems, despite the growing number of refugees attracted to the towns, where there is most often no work to be found for them.
4. As regards settlement in agriculture, the many obstacles that have to be surmounted before large groups of refugees can be firmly and durably established have clearly shown that this is a task requiring a sufficiency not only of resources, but also of time, and that the process cannot be speeded up beyond a certain point. Moreover, it was known that refugee problems could not be taken out of context and dealt with in exactly the same way wherever they arose, for experience has shown that unless specific features, particularly of a psychological or social nature, are taken sufficiently into account for each individual group, and unless the effort to modernize, diversify and rationalize methods of farming is combined with some respect for traditional ways of living, the action taken may not, in the short run, produce all the results that had been expected.
5. In an undertaking of this kind, allowance must be made for unforeseen contingencies (such as an unexpected or prolonged drought seriously affecting the harvest, rapid degradation of the soil etc.) and for the difficulty of always making an accurate assessment, at the initial stage, of certain ecological or other data which will eventually affect the outcome of the project (the problem of water or, conversely, of drainage, particularly when additional refugees flock to the area of settlement; remoteness from a centre and poor communications making it difficult to begin marketing the produce etc.). Lastly, the political situation or political decisions may also have the effect of unexpectedly delaying or hampering the execution of a project.
6. These are, however, the hazards inevitably encountered by any undertaking that has to grapple with emergency situations, and whose supreme concern is the need to save human lives while protecting the internal and external security of the countries of reception. On the whole, the results obtained in the sphere of rural settlement in Africa are satisfactory, since the vast majority of the refugees have already been restored to living conditions which, in comparison with those of the local inhabitants themselves, are practically normal.
7. One conclusion that may be drawn from UNHCR's experiences in Africa is that the settlement of a large number of refugees in the rural areas of a developing country involves a number of disciplines. Consequently, the resettlement of refugees in such areas entails concerted action on the part of all United Nations bodies engaged in this type of work. Owing to their understanding and to that of the majority of Governments directly concerned, considerable progress has been made during the past year in broadening co-operation and in improving and intensifying the co-ordination of efforts. The frequent and very close contacts now established with the competent organizations and specialized agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), indicate that such co-operation will become increasingly varied and comprehensive, thereby enabling the greatest possible benefit to be reaped from the assistance which these organizations can give to the humanitarian work of UNHCR.
8. One of the spheres in which this co-operation takes place, and it is a sphere whose prime importance for the integration and social welfare of refugees is confirmed daily, is education (primary, secondary and possibly higher) and vocational training, in its many aspects. Owing to the generosity of the Governments contributing to UNHCR's Education Account, and to the arrangements made recently with the United Nations Training and Education Programme for Southern Africans, and, lastly, to the support of all the public or private organizations able to participate in this type of work, (such as the ILO, FAO, WHO, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International University Exchange Fund), the range of educational opportunities open to refugees is steadily widening, while UNHCR is assured of being able to make optimum use of the funds placed at its disposal.
9. Side by side with these activities connected with the various forms of material assistance, UNHCR has made particular efforts in the past year in the field which is its primary concern, that of the international protection of refugees coming within its mandate. As is well known, protection covers a wide variety of activities and concerns respect for the principle of non-refoulement, granting of residence permits and travel documents, the same right to work, education and welfare as the nationals themselves, granting of legal protection against arbitrary arrest, facilities for the acquisition of naturalization, etc. Coupled with possible financial assistance, protection also plays an essential role in promoting voluntary repatriation, a solution which, where it proves possible, takes precedence over any other.
10. These efforts have borne fruit, leading in particular to additional accessions to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 19512 and to the 1967 Protocol3 and the promise of additional facilities in Europe for the Naturalization of refugees requesting it. The strengthening of certain UNHCR branch offices in Africa and the appointment of two new regional representatives bear witness to the constant and pressing concern to ensure that the provisions of the various agreements and conventions to which States have acceded are actually incorporated in their domestic legislation and reflected in their current administrative practice. While recognizing the difficulties which this effort of adaptation might encounter in some countries, the High Commissioner wishes to emphasize its vital importance both for the refugees themselves and for the work of settlement carried out under UNHCR auspices, for without that adaptation the work of UNHCR world soon become meaningless. The High Commissioner therefore urges the Governments concerned to give this matter all the attention required.
11. The humanitarian work of UNHCR is a synthesis of, and its effectiveness and success depend on, many varied activities, governmental, intergovernmental, public and private. Only if UNHCR is assured of this support and of the benevolent understanding of all Governments can it discharge its task.
12. The High Commissioner therefore welcomes the increases - sometimes very substantial - that have been made in the past year in the size of the contributions by some Governments to his material assistance programme. He also welcomes the steady increase in the number of countries participating in the financing of this programme, whose budget for 1970 has been fixed by the Executive Committee at close to $6 million. This additional effort made by the Governments means that the share of assistance expenses covered by their contributions is close to 80 per cent of the total, a proportion never reached before.
CHAPTER I INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
A. General remarks and main developments
13. The General Assembly in reiterating in resolution 2594 (XXIV) the need to provide refugees with international protection, once again confirmed the importance of international protection, the basic function of the High Commissioner's Office.
14. The developments described in this chapter, like the international protection function itself, are in the main concerned with three basic needs of the refugee: to receive asylum; to be granted a satisfactory legal status in the reception country; and to be able to cease to be a refugee through voluntary repatriation or, if this is not possible in the foreseeable future, by the acquisition of the nationality of his country of residence.
15. It is gratifying to note that States have continued to apply a liberal policy in admitting refugees either on a permanent basis or temporarily pending their resettlement elsewhere. The principles contained in the United Nations Declaration on Territorial Asylum, adopted on 14 December 1967,4 have continued to receive widespread acceptance and have been further strengthened by the inclusion of provisions on asylum land of the principle of non-refoulement in regional instruments.
16. The High Commissioner has been concerned that, despite these positive trends, certain cases of refoulement to the country of origin have occurred. The general application of the principle of non-refoulement should be facilitated by the increasing acceptance of the maxim that the grant of asylum is a peaceful and humanitarian act and should not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any State, as is stated in the United Nations Declaration on Territorial Asylum and the Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa of 10 September 1969 adopted by the Organization of African Unity.5
17. In the exercise of his function of international protection, the High Commissioner seeks to promote the granting of a satisfactory legal status to refugees in their country of residence, especially with regard to social rights, such as access to gainful employment, social security and public assistance. The basis for this legal status of refugees is to be found in various international instruments adopted for their benefit, in particular, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and the 1967 Protocol. These instruments have now been supplemented in a very positive manner by the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa of 1969, which includes important provisions for the protection of refugees in the African context and provides a valuable example of an instrument for regulating specific refugee problems on a regional level.
18. If refugees are to take full advantage of the international minimum standards established in their favour, these must also be adequately reflected in national legislation and administrative measures. The 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol are not yet being fully implemented in a number of countries. The High Commissioner hopes that the necessary measures for implementation will be taken and that existing legislation will be brought in accord with the letter and spirit of these international instruments.
19. As regards the means by which a refugee may cease to be a refugee, mention should be made in the first place of voluntary repatriation, the promotion of which in one of the basic tasks of UNHCR. In Africa, voluntary repatriation has assumed importance as a solution to refugee problems and article V of the OAU Convention specifically defines the principles relating to this type of solution.
20. The second means by which a refugee may cease to be a refugee is by acquiring a new nationality. The initiatives taken in this field and described in more detail below are beginning to yield fruitful results. One of the important objectives which UNHCR is pursuing in helping refugees to acquire a new nationality is to avoid the perpetuation of refugee status, particularly in countries where they have been residing for a long period of time. The accession to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 31 August 19616 and the implementation of the relevant resolution contained in the Final Act of the Conference which adopted this Convention would constitute a positive measure in this direction in enabling refugee children to acquire the nationality of their parents' country of residence.7
21. In this chapter, international protection is of necessity discussed from the aspect of general measures. Individual cases, however, which constitute an important part of the work of UNHCR, often demonstrate in a dramatic manner deep human problems which call for solutions in the legal field. In Africa, for example, there is a growing problem of individual refugees who have moved to the towns and who, unlike those in rural settlements, have an immediate need for social help in the form of social security and public assistance.
22. Furthermore serious problems arise where persons who qualify as refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol are declared prohibited immigrants or subjected to detention under existing immigration and refugee control legislation.
23. Another problem affecting individual refugees is that of family reunion in the country of reception. This problem has always been of special concern to the High Commissioner's Office in view of the humanitarian factors involved. Moreover, recommendation B of the Final Act of the Conference which adopted the 1951 Convention, inter alia, recommended "Governments to take the necessary measures for the protection of the refugee's family, especially with a view to:
"(1) Ensuring that the unity of the refugee's family is maintained particularly in cases where the head of the family has fulfilled the necessary conditions for admission to a particular country."
The High Commissioner trusts that all States, whether parties to the Convention or not, will give him their full co-operation in his efforts to promote the reunion of separated refugee families.
B. Intergovernmental instruments concerning refugees
24. It will be recalled that the main intergovernmental legal instruments directly concerning refugees are the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, The Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen of 23 November 1957,8 and the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugee of 20 April 1959.9 Furthermore, the Convention of the Organization of African Unity Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa was adopted at the sixth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the OAU on 10 September 1969. This instrument is the more important since it concerns an area where the majority of refugees assisted by UNHCR are at present located. It will enter into force when one third of States members of OAU have ratified it, and will serve as a valuable complement to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. A number of other legal instruments contain clauses on refugees or are otherwise of special benefit to them. All of these instruments provide an important basis for the international protection of refugees.
25. The interest of a growing number of Governments in the work of assistance for refugees and the effects of International Year for Human Rights brought about a considerable increase in the number of accessions to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol during the past two years, in keeping with the resolutions and recommendations adopted to this effect by the General Assembly and various interested organizations. During 1969, three additional Governments10 became Parties to the 1951 Convention, and a further eight to the 1967 Protocol.11 As of today, the 1951 Convention is in force in most countries where refugees within the competence of UNHCR reside, and the Protocol in a great number of such countries.
26. In March 1970, the Government of Sweden decided to withdraw the reservation it had made in respect of paragraph 2 of article 7 of the 1951 Convention, whereby refugees were exempted from legislative reciprocity in the territory of the contracting States after three years' residence.
27. While the Convention and the Protocol are receiving increasingly wide recognition, the effective implementation of their provisions calls for close attention, as the High Commissioner pointed out at the last session of the General Assembly. In a number of countries, adjustments in internal legislation and administrative practice are required to give full effect to these instruments, and on a number of occasions UNHCR was able to give advice in this connexion to the authorities concerned. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, at its twentieth session, endorsed this point of view and agreed on the usefulness of a questionnaire being sent out by the High Commissioner to the Governments of States Parties to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. This would give the Governments concerned an opportunity to review and report on legislation adopted to give effect to the main provisions of these two instrument, with special reference to expulsion, labour law, social security, education and access to employment. Other matters evoked in the questionnaire are: freedom of movement of refugees, issuance of travel documents and naturalization.
