Natalia Nahra
Associate Protection Officer
Duty Station: Tel Aviv, Israel

I’m addressing the challenge of how to improve access to information relevant to asylum-seekers in Israel.

There are about 43,000 African asylum-seekers in Israel, a majority of which are from Eritrea and Sudan, and arrived through the Sinai desert. Regular legal rulings and policy changes on asylum issues means that regulations and information relevant to asylum seekers and refugees are often changing. There is also a robust civil society assisting asylum seekers with access to healthcare, education, legal assistance, and psychosocial support. Information is dispersed among many stakeholders, and there does not exist a central repository for information relevant to asylum-seekers in Israel. It can be challenging for an asylum-seeker to distinguish between all the stakeholders and service providers, understand who is doing what, when, and where, and access up-to-date, reliable information relevant to their needs.

A lack of information, or having access to inaccurate information, can cause frustration, despair, and often times hopelessness, which may erode the resilience of asylum-seekers and their families. Being able to access information that is useful and accurate helps to empower asylum-seekers to make choices and decisions for themselves, which also increases self-reliance.

Together with my project partners, Sari Cohen and Emily Primack (from UNHCR’s implementing partner, the African Refugee Development Center), we are engaging the local Israeli community, stakeholders, service providers, and the asylum-seeker communities to improve access to information relevant to asylum-seekers in Israel.

I want to find a solution to this challenge because having access to accurate and relevant information helps asylum-seekers to make informed decisions for themselves, their families, and communities.