28. An important development has taken place in respect of The Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen, the number of parties to which rose to sixteen through the accession of Canada in August 1969. In its desire to widen the present scope of the Agreement, the Government of the Netherlands, acting in its capacity as depositary of the Agreement, which applies to refugees defined as such in the 1951 Convention, has drawn up a protocol extending its benefits to refugees covered by the 1967 Protocol. The Netherlands proposal, which is in accordance with a recommendation made by the Joint Maritime Commission of the ILO in 1967, has already been applied in practice by the Government of Norway. This new initiative is the more important since it might successfully be extended to other agreements of interest to refugees, both multilateral and bilateral, whose application ratione personae is at present confined to refugees under the terms of the 1951 Convention.
29. During the period under review the number of parties to the European Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees rose to thirteen through the accession of the Government of Ireland. The Government of Tunisia acceded to the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 28 September 1954,12 the Government of Australia to the Convention Recovery abroad of Maintenance of 20 June 195613 and the Government Austria to Protocol Number 1 to the Universal Copywright Convention concerning the application of the Convention to Stateless Persons and Refugees of 6 September 1952.14
30. A list of the countries which are parties to the various intergovernmental agreements affecting refugees may be found in annex I to this report.
31. The question of asylum and the principle of non-refoulement, which is closely linked with it continued to receive the closest attention of UNHCR and of a number of intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations concerned with problems of human rights and refugees.
32. It will be recalled that the International Conference on Human Rights held in Teheran in 1968 adopted a resolution in which it affirmed the importance of the principle of non-refoulement. Human Rights year provided an opportunity to create more general awareness, especially on the international plane, of the importance of asylum for refugees.
33. After the adoption of the Declaration on Territorial Asylum by the United Nations, and of a resolution on asylum by the Council of Europe, the Organization of African Unity included an article on asylum in its Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee problems in Africa of 10 September 1969.
34. In enunciating the principle of non-refoulement, article II, in line with the above-mentioned United Nations Declaration, states that:
"No person shall be subjected by a Member State to measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion, which would compel him to return to or remain in territory where his life, physical integrity or liberty would be threatened..."
The article also formulates the important principle that:
"The grant of asylum to refugees is a peaceful and humanitarian act and shall not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any Member State."
Also of significance is the following statement in the same article:
"Where a Member State finds difficulty in continuing to grant asylum to refugees, such Member State may appeal directly to other Member States through the OAU, and such other Member States shall in the spirit of African solidarity and international co-operation take appropriate measures to lighten the burden of the Member State granting asylum."
35. In the Americas, a provision incorporating the principles of non-refoulement has been included in the American Convention on Human Rights of 22 November 1969.15
36. As shown above, the principle of granting asylum to refugees is being increasingly recognized throughout the world, thus reflecting the universal character of the refugee problem. However, the majority of countries have not yet reached the stage where the principle of non-refoulement is given legal force through its inclusion in domestic legislation, as was advocated at the International Conference on Human Rights, held in Teheran in 1968,16 and at various other meetings.
37. The High Commissioner is moreover concerned that some countries parties to the 1951 Convention tend to declare as prohibited immigrants, under their immigration laws, refugees who would be eligible under the 1951 Convention of the Statute of UNHCR. These refugees are consequently exposed to the risk of detention and expulsion. The problem is particularly serious because, under the specific terms of the immigration laws of the countries concerned, expulsion pursuant to a prohibited immigrant notice may not be questioned in the courts. Furthermore, such expulsions are not in keeping with the terms of article 32 of the 1951 Convention, which provides that.
"2. The expulsion of ... a refugee shall be only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with due process of law. Except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, the refugee shall be allowed to submit evidence to clear himself, and to appeal to and be represented for the purpose before competent authority or a person or persons specially designated by the competent authority."17
It is hoped that every effort will be made by the Governments concerned in order that the present practice of declaring refugees prohibited immigrants should be modified, bearing in mind the provisions of the 1951 Convention.
38. A noteworthy development has taken place in the closely related field of immigration. In the United Kingdom, the Immigration Appeals Act has been adopted, which grant a right of appeal including aliens, covered by the immigration laws, against, inter alia, refusal of entry and deportation orders. Refugees and persons claiming to be such will also be able to have recourse to the appeal procedure, which contains provisions for the participation of UNHCR.
D. Freedom of movement
39. In some countries special laws relating to refugees have been in existence for some time which permit their prolonged detention without trial or review, even though the Constitution and public security laws guarantee to all detained persons, including aliens, the right to a periodic review of their detention. It is hoped that these laws, referred to as "refugee control laws", will be amended so as to bring them into line with the spirit and principles of the 1951 Convention, article 26 of which makes provision for the freedom of movement of refugees, subject to any regulations applicable to aliens generally in the same circumstances.
E. Recognition of refugee status
40. The Office of UNHCR has continued to co-operate with Governments of States Parties to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol, within the framework of established procedures, to determine which persons are entitled to be considered as refugees according to the definition contained in these instruments. When requested to do so by Governments, the Office of the High Commissioner co-operates with them in establishing such procedures and seeks to promote the adoption of the necessary legislative and administrative measures, taking into account the need for eligibility criteria to be as uniform as possible.
41. The question of eligibility determination is now also receiving considerable attention in various countries in Africa. The Governments of Botswana and Zambia have already established a procedure and the question is under active consideration in several other African countries, and more particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. A senior official of the Ministry of the Interior of the Democratic Republic of the Congo visited UNHCR headquarters to discuss the determination of refugee status in the frame of appropriate measures for the implementation of the 1951 Convention.
F. Economic and social rights of refugees
42. Since the right to work is a determining factor in enabling refugees to become self-supporting, the question of access to employment is being followed closely by the Office of the High Commissioner in countries where refugees have been admitted. In most of the countries concerned the situation is satisfactory. It is gratifying to note that, in 1969, further facilities were granted in this respect by Belgium and France, where it was decided to grant temporary authorization to work to persons for whom the process of eligibility had been initiated.
43. As shown in chapter II below, the question of education is assuming growing importance for the successful settlement of refugees. The fullest implementation of article 22 of the 1951 Convention concerning the treatment to be accorded to refugees with respect to public education is being encouraged by UNHCR and forms an important element of the objectives of UNHCR's participation in International Education Year. Gratitude is due to some countries which are extending facilities to refugees beyond those required in the aforementioned article. Thus, the Government of the Netherlands has decided to extend to persons who are refugees under the terms of the 1951 Convention the same treatment as is accorded to nationals with regard to scholarships. The Italian Government for its part has decided to make a special allocation to finance scholarships each up to a value of 200,000 lire per year for the benefit of needy refugee students.
G. Issue of documentation to refugees with special reference to travel facilities
44. The facilitation of travel and the issue of appropriate documentation for this purpose is particularly important for refugees, to enable them in particular to take advantage of employment, training and educational opportunities wherever these are most readily available for them.
45. Most States Parties to the 1951 Convention issue the travel document provided for under article 23 of the Convention and grant the holders of such a document the right of return during the period of its validity which, at the discretion of the authorities concerned, should be either one or two years. In a few countries, however, and especially in those where new refugee problems have arisen, there is a reluctance to include a return-clause in the refugee travel documents. Difficulties have also arisen in some instances in respect of the renewal of documents or the extension of their validity. So far, however, it has proved possible to make satisfactory arrangements with Governments of States Parties to the 1951 Convention in respect of a number of individual cases affected by the above problems.
46. During the period under review, the 1951 Convention travel document has been issued by a further three Governments: those of Canada, Lesotho and Peru, while the United States of America is considering the adoption of the necessary measures to this effect.
47. Particularly liberal legislation was put into effect in Austria, where the passport law enacted in December 1969 sets out the rules for the issue of 1951 Convention travel documents to refugees as defined in this instrument. The law goes beyond the requirements of the Convention in authorizing diplomatic and consular authorities to prolong travel documents for a period of two years. It also authorizes the issue of aliens passports to persons who have become refugee as a result of events occurring after 1951.
48. With regard to the important question of fees for the issue of the travel documents mention should be made of the decision taken by the Turkish authorities in October 1969 to make a considerable reduction in charges retroactively to 13 December 1967.
49. With regard to the specific question of travel by refugee students, the Government of the United States has decided to grant the benefit of "parole or conditional entry" to South African refugee students, resident in the United States and wishing to work in another country, enabling these students to return to the United States during a period of two years. This benefit exempts them from compliance with the ordinary immigration rules. The United States Government has also stated that it is ready to cover the cost of return to an African country for those students who have expressed the wish to take up employment in such a country.
50. Finally, in the Central African Republic, the issue of identity cards to refugees, referred to in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fourth session, has actually taken place and some 25,000 refugees, recognized as such, have received their identity cards from the authorities concerned.
H. Acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence
51. When a refugee has been residing in a country for a number of years and has become settled from an economic and social point of view and when it has been ascertained that his voluntary repatriation is unlikely to take place, it is important for him to acquire the nationality of his country of residence so that he may enjoy the same rights as the nationals of that country. A number of important developments have taken place in this respect. The High Commissioner had the opportunity of raising the matter in the General Assembly at its twenty-fourth session. The question was also considered by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, which expressed the hope that positive measures would continue to be taken to facilitate the acquisition, freely decided by refugees, of the nationality of their country of residence once voluntary repatriation does not constitute a solution in the foreseeable future.
52. With regard to European refugees some 600,000 of whom are residing in countries members of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers of the Council wishing to avoid perpetuation of refugee status, endorsed a recommendation by the Consultative Assembly on the acquisition of nationality through naturalization and marriage, and on its acquisition by children through the accession to and liberal implementation of, the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 30 August 1961. The Consultative Assembly also expressed the hope that UNHCR would pursue its efforts in informing non-governmental organizations and the refugees themselves in the member States of the Council of Europe of the opportunities open to them to acquire the nationality of their country of residence, as well as of the procedures in force.
53. Positive action also continued to be taken in individual countries. The basic principles of a new naturalization policy have been enunciated in the Federal Republic of Germany whereby the acquisition of nationality by refugees should be facilitated in several ways. In a number of European countries for which naturalization statistics are available in respect of 1969, an estimated total of 7,000 refugees were naturalized during that year. In certain countries in Africa and Asia, facilities are given to refugees to acquire the nationality of the country in which they settle down. In most immigration countries, refugees benefit from the same facilities as other immigrants in that respect.
54. Considerable attention continues to be devoted by UNHCR to this important question with a view to helping refugees to cease to be refugees.
I. Indemnification by the Federal Republic of Germany
55. The High Commissioner continued to discuss with the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany the implementation of the various provisions providing for the indemnification of refugees who suffered persecution under the national-socialist regime. The objective of these discussions was to speed up the settlement of claims of those who had been persecuted by reason of their nationality. At the beginning of the period under review, nearly 14,000 such claims were awaiting a decision. In order to expedite the proceedings, the Federal authorities have approved an enlargement of the Federal Administration Office, the authority which adjudicates the claims.
56. By 31 March 1970, a total of 36,556 applications had been received by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany. Under article 1 of the Indemnification Agreement concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and UNHCR in October 1960, 25,512 of those of those had been settled; 2,717 favourable decisions were taken and payments were made in an amount of some 123.5 million DM. There was also a noticeable tendency towards a more liberal application of criteria. While in 1968 the monthly average of positive decisions had been thirty-one, in 1969 it rose to fifty-three.
57. The Supplementary Indemnification Fund, mentioned in last year's report to the General Assembly,18 has now been practically disbursed. By the end of March 1970, 2,613 applications had been examined, resulting in 720 favourable decisions. Payments to the beneficiaries totalled $US 866,680.
CHAPTER II MATERIAL ASSISTANCE
A. General review
58. Pursuant to the terms of General Assembly resolution 2399 (XXIII), the High Commissioner continued to provide material assistance for refugees who are his concern, while giving special attention to new groups of refugees, particularly in Africa, in conformity with the relevant General Assembly resolutions and the directives of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.
59. Whereas progress was made in the settlement of considerable numbers of refugees, there was at the same time a limited but continued increase in the influx of new refugees of the same origin as those already assisted. Furthermore, in response to earlier governmental requests for assistance to new groups of refugees, reported to the Assembly at its twenty-fourth session, a start was made in 1969 with the implementation of several sizable new rural settlement projects in Africa.
60. As shown in table 1 of annex II, some 275,000 refugees were assisted in 1969 with a view to their repatriation, resettlement or local settlement under UNHCR projects, as against 235,000 in 1958. Supplementary aid (direct assistance to meet basic needs) was provided for some 75,000 cases. As indicated in more detail in table 3, UNHCR assistance was given through projects already started under previous programmes, the current programme for 1969, whose revised target had been fixed at $5,996,800, and the UNHCR Emergency Fund, from which an amount of $364,968 was spent mainly to meet the emergency needs of refugees in several countries in Africa. A number of refugees were also assisted through complementary projects outside the UNHCR programmes which were put into effect in the countries listed in table 4. These were financed from trust funds made available by Governments or private donors in an amount of $1,741,683 as against $926,454 in 1968. The contributions represented by this amount were instrumental in enabling the UNHCR Education Account to provide the more than $1 million required in 1969.
61. The assistance provided under the UNHCR Programme and Emergency Fund is of course intended primarily to stimulate or supplement assistance from other sources, particularly that provided by the Government of the country of reception of refugees which has the primary responsibility for their material well-being. It is gratifying that the Governments and the local population of many countries of reception took their share in assisting the refugees to improve their living conditions. As will be noted from table 3 of annex II, the amount of identifiable supporting contributions totalled over $7,200,000, as compared with over $5,400,000 in 1968, and was particularly substantial in a number of countries. The amount of $7,200,000 does not include the value of land made available for the rural settlement of refugees, the cost of extending social services to the refugees and the expenses incurred by the authorities of many countries of reception in putting UNHCR projects into effect; nor does it include the considerable food supplies provided by the World Food Programme without cost to UNHCR, except as regards transportation. Assistance from other interested Governments through bilateral aid to the Governments of countries of residence in cash, kind or in services, also contributed to the provision of assistance to refugees.19
62. In accordance with the basic principles of UNHCR action, three solutions were open to the refugees: voluntary repatriation, resettlement through migration in another country or local integration.
63. Every effort was made by UNHCR to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees who opted for this solution. UNHCR committed an amount of $22,988 under its Programme mainly towards the transportation of 1,632 refugees returning to their country of origin. The number of identifiable refugees known to have returned to their country who left through their own means is estimated at some 10,500, nearly all of them Africans.
64. Promotion of resettlement through migration continued to play an important role in certain areas in helping refugees to move to countries of permanent settlement where they could rapidly be absorbed among the local population, while at the same time lightening the burden of countries of first asylum. UNHCR assistance in this field took the form of counselling, language training and provision of resettlement grants and contributions towards resettlement processing. An amount of $382,719 was committed for this purpose in 1969. The number of beneficiaries amounted to 13,762, most of whom were in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. UNHCR activities in this field are conducted in close co-operation with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and with a number of non-governmental organizations. As indicated in more detail in section B below, the procedures for the resettlement of African refugees are at present being worked out, in co-operation with UNHCR, by the Bureau for the Placement and Education for Refugees established in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the OAU.
65. A major part of the UNHCR programme funds, the Emergency Fund and trust funds were again required to assist in the local integration of some 258,000 refugees most of them in Africa. In Europe and Latin America, integration projects were mainly focused on assistance to handicapped refugees and on the provision of housing and certain amount of vocational training. In Africa, emphasis was placed upon the rural settlement of refugees with all the various forms of assistance which this entails. In Asia, many different kinds of projects are being put into effect covering most of the range of those implemented in the framework of UNHCR programmes.
66. Both primary and post-primary education were required on an increasing scale, first, because of the large proportion of young refugees and second, in view of the recognized need for increased educational assistance and vocational training to enable refugee youth to acquire the necessary skill and find their place in the local economy. While assistance in respect of primary education was included in rural settlement projects in Africa, which forms part of the UNHCR programme, post-primary education and a certain amount of training were financed from the Education Account in most countries of residence of refugees in Africa, as well as in Macao and in a few countries in the Middle East, as shown in table 4 of annex II. In addition, arrangements are being made with a view to the inclusion of a number of refugees in education and training courses organized by other members of the United Nations system.
67. An amount of $68,280 was committed to assist 4,583 individual refugees to solve their legal problems thereby facilitating their integration. Furthermore, in response to a request from the Central African Republic, arrangements were made with the help of UNHCR to issue the necessary identity cards to some 25,000 refugees in that country.
68. Supplementary aid was provided at a cost of some $150,000 to meet the basic needs of 75,000 refugees, the majority of whom belonged to a large group of refugees awaiting final arrangements for their rural settlement in Africa.
69. In determining the amount of the financial target for 1970 and the various country allocations the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme took into account the considerable outstanding needs in a number of countries in Africa and Asia and the fact that, in certain other areas, the arrangements for assistance to refugees were covered to an increasing extend by local sources. The Committee while noting that the rural settlement of certain groups of refugees might call for the subsequent inclusion of special allocations in the 1970 Programme, adopted a financial target for 1970 in the amount of $5,769,400 divided into country allocations (see annex II, table 5).
B. Assistance to refugees in Africa
70. At the end of 1969, the number of refugees within the competence of UNHCR in Africa was in the region of 1 million, taking into account an increased number of refugees in some countries, decreases resulting from voluntary repatriation and a reassessment of the situation in certain countries (see annex II, table 2). Nearly half the total are in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the number of Angolans increased by some 30,000. The next highest number of refugees are to be found in Uganda, where there are approximately 177,000. The great majority of refugees in Africa live on the land. In addition, there are several thousands of individual refugees, mainly of urban origin, who live in some of the larger towns where they face difficulties in respect of employment.
71. During 1969 over 250,000 refugees in Africa received UNHCR assistance (see annex II table 1). Supplementary aid was provided for some 65,000 cases. Every effort was made to help the refugees to become self-supporting whenever it appeared that voluntary repatriation was unlikely to take place in the foreseeable future. In cases where a solution to the problems of a given group of refugees could not be found rapidly enough, emergency relief was provided with the co-operation of the Governments of countries of reception, other Governments, the World Food Programme and non-governmental organizations. In some cases, the refugees began to settle on the land in the area of arrival with the help of the local authorities and population until such time as a more durable solution could be worked out for them.
72. Co-operation among UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system (see chapter V), was considerably developed and contributed to the settlement of refugees in Africa. In the framework of this co-operation, UNHCR transmitted an amount of $52,000 from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa to voluntary agencies for the relief of refugees from South Africa who had been welcomed in various African countries.
73. Voluntary repatriation again proved to be particularly significant as a solution to the problems of refugees in Africa. In 1969, the number of those known to have returned to their country of origin amounted to some 12,000, including an estimated 8,000 Congolese, 2,000 Zambians and 1,000 Namibians, and a number of Sudanese and other refugees. The majority returned by their own means. Whenever refugees indicated their wish to return to their country, every effort was made by UNHCR to assist towards this end. In 1969, UNHCR facilitated the voluntary repatriation of over 1,600 refugees in Africa, including 1,263 Congolese and 252 Sudanese and contributed towards the transportation costs involved.
Resettlement through migration
74. Resettlement through migration, in the sense in which this solution is applied in other areas, is still in the early stages in Africa. With the increasing number of individual cases of refugees of urban origin, resettlement through migration is, however, growing in importance. This type of solution applies when, for instance, a refugee has difficulties in settling in the country of reception because he cannot easily learn the language or possesses a professional skill which can be more easily used in another country, or because he wishes to join his family or members of the same refugee group elsewhere.
75. The Bureau for the Placement and Education of Refugees of the Organization of African Unity is expected to play an important role in facilitating the resettlement of individual refugees. The Bureau, which works in close partnership with UNHCR, acts as a clearing-house between countries where individual refugees are living who seek resettlement opportunities elsewhere. The Bureau has appointed correspondents in a number of countries who submit dossiers of refugees for consideration by the Government to which they are accredited. The fact that refugees are being helped to find employment and to be resettled in countries on the African continent is in keeping with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Economic and Social Council concerning the brain drain.
76. Some 250,000 refugees continued to receive UNHCR assistance in establishing themselves on the land. In some cases they settled among the local population, but in most countries they needed help in creating self-supporting rural communities, which are intended ultimately to form part of the economic and social system of the area. With this purpose in view, local settlement projects need to be of a comprehensive character. They include assistance towards the development of agriculture, as well as provision for a certain amount of infrastructure equipment, including water supply, roads and vehicles and the provision of health and primary education facilities, as for as these cannot be made available from other sources. The type of assistance required from UNHCR varied again in relation to the stage of settlement of the refugees and also to the type of assistance and amount of supporting contributions provided from other governments intergovernmental and non-governmental sources. As shown in table 3 of annex II, these were very substantial in most countries of residence of refugees in Africa.
77. Further progress has been made in the rural settlement of refugees and, in some countries like Burundi and more recently in the Central African Republic, a stage has been reached at which the refugees have become self-supporting and where further progress depends on the economic and social development of the area. Considerable problems, however, had to be faced during 1969. The need to move sizable groups of refugees from their area of arrival near the border to a more suitable settlement area further inland has required every attention. The new influx of refugees called for additional measures of assistance and slowed down the integration process in certain areas. Problems of water supply as, for example, in the Sudan and in Uganda, also presented difficulties and will involve additional expenditure.
78. By the end of 1969, solutions to many of these problems had been worked out and a start had been made in implementing new major projects for the rural settlement of refugees in the north-eastern province of the Congo, in Ethiopia and in the Sudan. These projects, as well as a number of those in course of implementation in several other countries in Africa, need to be continued and a number of new projects need to be implemented in 1970. The necessary allocations were accordingly included in the UNHCR Programme for 1970 (see annex II, table 5). A more detailed description of developments in various countries in Africa may be found in paragraphs 82 to 143 below.
79. Special mention should be made of educational assistance in view of the increasing role it plays in the integration of refugees in Africa. While the basic responsibility for providing education remains with the authorities of the countries of residence of refugees, assistance from the international community is generally required in order to supplement the education facilities available. UNHCR assistance may take the form of providing classrooms in the settlements or of contributing towards the expansion of existing primary schools. Care is taken to ensure that tuition fits into the national education system of the country. It is in keeping with UNHCR policy that financial responsibility for running the schools should be handed to the Government as soon as possible.
80. The UNHCR Education Account which is financed from special trust funds, continued to play an important role in financing facilities for post-primary education, including some vocational training. In 1969, an amount of $1,071,151 was spent from the Fund for this purpose. The main expenditure, amounting to $731,665 was in Uganda, where the Government had decided to admit refugees to public secondary schools in the same way as nationals and where the necessary additional facilities had consequently to be provided.
81. UNHCR continued to co-operate closely with the United Nations Training and Education Programme for Southern Africans, referring eligible refugees to the Fund for scholarships.
82. Further progress was made in the settlement of Congolese and Rwandese refugees in Burundi.
83. The estimated 10,000 Congolese remaining in Burundi and living for the most part in and around Bujumbura continued to earn their living as fishermen and small farmers.
84. Of the Rwandese, whose number had decreased to some 36,000 by the end of 1969 partly through the departure of a number of them for neighbouring countries, 13,000 lived scattered throughout the country, while 23,000 continued to settle in the Cankuzo Region. The UNDP/FAO Integrated Rural Development Project referred to in last year's report to the General Assembly20 was put into effect in the Mosso and Cankuzo Regions and is being continued in 1970. Special trust funds amounting to $97,000 were made available by the Danish Government through UNHCR towards the financial counterpart which the Government of Burundi was called upon to contribute towards the UNDP/FAO project.
85. During 1969, drainage areas were surveyed and roads were built to permit the extension of the area under cultivation and the promotion of local marketing. The refugees were instructed in new agricultural techniques, including mixed farming and cattle breeding, and 500 head of cattle were distributed.
86. In order to facilitate closer relations between the refugees and the local population, measures were recommended to the Government for the attendance of Burundi children in primary schools in the settlements, for the extension of mixed farming and drainage of marshes adjacent to the settlements for the benefit of the local Burundi population.
87. Through a $64,300 contribution from the Education Account, 635 Rwandese refugee students were able to continue post-primary studies in various institutions in Burundi during the scholastic year 1968/69.
Central African Republic
88. Further progress was made in the settlement of refugees on the land. Most of the 3,700 Congolese may now be regarded as settled.
89. Under a tripartite agreement between the Government, UNHCR and the Bureau pour le développement de la production agricole (BDPA), some 20,000 Sudanese refugees in the M' Boki settlement continued to be assisted in settling on the land during the first half of 1969. Most of the funds allocated under the UNHCR Programme for refugees in the Central African Republic were committed for this purpose. Furthermore, an agreement, effective 1 July 1969, was concluded between the Government and UNDP concerning preliminary operations for the rural development of the Department of Haut M' Bomou, which includes the M' Boki settlement. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the executing agency for the preliminary operations, entrusted UNHCR with that part of these operations which concerned the rural settlement of refugees in M' Boki, and UNHCR extended its contract with BDPA accordingly. FAO made available $150,000 from the UNDP allocation towards the expenditure involved.
90. Assistance in kind was supplied from non-governmental sources and food rations were provided for 3,700 refugees, mostly new arrivals.
91. During the period under review, the refugees engaged in agriculture were encouraged to live on or close to their agricultural plots, while the villages are being developed into commercial centres in which artisans and tradesmen are being helped to settle.
92. Construction work, carried out mainly in the dry season, included new bridges and a further 90 kilometres of all-weather roads. Rice and pimentos were grown on an experimental basis, as were mulberry trees with a view to developing a silkworm project. Poultry and bee-keeping were also introduced with a view to commercial exploitation. The hospital, the dispensaries and the leprosy village, which were originally administered by the League of Red Cross Societies, and later by a group of non-governmental organizations, are now run by governmental authorities.
93. The number of children attending the eight primary schools in the area has now increased to 3,000 and additional classrooms have been constructed in outlying villages. The secondary school, financed by UNHCR and the United States Agency for International Development has been completed and classes were started.
94. At the end of 1969, an FAO mission started a survey of the M' Bomou region and stressed the need to further improve the living conditions of refugees through diversification of agriculture and the establishment of an appropriate commercial infrastructure. The UNDP/FAO project for the development of the Haut M' Bomou and M' Boki is expected to begin in October 1970.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
95. Of the approximately 500,000 refugees in the Congo, the Angolans constitute by far the largest group (some 400,000), most of whom live off the land in the Provinces of Kongo Central, Bandundu, Kasai and Katanga. A number also live in towns. The UNHCR Programme for 1969 included an amount of $275,000 to assist these refugees, with particular emphasis on medical care, primary education and vocational training. Health facilities are being improved in some areas. Discussions are taking place with the Government and UNESCO on plans for the construction of primary classrooms in Congo Central. Provision was made for the construction, equipment and running costs for two years of eleven primary classrooms in the Lower Congo. Three extra classrooms are being constructed in Kilembika. Finally, a UNHCR contribution was made towards a project of the Centre de développement communautaire (CEDECO) to promote the vocational training of refugees in agriculture.
96. Living conditions of the Rwandese refugees in the Kivu Province of the Congo remained stable in 1969. They benefited from the consolidation of co-operatives established within the framework of the ILO Integrated Rural Development Project put into effect in the area.
97. The Government has agreed on the principle of moving some 13,000 Zambian refugees, members of the Lumpa sect who are living in the Katanga Province, from the border to a settlement area further inland. A site near Kaniama recommended by an interagency mission, on which the Government. UNHCR, the ILO, FAO and WHO were represented, has now been approved.
98. An amount of $600,000 was included in the UNHCR 1968 and 1969 Programmes for the rural settlement of some 60,000 Sudanese refugees in the Province orientale. Following the request of the Government, the interagency mission made a general survey of the situation and investigated possible settlement areas further inland. Its recommendation for the selection of a first area, where 5,000 refugees are to be settled, was accepted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and an agreement was concluded between UNHCR and the International Organization for Rural Development (IORD), which started to implement the project at the end of 1969.
99. In August, 1969, malaria and pneumonia cases appeared among some of the Sudanese refugees near the border, and $10,000 of UNHCR's supplementary aid funds were used to provide medicines. The health situation is now regarded as satisfactory.
100. The balance of the 1969 programme allocation will be fully required in 1970 to meet outstanding needs, and a further allocation will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval should major expenditure be required as a result of unforeseen developments.
101. Assistance was requested from UNHCR by the Imperial Ethiopian Government for the approximate 20,000 Sudanese refugees who were living in the large district of Gambela, where they had started to settle on the land. A $78,000 allocation from the UNHCR Emergency Fund enabled the Government to meet expenses for the purchase of supplementary food, clothing and blankets, seeds and tools, and for the provision of health services. Some 5,000 of the refugees who were living close to the Sudanese border were moved further inland in the Gambela area, and a number of young refugees without means of support in Addis Ababa, were transferred to the settlement area. A UNHCR sub-branch office was opened in the area.
102. An allocation of $274,191 was included in the 1969 Programme to begin consolidating the rural settlement of the refugees in the Gambela area. Under an agreement concluded in December 1969 between the Government and UNHCR, and with technical assistance from FAO, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture began experiments on six hectares of land in order to interest the refugees in diversifying their crops. Agricultural and fishing equipment were provided, and improved fishing techniques were introduced. Roads in the settlement area were improved, inter alia, to permit the marketing of crops, and the construction of additional primary schools was begun. Plans were made for the provision of medical services.
103. There are a few hundred refugees of various origins in Addis Ababa, a number of whom receive individual assistance under the UNHCR Programme.
104. Implementation of the Gambela project will continue in 1970. It will aim mainly at consolidating the settlement of the refugees through the improvement of communications, community development, provision of primary education and vocational training and of better facilities for medical assistance.
105. Further progress was made by the over 60,000 refugees from Guinea (Bissau) in establishing themselves on the land among the local population in the Casamance region. A total amount of $116,000 was committed under the UNHCR Programme for 1969, essentially to meet needs in the fields of health, education and community development in the region and to assist individual refugees.
106. Under the health project, mobile medical units, which included a dental service, continued to be operated and benefited from the services of volunteers.
107. Progress was also made in the field of education. Fifteen additional primary school units were built at a cost of $60,000 to UNHCR. Another fifteen were financed by an allocation of $60,000 from the Education Account. The programme of community development continued and seminars were held for the training of farmers.
108. Some 4,000 individual refugees, mostly unemployed, are living in Dakar. In 1969, the social service in Dakar granted supplementary aid to 3,800 of them, and also distributed assistance in kind donated by a voluntary agency.
109. Under a joint project of the French Government, the Senegalese Government and UNHCR, additional social workers were engaged to encourage unemployed refugees in Dakar to move to Casamance and to help them settle on the land, or become fishermen.
110. While the efforts of the Senegalese authorities and the attitude of the local population are facilitating the integration of refugees, considerable needs still exist, particularly in respect of medical assistance and education, and also with regard to the rural settlement of new arrivals.
111. In the course of 1969, a start was made in moving the approximately 37,000 refugees in the Sudan from border areas further inland with a view to their establishment on the land.
112. In June, a few of the 31,000 refugees from Ethiopia began to leave the Kassala area for Qala en Nahal (previously referred to as Umm Saqata). The move, which was interrupted by the season, was resumed at the beginning of 1970.
113. Some 20,000 of the refugees were in receipt of food rations during 1969. Food was provided by the Sudanese Government and the World Food Programmes. Upon the recommendation of a joint medical mission undertaken by the Government of the Sudan and the World Health Organization, measures were taken through a combined effort of UNHCR, WHO and the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief to counteract the high incidence of protein deficiency among the refugees in the Kassala area.
114. The main condition for the rural settlement of refugees in the Qala en Nahal area was the provision of an adequate water supply, and a considerable part of the UNHCR Programme allocation for assistance to this group ($950,000, including $600,000 under the 1969 Programme and $350,000 remaining from 1968) was employed with this purpose in view. Most of the remaining part of the 1969 allocation was used for the preparation of the settlement area and the provision of farming equipment, tools and seeds to the settlers. An additional $450,000 for the vital water supply scheme was made available early in 1970 from trust funds, outside the annual programme funds.21
115. By the end of 1969, the plans for the necessary medical and educational assistance and for the buildings required for this purpose, had been competed. The Programme is being continued in 1970.
116. In 1969, an initial group of 1,100 from among some 6,000 Congolese refugees were moved from the border area to a transit centre at Rajaf. As the site at Mongalla which had first been selected proved unsuitable, the Government decided to establish all the Congolese refugees at Rajaf. An amount of $120,000 was committed under the 1969 Programme to start the actual settlement in 1970 of refugees belonging to this group.
117. Of the approximately 177,000 refugees living in Uganda at the end of 1969, some 116,000 including an estimated 34,000 Congolese, were living outside settlements. An amount of $523,209 was committed under the UNHCR Programme for 1969 to continue the rural settlement of Rwandese and Sudanese refugees.
118. By the end of 1969, the 37,000 Rwandese living in six settlements in Western Uganda had made good progress in settling in agriculture. UNHCR contributed towards the construction of buildings, the improvement of water supplies and the provision of equipment. Under an agreement between the Government and the World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations, a Ugandan agricultural assistant was appointed to each settlement to advise on the best method of increasing agricultural output and diversifying crops. UNHCR contributed to the cost.
119. A major problem still to be solved is the provision of adequate water in the Nakivale Settlement where the 8,400 refugees depend mainly upon cattle breeding. To provide the herd of some 14,000 head of cattle with the necessary drinking water, it has to be taken to Lake Nakivale, some miles away. Plans to pump the water up from the lake are under study.
120. The health situation of the refugees is satisfactory. Health centres for the settlement at Kahunge, financed from trust funds provided by the Norwegian Refugee Council, and that at Kyangwali, were completed and put into operation during 1969.
121. Refugee children are attending primary school and a number are moving on to secondary schools to which they are admitted in the same way as nationals, on the basis of scholastic merit. The Norwegian Refugee Council donated funds for the establishment of a vocational training centre at Kahunge.
122. The Rwandese refugees who have been some time in the settlements have started to pay taxes and to sell their cash crops on the local market. They are also making progress in their social integration.
123. The approximately 23,000 Sudanese refugees are living in four settlements in the north and north-east of the country. The basic needs of some 3,500 new refugees were met through the provision of food by the World Food Programme and with the help of the Emergency Fund and contributions from non-governmental organizations. The UNHCR programme allocation for 1969 was used mainly to consolidate the settlements by improving the water supply, providing agricultural equipment and facilitating the development of community life. The settlements also benefited from the advice of the YMCA agricultural assistants. Progress in the development of settlements was affected by the increase in the caseload. Furthermore, a major problem arose as a result of the continued severe drought in the Karamoja area. The Nakapiripirit settlement in this area, which has a population of over 9,000 refugees, was consequently faced with a serious problem arising from crop failures which made it necessary to provide food rations for the refugees by local purchase or from the World Food Programme.
124. Apart from the drought, the average rainfall in the area appears to be inadequate for successful cultivation of the land. The Government of Uganda has accordingly initiated a survey to ascertain the possibility of irrigation.
125. Further progress was also made in respect of medical assistance. An additional medical centre was put into operation and milk-feeding schemes were established.
126. A considerable effort was made in educational assistance in Uganda. Under projects in the UNHCR Programme, classrooms continued to be built in the centres and an increased number of refugee children are attending primary school. Assistance was also given to fifteen schools outside the settlement for the benefit of refugee pupils. The decision of the Government of Uganda to admit refugees to public secondary schools on the same basis as nationals has put a sever strain on secondary school facilities. An amount of $731,665 was therefore contributed from the UNHCR Education Account towards the expansion of four schools in different areas. Over 200 Rwandese and Sudanese refugee pupils were able to benefit from scholarships for secondary school with financial support from the Education Account. Plans for the placement of refugees in courses run under the ILO tannery and leathercraft schemes in Entebbe are under study.
127. There are considerable needs still to be met in Uganda, particularly in respect of water adduction schemes, which are essential for the settlement of refugees in Nakivale and Nakapiripirit.
United Republic of Tanzania
128. The majority of refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania are Mozambiquans (40,000) and Rwandese (13,500), most of whom live in refugee settlements. An amount of some $282,000 was made available from the UNHCR Programme for 1969 towards their settlement on the land. Assistance projects were implemented, as in previous years, by the Lutheran World Federation/Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service.
129. In the settlements of Rutamba, Lundo and Muhukuru, the Mozambiquan refugees made good progress in cultivating their crops so that food rations could, in general, be discontinued. Rations were still being issued, however, to 13,700 refugees at the end of 1969. The area under cultivation was increased and the general lay-out of the villages improved. New varieties of crops were introduced and cash crops were raised. Roads within the settlements were also improved and the Government assumed responsibility for the upkeep of some roads leading to the settlements.
130. The health centres were extended. New primary schools were created, co-operatives were set up, and marketing facilities were provided.
131. With the help of a $204,715 contribution from the UNHCR Emergency Fund, two new settlements were established to accommodate the new influx of some 4,500, mostly Mozambiquans, and also to settle those refugees who had been living on their own for some time and had not succeeded in becoming self-supporting. In the course of 1969, immediate requirements of the refugees in terms of food (WFP), water supply, and health services were met and, by the end of the year, land had been allocated, villages established and crops planted.
132. During 1969, the 3,000 Rwandese refugees in the Mwesi settlement became self-supporting in food and a start was made on the production of cash crops. Assistance under the UNHCR Programme was given towards the running costs of health facilities and primary schools in Mwesi and towards primary education in Muyenzi, the oldest refugee centre in the country, where some 5,500 Rwandese refugees are accommodated. Progress in Mwesi, however, is hampered by the fact that a considerable number of refugees are unwilling to accept the identity cards required by law in the United Republic of Tanzania.
133. Some 450 refugees of various origin, mainly Congolese and Malawian, were assisted towards self-sufficiency in the settlement of Pangale. They joined a tobacco growers' co-operative and earned enough to meet their daily needs by selling charcoal produced in the area.
134. A grant from the Education Account was made to cover tuition, boarding fees and other expenses for thirty-three refugee students in secondary schools in the United Republic of Tanzania.
135. Of over 12,700 refugees in Zambia as at 31 December 1969, mostly Angolans and Mozambiquans, over 7,000 live in settlements and in the Mkushi Agricultural Training Centre. An amount of $296,710 was committed under the UNHCR Programme to assist them in settling on the land. The assistance projects were implemented by the Lutheran World Federation Zambia Christian Refugee Service.
136. In the Angolan settlements of Lwatembo (2,300 refugees) and Mayukwayukwa (3,000 refugees), difficulties in agriculture arose because the soil was not good enough to provide a viable future for the refugees and the Angolan refugees were not accustomed to communal farming. An FAO team of experts surveyed the settlements and recommended to the Government that it should allocate more land to the refugees, while allowing them to engage in individual farming. World Food Programme food rations were issued throughout 1969 and UNHCR contributed towards providing basic necessities to the refugees in the settlements, pending a decision by the Government on their future.
137. A number of newcomers were accommodated in the Mozambiquan settlement at Nyimba. The Government of Zambia provided food rations for the refugees, whose number fluctuated between 1,300 and 2,000 during 1969. In addition to the difficulties caused by the new influx, a problem arose from the refugees' lack of familiarity with communal farming. The possibility of their reverting to the traditional type of individual family farming is under discussion with the Government. During 1969, the settlement was surveyed by an ILO expert to ascertain whether cottage industries and handicrafts could be established in order to enhance the social and economic viability of the community. The findings of this survey are being studied by the Government.
138. A number of refugees in the Lusaka area, who could not benefit from the rural settlement programme, received individual assistance under the UNHCR Programme.
Other countries in Africa
139. In Algeria and Morocco, a sizable number of needy refugees benefited from UNHCR assistance, those in Morocco mainly in respect of education.
140. Of the 3,600 Angolan refugees in Botswana at the end of 1969, some 3,300 are being settled on the land near Etsha under a project implemented by the Government and the World Council of Churches and financed through trust funds in an amount of $50,000 from Scandinavian sources and an earlier contribution of $78,000 from the UNHCR Emergency Fund. The first harvest was disappointing owing to lack of rain so that the provision of food will have to continue until the end of 1970. The health of the refugees was good, due largely to medical care provided by the Botswana Red Cross. A number of refugees in the Gaborone and Francistown areas are also being assisted.
141. In Kenya, educational assistance continued to be provided through a voluntary agency for a number of Rwandese and Sudanese refugees through a contribution from the UNHCR Education Account. Furthermore, vacancies have been offered to a limited number of refugees from Uganda in the tannery and leathercraft training courses run by the FAO/UNDP Animal Health and Industry Institute in Kenya, against financial participation from the Education Account.
142. In Swaziland, a small number of individual refugees were assisted under the UNHCR 1969 Programme with a view to their establishment in various trades. The first schemes were started in 1970 after the refugees had obtained the necessary establishment permits.
143. In Cameroon, Dahomey, Gabon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo, multi-purpose projects totalling some $85,000 were put into effect to meet the most urgent needs of a few thousand refugees. In managing the funds concerned, the UNHCR representative in West Africa received valuable support from the UNDP Resident Representatives in the area.
C. Assistance to refugees in the Americas
144. During 1969, Canada and the United States of America continued to accept refugees, including handicapped cases, for permanent residence. Special arrangements made by the Government of the United States contributed greatly to the alleviation of overcrowding which occurred during the year in resettlement centres in certain European countries.
145. In Latin America, the plan to continue the increased use of local resources, and to intensify co-operation with the United Nations agencies active in the area, proved beneficial. The principal aims were to provide permanent solutions for the remaining needy cases and to establish a mechanism through which needy refugees could be helped in the future.
Assistance to refugees in Latin America
146. The number of refugees within the High Commissioner's mandate in Latin America remained at approximately 110,000 during 1969. Some $316,250 were committed of spent under the 1969 Programme, the major part of which was to facilitate the resettlement of refugees or their integration in Latin American countries, mainly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.
147. An increased number of refugees from the Caribbean area were assisted while in transit pending resettlement. Furthermore, the emigration of a small group of Haitian refugees from the Bahamas was completed.
148. Further progress was made in the local settlement of refugees, particularly in providing a network of places in institutions for the aged or mentally handicapped refugees. Arrangements to provide 786 such places were made, and by the end of 1969, over 650 were occupied. In view of an estimated annual turnover of 10 per cent, this will permit the future placement of eighty refugees annually at no further cost to UNHCR, while plans for the construction or earmarking of further places are well advanced. The accommodation, either in newly constructed homes or in already existing institutions, is located in the six above-mentioned countries, particularly in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, where the greatest proportion of the refugees live.
149. Two funds were established for the future care of mentally handicapped refugees, one in Brazil amounting to $41,000, and one in Venezuela of $15,000. Furthermore, an outpatients' clinic is under construction in Chile, which will be able to treat fifty mentally disturbed refugees.
150. An amount of $115,000 from UNHCR funds was expended for the provision of housing and to permit families facing hardship, because of age, illness or social handicaps, to support themselves, mainly through becoming established in crafts and trades.
151. Counselling services are now available to refugees in Colombia and Peru, in addition to those already available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela. During 1969, 1,033 persons benefited from this assistance at a cost to UNHCR of $15,000. A UNHCR allocation of $9,893 provided legal assistance to a further 1,101 persons, while 427 persons were assisted in meeting essential emergency needs at a cost to UNHCR of $4,998.
152. An allocation of $3,500 was made from the Education Account for educational assistance in Latin America in 1969, in the form of vocational training, or assistance in continuing studies at the secondary or university level.
153. At its twentieth session, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme approved an allocation of $296,000 for the benefit of refugees in Latin America in 1970 through projects to provide for the settlement of needy cases, legal assistance and an extension of the counselling service.
D. Assistance to refugees in Asia the Far East and the Middle East
154. The number of refugees of European origin on the mainland of China remained at about 1,000 during 1969. Owing to the continued suspension of exit permits, only a few refugees left the mainland for resettlement via Hong Kong in Australia and a few European countries.
155. The amount of $43,602 committed by UNHCR under its 1969 Programme was used partly for care and maintenance of refugees in transit in Hong Kong. Special efforts were made to resettle a severely handicapped group of refugees living in shelters for indigent foreigners in Shanghai and Harbin, and a group of twenty-one refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Visas were obtained for seventeen persons in the two groups.
156. Chinese refugees in Hong Kong continued to benefit from the considerable economic and social development aid given by the local authorities.
157. An allocation of $45,000 for European refugees in the Far East has been included in the UNHCR Programme for 1970.
158. The number of Tibetan refugees in India, Sikkim and Bhutan was estimated at 56,000 at the end of 1969. In 1969, an amount of 340,000 was committed by UNHCR to put into effect projects drawn up in collaboration with the Government of India.
159. These projects provide for the continuation and consolidation of the land settlements which had been established earlier, but were either experiencing serious difficulties or dealing with new situations, such as the re-establishment in the State of Mysore of 900 Tibetan lamas who had long been living in difficult conditions in Buxa, West Bengal. By the end of 1969, about 600 of the lamas had arrived in Mysore to settle in the land settlements at Bylakuppe and Mundgod where they are to be provided with housing, agricultural implements and livestock.
160. Also at Mundgod, UNHCR is sponsoring a scheme jointly with the Common Project of the 1966 European Refugee Campaign to provide housing for about 700 old and infirm Tibetan refugees facing hardship in road camps and other temporary shelters in various parts of India. By the end of 1969, some of the residential units were nearing completion.
161. A project for the consolidation, through agricultural development and the establishment of small industries, of the Mainpat land settlement in Madhya Pradesh, where 304 Tibetan families are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, is to be implemented during 1970. Other settlements were assisted through amelioration of food and health facilities and improved marketing procedures.
162. Medical assistance continued to be provided from UNHCR project funds which were used as a contribution towards the running of various hospitals and clinics in refugee settlement areas, some of which were handed over to the State authorities as part of an agreed plan to transfer responsibility for medical assistance to the local health authorities.
163. UNHCR funds were made available to the Tibetan Industrial Rehabilitation Society (TIRS) to repair houses and provide working capital in the form of revolving loans for five Tibetan industrial rehabilitation units in North India.
164. There remains a need to strengthen the social and economic infrastructure in the established settlements and to develop their agricultural potential for which no funds are available. The UNHCR Executive Committee therefore included $300,000 in the 1970 Programme for this purpose.
165. At the end of 1960, there were an estimated 65,000 Chinese refugees in Macao. Progress was made towards the implementation of outstanding projects and of the UNHCR Programme for 1969. An amount of $27,010 was committed under that Programme, together with special trust funds amounting to $38,152.
166. The first block of seventy apartments of a refugee housing project, stated in 1968, was completed in March 1970.
167. A domestic science training school was constructed to accommodate about 240 girls from refugees families. The school kitchen, equipped by a voluntary agency, supplied 800 meals daily to needy persons, 200 of whom were inmates of an orphanage associated with the school.
168. Funds from the Education Account were made available for the purchase of additional equipment for a nurses' training school in Macao, where about two-thirds of the ninety-six students come from refugee families.
169. Many of the UNHCR projects initiated since 1965 are of long-term value and are intended for successive groups of refugees. The continuing improvement in the local situation will enable the Government and other implementing agencies to put into effect a substantial number of projects in 1970. The Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme therefore approved an allocation of $115,000 under the UNHCR Programme for 1970.
170. The refugees within the competence of UNHCR in the Middle now number approximately 10,000. They comprise groups of stateless persons from the Middle East and Europe living principally in the Lebanon (5,200) and the United Arab Republic (4,800), with a few others of various origins in Cyprus, Iran, Jordan and Syria. In the United Arab Republic, there are also a number of African refugees, particularly young students, and a number of refugees from Zanzibar are still in the Trucial States.
171. Although the total number of refugees under the UNHCR mandate in the area decreased slightly during 1969, more of them required assistance owing to the social and economic situation in the area. A total of $165,056 was committed under the UNHCR 1969 Programme during 1969, including $74,442, used to assist refugees in their resettlement through migration.
172. Local settlement assistance was given in the form of vocational training, establishment assistance, and the provision of annuities or major medical treatment. In the United Arab Republic, monthly allowances were paid to needy Armenians from special trust funds.
173. Counselling again proved important to the refugees in emergency situations and in planning resettlement or local settlement.
174. An amount of $24,000 provided urgently needed help, which could not be given from any other source, to a total of 958 persons. The measures taken included emergency medical care and maintenance during education or while awaiting emigration. Care and maintenance were provided in the United Arab Republic for the growing number of African refugee pupils receiving primary education.
175. The number of refugees from Zanzibar in the Trucial States increased during 1969. Over 250 of them were assisted by a small initial grant made to each refugee on arrival. Courses in Arabic were provided and special hardship cases received further aid.
176. The programme in the whole area will have to be continued in 1970.
177. The number of Tibetan refugees in Nepal has remained constant, and was estimated on 31 December 1969 at 8,000, of whom some 3,000 live in five settlements. Under the 1969 UNHCR Programme, an amount of $49,000 was committed to assist them.
178. The settlements continued to progress towards economic self-sufficiency and improvements were also made in health, education and co-operative activities. No major UNHCR projects were initiated in 1969, although a number of small projects for housing, agriculture, education and co-operatives were successfully concluded.
179. Close relations have been established and maintained with the Government of Nepal and with the Nepal Red Cross Society, UNHCR's operating partner. Intensified interagency co-operation resulted in assistance being made available to the refugees by UNDP, FAO, UNICEF and WHO. The Swiss Association for Technical Assistance continued to provide technical advice in agriculture and nursing personnel for two settlements, and assisted the handicraft centres in three settlements, particularly in the marketing of products in Europe.
180. Medical services and supplies were made available to dispensaries in four settlements, from which an estimated 1,000 refugees benefited, as did Nepalese living in the neighbourhood. Mobile clinics were operated by the Nepalese Red Cross in the Kathmandu valley, where approximately 500 Tibetan refugees are living.
181. A start was made on the local integration of some 550 Tibetan refugees in the Rasua area through the settlement of refugees in agriculture, animal husbandry and cottage industries on land made available free of cost by the Government. Housing, a health centre, and a school are being constructed with the support of the Government and United Nations agencies, while an FAO expert is studying the possibility of breeding sheep and possibly yaks.
182. Also in the Kathmandu valley, housing for 400 Tibetan refugees is to be constructed under an agreement between UNHCR, the Government and the Nepal Red Cross. The Government is providing free land, construction material and equipment, and will also promote employment possibilities in the area.
183. In two settlements, measures financed in earlier years from a Fund for Permanent Solutions, established under the 1967 Programme, were completed in 1969. Further projects implemented from the Fund included the provision of material for handicrafts, carpentry workshops and the co-operative shop, and equipment to enable some thirty elderly handicapped refugees to earn some money. The Tibetan hotel, at the foot of Mount Everest, established from the Fund in 1968, has proved very successful. A teashop set up at the same time has been closed and its assets transferred to the hotel. A further project financed from the Fund was the organization of a transport service through the purchase of mules.
184. UNHCR assistance activities in Nepal have now entered a final phase. The consolidation of the settlements and the identification of problems among the scattered groups in the north should soon be satisfactorily completed. The Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme allocated an amount of $49,000 for 1970 to complete the integration of refugees and to establish a viable social and economic infrastructure.
E. Assistance to refugees in Europe
185. The total number of new refugees of concern to UNHCR in Europe in 1969 amounted to over 31,000, a rise of 8,500 over the figure of 22,500 in 1968. Much of this increase was offset by resettlement and by naturalization, while a number of refugees returned voluntarily to, or claimed the protection of, their country of origin. The number of refugees within the High Commissioner's competence in Europe on 31 December 1969 amounted therefore to approximately 650,000, the majority of whom are satisfactorily settled.
186. In Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Greece, refugees continued to benefit from projects financed in earlier years under the Major Aid Programme and from accommodation falling vacant in apartments or institutions financed from this source. In Austria, apartments becoming vacant under UNHCR housing projects provided accommodation for many refugee families. In the Federal Republic of Germany, establishment assistance was provided for handicapped refugee families rehoused under the Government Programme, and other were accommodated in apartments falling vacant in earlier UNHCR projects. In Greece, housing and annuities were provided from remaining Major Aid Funds, the balance of which was then cancelled, provision being made under the Current Programme for any assistance still required by refugees qualifying under the Major Aid Programmes.
187. An amount of $848,820 was committed in 1969 under the Programme to supplement, where necessary, the assistance given to refugees by countries of asylum in Europe, of which a large part was used to bring the project in Yugoslavia for the settlement of Albanian refugees on the land to a successful conclusion. The measures taken were similar to those of earlier years and included the provision of accommodation and furniture, medical care, rehabilitation, vocational training and establishment in crafts and trades, and, in Yugoslavia, also cattle, tools and seeds. A further amount of $141,350 was committed during 1969 under Trust Funds made available to UNHCR.
188. Emigration, through the well-established system of co-operation between governments, UNHCR, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, the United States Refugee Program and the voluntary agencies, again played an important part in the solution of refugee problems, the main countries of reception being Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The increase in the number of migrants placed some strain on procedures and immigration during 1969. However, special measures taken by countries of reception contributed to solving these difficulties. In Austria, UNHCR made a special contribution to the Government for costs connected with the emigration of refugees, while in Italy, financial assistance was given to enable a voluntary agency to improve its emigration counselling services. A further alleviating factor was that many of the new refugees were within the age groups and equipped with professional qualifications which facilitated their emigration. Special attention continued to be given to handicapped refugees, including the severely handicapped, who now present only a small problem and for whom special resettlement dossiers were prepared, where appropriate. Governments continued to consider the cases of handicapped refugees with sympathy and to apply a generous policy in accepting them.
189. UNHCR continued to contribute financially towards the counselling services administered by authorities or by voluntary agencies. Counsellors advised and assisted refugees, often solving problems through existing local possibilities without cost to UNHCR.
190. The transfer, started some years ago, of responsibility for assistance to refugees in Europe, to governmental and local authorities and voluntary agencies, continued so that further reduction could be foreseen in the High Commissioner's financial contribution for this purpose under the UNHCR Programme for 1970. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the Provincial authorities agreed in future to be responsible for the re-occupancy by refugees of apartments falling vacant under UNHCR housing projects. In Italy, the Amministrazione per le Attività Assistenziali Italiane e Internazionali (AAI) undertook to provide counselling services for refugees living outside camps, and met more than half the costs of legal assistance and local settlement.
191. About 4,500 refugees emigrated from Spain mostly to the United States of America in 1969. However, the backlog of candidates, reduced in 1968, rose again to about 6,400 at the end of 1969, and efforts were made to counsel the refugees to select other resettlement areas. The Spanish Government, UNHCR and voluntary agencies continued to provide assistance for refugees awaiting emigration and to help those who did not whish to leave to achieve local settlement.
192. In 1969 UNHCR contributed a total of 53,154 for legal assistance to 3,399 refugees in Europe, and $56,880 to provide supplementary aid to 7,729 refugees in cases of an emergency nature.
193. Thanks to the generous treatment accorded to refugees by countries of asylum in Europe, the assistance required from UNHCR could be reduced in a number of countries in 1969. However, the considerable cost of the promotion of resettlement activities, and of local settlement in one country, made it necessary to increase country allocations so that an amount of $848,820 was committed under the UNHCR Programme for 1969. The Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme has foreseen a reduced allocation of $335,100 for assistance to refugees in Europe in 1970, it being understood that amounts from the over-all allocations, in particular for resettlement, will be added if need arises during the year.
CHAPTER III FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
194. The appeals made by the High Commissioner pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and recommendations of the Executive committee, urging Governments to provide the necessary financial means to carry out the annual assistance Programmes of UNHCR, have met with encouraging response. This is reflected in the increased proportion of the annual financial target of the regular programmes covered by governmental contributions. As may be seen in table 6 of annex II, governmental contributions toward the UNHCR Programme for 1969 totalled $4,300,173 financing nearly 72 per cent of the target of $5,996,800. Governmental contributions announced so far for the 1970 Programme cover 78,4 per cent of the target of $5,769,400 and it may reasonably be expected that further contributions to be announced in the course of the year will bring this percentage to above 80 per cent. In comparison with earlier years, this represents significant progress in governmental financial participation in the UNHCR Programme. It is encouraging to not also a steady increase in the number of contributing Government; there were fifty in 1966, fifty-five in 1967, seventy in 1968 and seventy-five in 1969. The High Commissioner's appeals have thus been instrumental in attracting not only larger contributions, but also more universal support of the humanitarian programmes of his office.
Financing of the UNHCR Programme for 1969
195. As shown in table 6 of annex II, a total of $4,300,173 was contributed by seventy-five Governments. Contributions from non-governmental sources towards the financing of the 1969 Programme totalled $300,576. These, together with miscellaneous income and transfers from earlier Programmes, enabled the UNHCR Programme for 1969 to be fully financed.
Contributions for operations outside the 1969 Programme
196. Trust funds in a total of $323,544 were received in 1969 for complementary assistance projects for refugees, including assistance under the Education Account outside the 1969 Programme. Of this amount, $899,810 were received from Governments and $423,734 from non-governmental sources. The trust funds received in 1969 are included in the amount of $1,741,638 committed towards projects outside the UNHCR Programme during that year. Of the total amount received, $729,635 was for the UNHCR Refugee Education Account.
Use of the Emergency Fund
197. An amount of $364,969 was expended from the Emergency Fund during 1969, to relieve situations of refugee distress in Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. In accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 1166 (XII), the Emergency Fund was restored to its ceiling of $500,000 from reimbursements of loans previously granted to refugees under various projects.
Financing of the UNHCR Programme for 1970
198. As shown in table 7 of annex II a total of $3, 521, 087 had been announced as at 31 March 1970 by fifty-four Governments towards the financing of the UNHCR Programme for 1970. The High commissioner is encouraged by the fact that the favourable trend reported in respect of 1969 continues and, in response to his appeals for increased governmental support, some twenty Governments to date have raised substantially the level of their financial support in 1970 over that have of the previous year. Moreover, several Governments contributed for the first time to the UNHCR Programme in 1970, while others have renewed their financial participation. While these trends are promising, further efforts will be required in order to meet the target of $5,769,400 for 1970, established by the Executive Committee at its twentieth session.
Sale of the long-playing record "World Star Festival"
199. In March 1969, UNHCR launched a new long-playing record, "World Star Festival" with the co-operation of contribution artists, the music publishers and the record industry. A number of Governments agreed to waive duties and taxes on the sale of the new record or the make a special contribution to UNHCR equivalent to the amount of such taxes and duties. The first proceeds from the new record were received at the end of 1969. They are used as they become available, as was the case with the first two records, to finance refugee assistance projects which cannot be entirely covered from funds available from other sources.
CHAPTER IV PUBLIC INFORMATION
200. The task of conveying to the public the nature of current refugee problems coming within the competence of UNHCR, of drawing attention to the needs of refugees and describing the activities of the Office in the fields of international protection and material assistance, was rendered more delicate during the period under review because of event related to problems of refugees and uprooted persons not coming within the competence of UNHCR. Every effort was made to create greater awareness of the precise nature of the mandate of UNHCR and its role as a humanitarian and non-political organization. Many feature articles and news stories, both in the press and on the radio, stressed UNHCR's positive impact on the refugee problems coming within it competence and drew attention to the valuable co-operation accorded to the Office by Governments of countries of origin and countries of asylum as well as by other members of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
201. Event in 1969 caused the global refugee problem to be probed on a number of occasions in press and television and there have been many examples of reporting on developments when the humanitarian aspect rather than the controversial issues were highlighted.
202. At the same time, an increasing number of local correspondents of the international press residing in countries with refugee problems filed material based on eye-witness accounts, supplemented by information supplied by UNHCR. Many "overseas" programmes of radio services, as well as national radio, similarly devoted attention to UNHCR's programmes. The national press, radio and television services in the countries of asylum have also increasingly devoted attention to action in favour of refugees in their area. The film entitled "The promise of M'boki" (a refugee settlement in the Central African Republic) has been shown in fifty-seven countries.
203. The issuance of the long-playing record entitled "World Star Festival" offered additional opportunities to publicize the work of UNHCR. The films and television reports produced by UNHCR in recent years were extensively used as part of the campaign. In many arts of the world, the press fully supported the launching of "World Star Festival" and stressed the positive work undertaken by UNHCR and in several countries in articles on the work of the Office, which were carried in newspapers and magazines.
204. The publications entitled "UNHCR Reports" and the UNHCR "Bulletin" continued to be widely used by non-governmental organizations and study groups in support of their general information activities or in fund-raising efforts for refugee work. Some 14,000 English and 3,500 French copies of these publications were distributed. Special efforts continue to be made to interest young people and students in the work of international assistance to refugees. Reports received from various sources, including United Nations information centres, confirm that these publications serve a useful purpose and are reaching an increasing number of readers.
205. The experience gained in 1968 with a pilot project to interest schools in Switzerland in refugee problems led to an expansion of this action in 1969 and 1970. A new pamphlet entitled "Refugees: 20 questions and answers" was printed and a series of forty-two colour slides with accompanying text were produced. In consultation with UNESCO, the Office has obtained the co-operation of the educational authorities in a number of European countries in organizing the distribution of this material to high schools.
206. The photographic library of UNHCR is an important source of refugee photographs for voluntary agencies and the mass media. Some 35,000 prints were supplied in 1969 in order to meet the demand and to replenish the basic photographic material of UNHCR Branch Offices and United Nations information centres.
207. Plans are being made for the observance in 1971 of the twentieth anniversary of UNHCR, with a view to creating more public awareness of the problems of refugees and promoting further efforts with a view to their solution.
CHAPTER V INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF REFUGEES
Co-operation with Governments
208. The High Commissioner is grateful for the support which the work of assistance to refugees continues to enlist from many Governments and for the increasingly humanitarian approach to the work of his Office as reflected in resolution 2594 (XXIV), in which the General Assembly recognized the constructive character of UNHCR's humanitarian action. The attachment of Governments to the cause of refugees was also evidenced by increased participation in UNHCR assistance programmes either through contributions in cash or in kind, social services or other measures benefiting refugees. Close relations have been maintained and developed particularly with the Governments or countries which have welcomed refugees on their territory or which, in one way or another, have taken interest in UNHCR action. The High Commissioner had the privilege of paying personal visits to many countries where great understanding was shown for the problems facing the Office. UNHCR representatives from headquarters and Branch Offices also kept in touch with government officials with whom various aspects of UNHCR activities are being followed closely. Some of these officials spent several days at UNHCR headquarters with a view to becoming acquainted with the technical aspects of the work of the Office.
209. At the beginning of 1969, relations with Governments were ensured on the spot through thirty representatives and ten correspondents accredited to more than sixty countries. During the period under review, the sub-office in Trieste, Italy, was closed, the services of a correspondent in Venezuela were discontinued, a regional office was established at Lomé, Togo, a suboffice opened at Gambela in Ethiopia and a correspondent was appointed in the Bahamas.
Relations between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system
210. The close relations already existing between UNHCR and other members of the United Nations system have been considerably strengthened following the ad hoc interagency meeting on assistance to refugees in Africa, which took place in January 1969, the conclusions of which were endorsed by ACC at it forty-sixth session. Offers of increased support for the work of refugees were made by all interested members of the United Nations system and the implementation of the procedures agreed by the ad hoc interagency meeting have been translated into positive results.22 The Economic and Social Council in its report to the General Assembly noted that concerted action between UNHCR and other members of the United Nations system was becoming increasingly effective, particularly as regards the rural settlement of refugees. The Council, in its resolution 1450 (XLVII) on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations, furthermore recommended that members of the United Nations system take measures individually and in collaboration with one another to increase the scope of their assistance to refugees from the countries concerned.
211. The Universal Postal Union at the sixteenth Universal Postal Congress adopted a resolution on the implementation of the above-mentioned Declaration in which it invites the Director General of UPU, inter alia, to co-operate fully with UNHCR, particularly through the provision by countries members of the Union of technical assistance to UNHCR representatives and by facilitating the inclusion of refugees in UPU vocational training courses.
212. In response to a request transmitted to him by the Secretary General, the High Commissioner continued to report on the number of refugees from the above-mentioned territories who are being assisted in the framework of UNHCR programmes and of further measures of assistance envisaged for them.
213. Interagency co-operation was necessarily focused on areas where refugees are being settled on the land and where development aid is available from other members of the United Nations system. It has been extended to more countries than heretofore and has increased in scope, as envisaged by the ad hoc interagency meeting. Expert advice was provided on an increasing scale for the assessment of the needs of refugees and the formulation of UNHCR-assisted projects. Thus, for example, fact-finding missions were carried out with the participation of representatives of the ILO, WHO and FAO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia in order to draw up proposals for the initial land settlement of new groups of refugees. FAO experts also gave technical advice on the agricultural problems affecting refugee settlements in Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. In Zambia, the ILO undertook a survey to ascertain whether cottage industries could be established to improve conditions for the refugees and in the Congo it continued its support of the development of co-operatives. With regard to the important question of medical assistance, WHO is actively assisting in the work for refugees by assessing their health situation, as in the United Republic of Tanzania, for instance, their nutritional requirements, as in the Sudan, by including refugee settlements in a particular health campaign, as envisaged in Nepal, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, or through plans to assist mental health cases as in Brazil.
214. UNHCR has encouraged Governments to enlist the support of other United Nations programmes, such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF, on the important question of food supplies and equipment for rural health centres. The World Food Programme and UNHCR have combined their efforts to assist several Governments, including Botswana, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Sudan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia in providing food supplies for refugees. Following consultations between UNHCR, UNICEF and the authorities concerned, the Governments of Burundi, Ethiopia and Nepal have agreed to earmark for assistance to refugees part of the UNICEF supplies and equipment allocated to them. Similar arrangements are envisaged in other countries. Supplies and equipment needed for rural health centres for refugees were consequently made available in the framework of UNICEF-assisted projects.
215. Some delay has occurred in the implementation by UNDP and FAO, the executing agency, of the integrated zonal development programmes in Burundi and the Central African Republic, which are to include refugees. This has been partly overcome by the implementation of preliminary operations. In both countries, however, UNHCR had to remain involved from a financial point of view. While integrated zonal development projects put into effect under the aegis of UNDP and other members of the United Nations system can be of great benefit to refugees in certain areas, in others a different type of arrangement may be appropriate. This question is at present under consideration.
216. As will be seen from section B of chapter II above, the provision of basic infrastructure equipment is an important condition for the rural settlement of refugees and is often required from the moment other refugees begin to settle on the land. In a number of cases, the combined efforts of the Government of the country of residence, UNHCR and other organizations may suffice to establish the necessary infrastructure. In some instances, however, such as the adduction of water in a large refugee settlement in the Sudan, a considerable practical and financial problem arose which could be solved only through additional financial contributions. Accordingly, pursuant to a decision adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twentieth session, the High Commissioner is exploring all avenues to ascertain how infrastructure equipment could be financed with the help of organizations specialized in the provision of development funds.
217. A number of positive steps were taken with regard to the inclusion of refugees in education and training courses of other members of the United Nations system. Offers to this effect were received from nearly all the United Nations agencies which participated in the ad hoc interagency meeting. In the course of 1969, administrative arrangements were put into effect in order to select possible candidates and to ascertain the type of courses in which refugees might be able to participate. A number of refugees have already been admitted in a UNDP (Special Fund) Animal Health and Training Institute in Kenya under a project being carried out by FAO. Procedures have been agreed with WHO, WMO and UNESCO for the processing of applications from refugees for courses administered by these organizations; arrangements have also been made for the inclusion of refugees in UNICEF assistance projects for educational assistance. The possibility for refugees to benefit from a vocational training scheme executed by the ILO is also under consideration. Educational assistance provided for refugees under the UNHCR Programme and Educational Account is closely co-ordinated with UNESCO, which has made available two associate experts to UNHCR for the years 1969 and 1970 in addition to the expert advice provided on refugee education. UNHCR also co-operated closely with the Social Development Division of the United Nations, particularly with regard to the question of community development.
218. As in previous years, UNHCR has been called upon to participate in a number of interagency activities which are of direct or indirect interest to the work of assistance for refugees in such fields as human rights, activities for the International Education Year, public information, preparations for the Second United Nations Development Decade, community development and youth. In a number of countries where UNHCR had neither a Branch Office nor a correspondent, relations with the local authorities continue to be effectively maintained on behalf of UNHCR by the UNDP Resident Representative.
Co-operation with other intergovernmental organizations
219. Several other intergovernmental organizations have continued their active co-operation with UNHCR and supported the activities of the Office in important fields such as international protection, resettlement and integration.
220. Among the main developments, special mention should be made of the adoption by the Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) of a convention Governing the Specific Aspects of the Problems of Refugees in Africa23 (see chapter I above). In June 1969, the OAU and UNHCR signed an agreement providing for close co-operation and regular consultations.
221. In Europe, an initiative in respect of the acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence, taken by the Council of Europe several years ago, materialized in the course of 1969. Two resolutions and a recommendation aiming at avoiding the perpetuation of refugee status and facilitating the final integration of European refugees were adopted by the Consultative Assembly at its twenty-first session.24 This action taken by the Assembly, and recently endorsed by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, is in keeping with role which the Council of Europe has played since its inception in promoting activities on the international and national level with a view to solving the problems of refugees in countries members of the council of Europe.
222. As in the past, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) has been instrumental in organizing the rapid movement of refugees from countries of asylum in Europe to immigration countries. It also took an active part in the resettlement of handicapped refugees through its participation in a joint UNHCR/ICEM scheme for the establishment of special resettlement dossiers.
223. At the Inter-American Specialized conference on Human Rights held in San Jo Costa Rica, from 7 to 22 November 1969, the Organization of American States adopted the American Convention on Human Rights. The text reaffirms the right to seek and obtain asylum and the principle of non-refoulement. The Organization of American States has also assisted UNHCR by advising on problems of international protection in respect of refugees from the Caribbean and on the health aspects of assistance to refugees in certain Latin American countries.
224. Furthermore, contact was maintained with the International Secretariat for Volunteer Service.
Relations with non-governmental organizations and social welfare agencies which are participating or contributing to UNHCR programmes
225. The non-governmental organizations and social welfare agencies have continued to make a significant contribution to the work of international assistance to refugees. Over 150 such agencies are participating in the work of UNHCR (see annex III below). While continuing to act as operational partners of UNHCR in the implementation of material assistance programmes all over the world, the non-governmental organizations have also lent their support to the promotion of international protection and have contributed to UNHCR activities both financially and through fund-raising and the dissemination of information. In Europe, the part played by non-governmental organizations in emigration is vital. Counselling services enable the refugees to find the appropriate solution to their problems, often through the use of existing social welfare legislation without financial cost to the international community.
226. As in previous years, UNHCR has worked in close consultation with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies which, with a membership of over 100, is in a position to diffuse information on refugee problems and co-ordinate non-governmental activities for the benefit of refugees. Its Working Group on Integrated Rural Development, created in 1969, has studied zonal development in East Africa and discussed the possibility of voluntary agency co-operation on the financial and administrative plane in this field. Among other questions dealt with by ICVA during 1969 were the issue of uniform medical cards for migrant workers, including refugees, and the recognition of degrees and diplomas on the basis of legislative reciprocity of the countries concerned.
227. UNHCR was represented at a number of other meetings of non-governmental organizations, including the International Conference on World Refugee Problems which was convened by the United States Committee for Refugees in association with the American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service and the American Immigration and Citizenship Convention, and held in Washington D. C. in November 1969.
228. UNHCR maintained contact with the Co-ordinating Committee of the International Voluntary Service, the non-governmental organization concerned with volunteers.
Award of the Nansen Medal to H. R. H. Princess Princep Shah of Nepal
229. The spirit of international co-operation for the benefit of refugees involving Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and individual persons attached to the cause of refugees was again highlighted by the award of the Nansen Medal. At a ceremony held in Geneva, the Medal for 1969 was awarded to Her Royal Highness the Princess Princep Shah of Nepal in her capacity as President of the Nepal Red Cross, and as a tribute to the generosity and humanitarian concern for refugees manifested throughout the years by His Majesty's Government and the people of Nepal.
(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 General Assembly resolution 428 (V).
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189 (1954), No. 2545, p. 137.
3 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-first Session, Supplement No. 11A (A/6311/Rev.1/Add.1), part one, para. 2.
4 General Assembly resolution 2312 (XXII).
5 Organization of African Unity document CM/267/Rev.1.
6 A/Conf. 9/15.
7 A/Conf. 9/14, para. 23.
8 United Nations, treaty Series, vol. 506 (1964), No. 7384, p. 125.
9 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 376 (1960), No. 5375, p. 85.
10 Canada, Ethiopia and Zambia. (In its instrument of succession, the Government of Zambia declared that Zambia continued to be bound by the terms of the 1951 Convention, the application of which had already been extended to its territory before its independence.
11 I.e., Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Ivory Coast the Niger, Togo and Zambia.
12 United Nations Treaty Series vol. 360 (1960), No. 5158, p.117.
13 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 268 (1957), No. 3850, p.3.
14 United Nations Treaty Series, vol. 216 (1955), No. 2937, p.177.
15 Adopted by the Inter-American Specialized Conference on Human rights, Held in San José, Costa Rica, from 7 to 22 November 1969.
16 For the Final Act of the Conference, see United Nations publication, Sales No.: E.68. XIV.26.
17 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189 (1954), No. 2545, art. 32 (2).
18 Ibid., para. 75.
19 It is difficult accurately to assess the over-all number of beneficiaries in any given year, partly because the number of refugees assisted form other sources than UNHCR cannot be evaluated and secondly because a certain time may elapse between the commitment of funds and the completion of the measures for which they are intended, so that refugees assisted under projects for which funds are committed in a given year may not appear as beneficiaries until the following year.
20 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fourth Session, Supplement No.12 (A/7612), para. 105.
21 These have been made available in the form of contributions by the Swedish and Danish governments, and of part of the proceeds of the sale of the record "World Star Festival".
22 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 3 (A/7603 and Corr.1), para, 610.
23 OAU document CM/267/Rev.1.
24 See Council of Europe, Consultative Assembly, Twenty-first Ordinary Session, Second Part (29 September to 3 October 1969), Recommendation 564 (1969) and Resolutions 416 (1969) and 417 (1969) on the acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence.