Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-sixth Session
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/8412)
1. During the period under review,1 the activities of UNHCR and the nature of the problems of refugees with which it was faced have remained basically the same as they were in 1969, as may be seen from the introductory sections to the main chapters of the present report.
2. Upon the completion of 20 years' service by his Office, the High Commissioner would like to highlight some of the more significant developments in the work for refugees that has been carried out over the past two decades.
3. In terms of practical action, the problems of European refugees that were facing UNHCR at its inception have been largely solved through the material assistance programmes that were put into effect for their benefit, while the problems of new arrivals are being settled on a current basis. The first large-scale refugee problem facing UNHCR in Africa, that of the Algerian refugees, was satisfactorily solved. UNHCR has since had to concentrate its efforts largely on the growing problems of refugees in Africa and Asia. Both with regard to earlier refugee problems and those which exist today, UNHCR action has been designed to help refugees to help themselves, with a view to their becoming self-supporting, rather than merely to hand out relief, which only perpetuates their situation.
4. At the same time, the legal basis for the work of the international protection has been consolidated and extended to cover most parts of the world, in keeping with the universal character of the refugee problem. It is encouraging that a growing number of Governments, including those of many newly independent countries, become parties to the legal instruments which govern the status of refugees and recognize the humanitarian principles of the granting of asylum.
5. With regard to both protection and material assistance, a pattern has been gradually evolved whereby refugees, wherever they are, receive organized assistance to enable them to cease to be refugees as rapidly as possible through voluntary repatriation, which is the most desirable solution, or failing this through migration or local integration followed by the acquisition of the nationality of the host country - it being understood that the individual refugee is free to choose between these solutions.
6. What has probably contributed most directly to bringing rapid relief to refugees, followed by durable solutions to their problems, has been the development over a period of years of a number of basic concepts in respect to the role of UNHCR. More particularly with regard to material aid the catalytic effect of the programme has been considerably increased since the beginning of the sixties to meet the requirements of new refugee problems and has made it possible, through the often modest input of UNHCR, to enlist the generous support of interested Governments, other Members of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations. Their participation in some cases far exceed the financial scope of UNHCR and the work of assistance for refugees has thus become a concerted international effort, in the fullest sense of the word, as shown in chapter V below.
7. Another important principle observed in the implementation of projects is that refugees are provided with the assistance they need in order to overcome the special handicap from which they suffer as refugees, but without placing them in a privileged position in relation to the local inhabitants. Thus, for instance, medical and educational assistance in developing areas are also extended to the indigenous population. Similarly some of the development projects of other members of the United Nations system, put in to effect in areas with a sizable refugee population, are designed to benefit refugees and nationals alike.
8. Among the measures adopted by the international community with a view to adapting its approach to meet the needs of new refugee problems, the most significant one has no doubt been the development of the good offices concept. Originally introduced in 1957 to allow UNHCR to transmit funds for assistance to a specific group of refugees whose eligibility had not been determined, this concept was expanded to enable UNHCR to gear its action to problems involving a large influx of newcomers often into sparsely inhabited areas - where a decision on international relief had to be taken at once if human lives were not to be imperilled. Under the terms of General Assembly resolution 1959 (XVIII) of 1963, the good offices procedure has become an integral part of the Office's current activities, thus enabling new groups of refugees, which are recognized as prima facie eligible, to benefit from UNHCR assistance. In so doing it provided the necessary flexibility to deal with large-scale problems whose emergence had not been envisaged at the time the statute was adopted.
9. The good offices procedure has also been invaluable in enabling UNHCR to intervene in marginal cases where the situation of a given group of persons is analogous to that of refugees and where UNHCR action may help to keep it within manageable proportion.
10. Finally, the use of good offices in the broad sense of the term has made it possible for the High Commissioner to act as an intermediary in order to assist in bringing about the solution of an existing refugee problem or to avoid the emergence of a new one.
11. As will be seen from the present report and from earlier ones, the progress achieved in solving problems of refugees has been due in no small measure to the whole-hearted support of millions of individual donors who, through their generous participation in fund-raising campaigns in an increasing number of countries, have joined the international community in a continuing effort of international solidarity for the benefit of refugees. It is hoped that the humanitarian ideal of all these donors will be matched throughout the world by the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms which is essential in achieving solutions to refugee problems and in averting their occurrence.
I. INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
A. Introductory remarks
12. International protection of refugees, as the primary function of the High Commissioner, constitutes an area of activity that requires the constant attention of his Office. The High Commissioner continued his efforts both to promote acceptance of a wider and more dynamic concept of protection of refugees by the international community and to encourage consolidating measures to render protection as effective as possible. At its twenty fifth session the General Assembly, in its resolution 2650 (XXV), urged "Governments to continue to lend their support to the High Commissioner's humanitarian and constructive tasks", inter alia, by facilitating his efforts in the field of international protection. Although the magnitude of existing problems of protection and of those arising from recent refugee situations continues to present a serious challenge, the High Commissioner is gratified to note that, during the reporting period there has been an encouraging response from the international community to this resolutions. This response is reflected in the increasing number of States acceding to international instruments affecting refugees, including the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.2 and the 1967 Protocol,3 in the adoption by the countries of residence of refugees of legislative and administrative measures that help to ensure the effective implementation of these instruments and in the growing awareness of the generally accepted principles governing asylum and non-refoulement.
13. The efforts of the High Commissioner were again directed towards the promotion of permanent solutions, bearing n mind that the best way to assist a refugee is to help him to cease to be a refugee. With this objective in view, the High Commissioner has sought to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees, to which many countries in Africa and elsewhere continue to attach great importance as a permanent solution. While seeking to ensure the voluntary character of repatriation within the context of his protection function, the High Commissioner has provided assistance, wherever possible, to refugees individually or in groups in returning to their homelands, as indicated in more detail in chapter II, on material assistance. The High Commissioner also encouraged measures leading to the acquisition by refugees of economic and social rights comparable to those of nationals, in order to facilitate their assimilation and eventual naturalization.
14. While permanent solutions are steadily being achieved, either through voluntary repatriation or the acquisition of nationality, the number of cases involved is relatively small in relation to the total number of refugees who come within the competence of UNHCR. It follows, therefore, that protection activities have to be continued in many countries where refugees have now achieved economic and social stability but have not yet ceased to be refugees. Moreover, since new refugee problems have emerged in several countries whose legal infrastructure is in the course of being established, the UNHCR protection system has had to be expanded in order to keep abreast of these developments and enable the Office to fulfil its obligations towards the new arrivals. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme has paid special attention to this problem and at its twentieth session, in October 1969, it emphasized the need to continue protection in areas where new refugee problems had arisen, without, however, weakening international protection elsewhere.
15. In the new areas of concern to the Office and especially in Africa, the situation if further complicated by the growing number of individual cases who, in view of their urban background, cannot easily be absorbed in rural settlement projects. Many of these refugees require assistance in obtaining gainful employment or appropriate facilities for education and training. In some countries refugees encounter difficulties in being granted refugee status. The High Commissioner is particularly concerned by the fact that in certain instances persons have been expelled to their country of origin contrary to the provisions of article 33 of the 1951 Convention.
16. The Executive Committee, at its twenty-first session, in October 1970, expressed concern at the serious problems encountered by individual cases and recommended that special attention be paid to the need for their situation to be regularized as rapidly as possible. In a number of countries, particularly in those which have only recently been confronted with refugee situations, the problems of individual cases cover a wide field, including questions of asylum and non-refoulement, residence permits, release from detention, right to work, identity and travel documents, and access to education. The protection activities of UNHCR need therefore to be considerably extended in order to take these requirements into account.
17. Experience has shown that with the continuing support of Governments, the legal position of refugees can be considerably improved in the interest of both the country of asylum and the refugees themselves. As in previous reports, the High Commissioner draws attention in the paragraphs below, to those areas where further positive action through the adoption of appropriate legal measures, or the accession to international instruments, would render protection more effective and improve the lot of refugees, and he sincerely hopes that in this twentieth year of the existence of UNHCR, Governments will make a special effort to respond to the suggestions put forward in respect of the protection of refugees.
B. Intergovernmental instruments concerning refugees
18. During the period under review, the two main international legal instruments concerning refugees, the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, continued to receive wider recognition by the international community. Six more States adhered to the 1967 Protocol and two more States to the 1951 Convention. Thus, 60 States are now parties to the Convention and 45 to the Protocol (see annex I).
19. While the High Commissioner was gratified to note the ever-increasing number of States which had acceded to international instruments relating to the states of refugees, he found it equally important to ensure that the national legislation and administrative practice of acceding States conformed fully to basic international standards with regard to the treatment of refugees. In this connexion, it is recalled that at its twenty-first session, in 1970, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, in its conclusions regarding international protection, expressed the hope that Governments parties to intergovernmental instruments providing for the protection of refugees would adjust, where necessary, their legislation and administrative practice to bring them fully into line with the letter and spirit of these instruments.
20. Pursuant to article 35 of the 1951 Convention dealing with co-operation of national authorities with UNHCR as regards, in particular, the supervision of the application of the provisions of the 1951 Convention, the High Commissioner addressed a questionnaire to Governments requesting information concerning the implementation of the Convention and details of related national legislation and administrative practices. This reporting method, which is being used effectively by the ILO, will in time furnish the High Commissioner with up-to-date information on the legal situation of the refugees. The response of Governments has been encouraging, and 18 States4 have now submitted detailed replies to the questionnaire. It is hoped that more States will reply in the near future, thereby assisting UNHCR in ensuring a greater degree of conformity in State practice with the provisions of these instruments and in ascertaining whether any further implementation measures need to be promoted.
21. During the reporting period, Australia withdrew its reservation, made at the time of ratification to article 28 of the 1951 Convention, concerning the issuance of travel documents to refugees. The Governments of France, Dahomey and the People's Republic of the Congo, when acceding to the 1967 Protocol, withdrew the geographic reservation made previously to the 1951 Convention. The Governments of the United Kingdom extended the benefits of the Convention and the Protocol to the Bahamas, with effect from 19 July 1970.
22. The Convention governing the Specific Aspects of Refugees problems in Africa, which was adopted at the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in September 1969, has been ratified by the Central African Republic, the People's Republic of the Congo and Togo. The Convention, details of which are given in the High Commissioner's report to the twenty-fourth session,5 will enter into force upon ratification by one-third of the States members of OAU. It will serve as a valuable complement to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol. It will also constitute an important additional basis for UNHCR's action in Africa with regard to the application of norms relating to the protection of refugees.
23. The Asia-Africa Legal Consultative Committee at its eleventh session, in 1969, adopted a resolution in which it recognized that the 1967 Protocol, the Declaration on Territorial Asylum, the recommendations of the Conference on the Problems of Refugees held in Addis Ababa in October 1967 and the Convention governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa are important contributions to the development of international law relating to refugees. The Committee also decided to review the principles it had enunciated in 1966 in respect of the status of refugees - known as the Bangkok principles - in order to bring them into line with the above-mentioned instruments and recommendations.
24. Special mention should also be made of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness6 which, as indicated in paragraph 50 below, is particularly important in that, in providing for the granting of nationality to persons born in a territory of a contracting State who would otherwise be stateless, it helps to avoid perpetuation of refugee status in the second, and possibly subsequent, generations. So far, the Governments of the United Kingdom and Sweden have acceded to this instrument. Another four accessions are needed to bring it into force.
25. The Office continued its efforts to promote accessions to other intergovernmental instruments of interest to refugees including, in particular, The Hague Agreement of November 1957 relating to Refugee Seamen,7 the European Agreement of April 1959 on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees,8 the Convention of September 1954 relating to the Status of Stateless persons,9 and the United Nations Convention of June 1956 on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance.10 While covering different aspects of the legal problems confronting refugees, each of these instruments plays an important role in contributing towards improving the status of refugees.
26. A lost of international instruments affecting refugees and of the countries that are parties to them may be found in annex I below.
C. Determination of refugee status
27. Determination of refugee status through the application of eligibility criteria, as laid down in the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol constitutes an important concern of UNHCR. While many States continue, in general, to practise a liberal policy of asylum, increasing attention is being paid to the need for setting up proper procedures for the determination of refugee status, particularly in countries where administrative facilities for dealing with this problem are being developed. This is essential in order to ensure that, in arriving at a decision as vital as the determination of eligibility, all relevant factors are fully taken into account. During the reporting period, UNHCR continued to co-operate with the authorities of various countries in the determination of refugee status, and also in developing the relevant procedures.
28. Legislation on the determination of refugee status and the implementation of eligibility procedures is already in force in a number of countries, chiefly in Europe, and further progress in this respect has also been made in other areas, particularly in Africa. Thus, in Senegal, a draft decree for implementing the law relating to refugees is now under active consideration. UNHCR has initiated discussions for similar action in countries in East Africa. In Zambia, a joint committee has been established for the determination of eligibility, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo draft laws relating to the determination of refugee status have been drawn up by the Government. In Botswana, the determination of eligibility is provided for in the Refugee Recognition and Control Act.
29. After its accession to the 1967 Protocol, the Government of the United States of America gave consideration to the establishment of procedures for the determination of refugee status and the issue of Convention Travel Documents to refugees. It has furthermore adopted an amendment to the Immigration Law in favour of exchange aliens, principally foreign students in the United States, who will be authorized to remain in the United States if they fear persecution in their country of origin.
30. A special situation exists in certain States - Sweden for example - where these who seek asylum are granted the right of residence without being formally recognized as refugees. Consultations on the subject have taken place between UNHCR and the authorities of the countries concerned.
31. A special situation has also emerged in Africa in respect of refugees from territories under foreign administration who were formerly engaged in some of the activities carried out by liberation movements and who are having difficulty in being recognized as refugees. The High Commissioner trusts that in a purely humanitarian and non-political spirit favourable consideration will be given by the governments concerned with a view to granting refugee status to genuine refugees so as to enable them to settle down and become useful members of the community which has accepted them.
32. The question of asylum, which constitutes the cornerstone of international protection, received the fullest attention of UNHCR during the past year, particularly with regard to the application of the principle of non-refoulement. Although non-refoulement, as the basic element of asylum, is a generally recognized principle in State practice, there have been occasions where this principle has not been scrupulously observed, In several cases, then expulsion was imminent, the High Commissioner was able to obtain a stay of execution or a revocation of the proposed measure. In certain other cases, the High Commissioner found it necessary to make appropriate representation to the authorities concerned.
33. The fact that the principles relating to asylum are being increasingly recognized by States is reflected in the number of international instruments making special mention of them. In addition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles concerning asylum are in particular enunciated in the OAU Convention of 1969 governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, in the Declaration on Territorial Asylum and in the American Convention on Human Rights of 22 November 1969.11
34. UNHCR participated in the work of the Asylum Committee of the fifty-fourth Conference of the International Law Association, held at The Hague. The Conference examined the draft Conventions relating to Diplomatic and Territorial Asylum adopted tentatively in Buenos Aires in 1968. Furthermore, UNHCR has been closely associated with the preparations for a Colloquium on asylum and related subjects which was held in Bellagio, Italy, in April 1971.
35. In the context of asylum, the High Commissioner was concerned by recent disturbing trends as regards hijacking of aircraft and kidnapping of persons with a view to extortion. UNHCR participated as observer in the meeting of the Legal Committee of the Organization of American States, which was convened to draft a convention on kidnapping and extortion. A UNHCR representative was included in the United Nations delegation to the International Conference on Air Law held at The Hague in December 1970 under the auspices of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The Conference adopted a Convention on Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, which, in accordance with generally accepted principles, does not affect the rights and duties of States with regard to the granting of asylum.
36. As the High Commissioner reported to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session, he has been greatly concerned about cases, occurring mainly in Africa, of refugees who fulfil the eligibility criteria laid down in the 1951 Convention and the Statute of UNHCR and who were declared prohibited immigrants under national immigration laws, even though in principle such laws should not be applied to refugees. The refugees concerned were thus exposed to the risk of detention or expulsion without, in some cases, having the possibility of recourse to the courts. Similarly, having regard to article 32 or the 1951 Convention, dealing with the expulsion of refugees, the High Commissioner made efforts to impress upon the Governments concerned that refugees who are to be expelled should be afforded due process of law and should, in any event, be given encouraging for the High Commissioner to note that the number of cases where persons were declared prohibited immigrants is decreasing, and it is hoped that in this domain Governments will continue to make every effort to take full account of the provisions of the 1951 Convention. UNHCR was represented at the Conference of African Jurists on African Legal Process and the Individual, held at Addis Ababa in April 1971 under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Africa. At this Conference various subjects of importance to refugees in the field of human rights were discussed.
E. Economic and social rights of refugees
37. One of the important functions of protection is to ensure that the rights of refugees, especially in economic and social matters, are also safeguarded. The efforts of the High Commissioner to facilitate the integration of refugees through the promotion of favourable measures relating to the economic and social rights of refugees, achieved further results, particularly with regard to their access to certain professions.
38. Thus, in Belgium, a royal decree has been issued providing, inter alia, that refugee lawyers who have been domiciled there for three years may exercise their profession. This provision is significant in that it goes beyond the minimum requirements of the 1951 Convention since aliens, in general, are required to have six years' residence to enjoy this privilege in Belgium. In Switzerland, the Département Fédéral dé l'Intérieur has issued an ordinance according to which all persons recognized as refugees in Switzerland as of 18 September 1970 may present themselves for the federal examinations for the medical profession. This facility had hitherto been available only to refugees who came to Switzerland before 29 June 1960. In Italy, on the basis of article 14 of the 1951 Convention and the Protocol to the Universal Copyright Convention, refugees will in future be entitled to the same benefits as nationals with regard to taxes on copyright.
39. The Office has also welcomed the continued co-operation of the Council of Europe and of various Governments in ensuring that the benefits of multilateral and bilateral social security agreements are extended to refugees.
40. In view of the present situation of the labour market in Africa, the full implementation of articles 17, 18 and 19 of the 1951 Convention, concerning wage-earning employment, self-employment and the liberal professions, still raises difficulties. This question is gaining importance in view of the increasing number of refugees of non-agricultural stock who seek employment in the larger towns in Africa. The High Commissioner is pleased to note, however, that a number of Governments, including in particular Gabon, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali and Niger, have announced openings for skilled refugees in many sectors of their economy and will have no difficulty in placing any of those whose dossiers might be submitted by the OAU placement bureau. The High Commissioner hopes that the Governments of African countries will continue to make efforts to enable refugees to obtain gainful employment so that they may more easily become self-sufficient and be able to make a contribution to the development of their country of reception.
F. Voluntary repatriation
41. The voluntary repatriation of refugees was further promoted by the High Commissioner in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 8 of the statute, and repatriation movements continued to take place during the period under review particularly in Africa.
42. The Office was called upon to assist in the voluntary repatriation of both individual refugees and of refugees returning to their country of origin in groups. These movements were in some instances carried out at the request of the Government of the country of origin following a declaration of amnesty by that Government. In accordance with established principles, the voluntary character of repatriation was ensured by UNHCR.
43. A mention should also be made of article V of the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, which provides inter alia that the essentially voluntary character of repatriation should be respected, that there should be close co-operation between the country of origin and the country of asylum with a view to the safe return of refugees and their establishment in their homeland. The Convention also stipulates that refugees should be informed about the conditions prevailing in their country and not be penalized for having left it.
G. Family reunion
44. At its twenty-first session, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme stressed the importance it attached to ensuring that the unity of the refugee's family was maintained in accordance with the provisions of section IV, B, of the Final Act of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons and recommended that the High Commissioner should continue to make every effort to this effect. It will be recalled that the Conference in its final act recommended, inter alia, that Governments:
"take the necessary measures for the protection of the refugee's family, especially with a view to... ensuring that the unity of the refugee's family is maintained particularly in cases where the head of the family has fulfilled the necessary conditions for admission to a particular country."
45. In view of the humanitarian factors involved, the High Commissioner has always attached special importance to this question and he has continued his efforts to promote the unity of the family, which the Conference of Plenipotentiaries considered as "an essential right of the refugees". He trusts that all states, whether parties to the 1951 Convention or not, will give him their full support and co-operation in continuing to promote the reunion of separated refugees, thus safeguarding the unity of the family which is " the natural and fundamental group unit of society".
H. Acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence
46. Acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence through naturalization constitutes an important permanent solution which the High Commissioner seeks to promote at any time when voluntary repatriation proves unlikely or impossible, Already in its resolution 428 (V), adopting the Statute of the High Commissioner, the General Assembly called upon Governments to co-operate with UNHCR, inter alia, by " promoting the assimilation of refugees, especially by facilitating their naturalization.12 At its twenty-first session, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme supported the view that refugees, particularly in countries where they have resided for a long period of time, should be given appropriate facilities for the acquisition of the nationality of that country and should be provided with the necessary information on the regulations and procedures in force.
47. The High Commissioner has accordingly renewed his efforts to promote the acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence especially through naturalization in those countries where refugees have been residing for a long period of time and where most of them are practically settled. Encouraging support in this respect has been received from the Council of Europe as indicated in more detail in paragraph 52 of the report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session.
48. The recommendations of the Executive Committee and of the Council of Europe in this particular matter have been brought to the attention of the non-governmental organizations which deal with refugees on a day-to-day basis and which have pledged their support in apprising refugees of the benefits they might derive form the acquisition of the nationality of their country of residence and informing them of the possibilities open to them in this field.
49. The results achieved so far are encouraging as reflected by the fact that in 1970 the number of refugees naturalized in European countries for which naturalization statistics are available amounted to some 10,000, compared to 7,000 in 1969. In addition, favourable legal or administrative regulations aiming at further facilitating the naturalization of refugees are reported to be under consideration in a certain number of countries. The High Commissioner very much hopes that the present positive trend will continue so that an increasing number of refugees throughout the world may be put entirely on a par with the nationals of their country of residence.
50. In addition to naturalization, a special mention should be made of the acquisition of nationality by refugee children. In countries where the jus soli prevails, this presents no problems. However, in countries following the jus sanguinis principle, the High Commissioner hopes that the Governments will take into account the special situation of refugees and adopt appropriate measures to help their children to become nationals of the country in which they were born, in order that they may become full members of the community in which their parents have settled. He hopes that through accession to, and the liberal implementation of, the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 31 August 1961,13 States will actively contribute to reducing the number of stateless refugees on their territories.
I. Issue of documentation with special reference to travel facilities
51. One of the practical benefits to refugees arising from the application of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol is the issuance of identity papers and travel documents which facilitate the regularization of their status and enable them to travel. Article 27 of the 1951 Convention stipulates that the contracting States shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not possess a valid travel document. In countries where refugees have been settled for a long period they do not normally encounter difficulties in obtaining identity papers since these are issued automatically in accordance with the need of the individual and within the framework of national legislation. More recently, increasing attention has been given to this question by various States, particularly in Africa, and UNHCR has on occasion been called upon to assist. Thus, UNHCR extended to the Government of Senegal the same type of technical assistance with the issuance of identity cards to refugees as was given earlier to the Government of the Central African Republic in this respect.
52. Increasing use is also being made by Governments of the Convention Travel Document provided for by article 28 of the 1951 Convention which enables refugees to travel outside their country of asylum. The Office has continued to make available supplies of the document to various Governments in Africa for issuance to refugees. On certain occasions it was necessary for UNHCR to advise as to how provisions of the schedule of the 1951 Convention could best be implemented, in particular with regard to such matters as the return clause and the geographical validity of the document.
53. Some problems arose regarding the extension of validity of documents for refugees who had travelled outside their country of asylum. This applied especially to African refugees who were studying abroad, mainly in European countries. These students may find it difficult to continue their education if the length of their stay abroad is limited by the period of validity of their travel document. In some cases of this type, UNHCR succeeded in finding appropriate solutions. In many others, the difficulties remain. The High Commissioner hopes that Governments of countries of asylum, particularly in Africa, will make further efforts to liberalize their practices with regard to the issuing of travel documents to refugees so that the latter do not have to face undue hardships.
54. The Office of the High Commissioner continued to administer residual funds from the Indemnification Fund14 and the Supplementary Indemnification Fund,15 set up for the benefit of refugees who suffered persecution by reason of their nationality. These funds were distributed to those qualifying refugees, who, for technical reasons, had been unable to benefit under the German Indemnification Law or to receive payment from one of the two indemnification funds.
55. The High Commissioner also continued to lend his assistance in the implementation of article 1 of the Indemnification Agreement of October 1960, which provides for indemnification, by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany, of those refugees who suffered persecution by reason of their nationality and who incurred damage to body and health. Of the 36,637 applications for payment under this article received by the authorities of the Federal Republic, 7,908 were still pending as of 31 March 1971. By that date payments had been made to 3,583 qualifying applicants. During the period under review there was a further noticeable tendency towards a more liberal application of criteria, with the number of positive decisions during the first months of 1971 reaching nearly 30 per cent of the number of decisions taken.
56. By the end of March 1971, a total amount of DM214, 500,00016 had been paid out under the terms of the above-mentioned agreements to refugees who had suffered persecution by reason of their nationality. This total does not include the value of pensions which beneficiaries are to receive from the German authorities for the rest of their lives, nor the periodic increases in these pensions.
II. MATERIAL ASSISTANCE
A. General review
57. The activities of UNHCR in respect of material assistance to refugees in 1970 have, generally speaking, been very similar to those of the preceding year. They were again focused essentially on assistance to refugees in ten countries in Africa and in a few countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. While progress was made in the settlement of refugees, there were influxes of new refugees, including two sizable groups in Africa. Consequently a considerable proportion of the assistance caseload, some 270,000 refugees,17 as against 275,000 in 1969, consisted of people requiring settlement on the land, with all that this entails in terms of the establishment of an adequate economic infrastructure and the provision of basic necessities until the refugees can produce their own food.
58. Assistance was provided by UNHCR through projects outstanding from previous programmes, the current programme for 197018 and the UNHCR Emergency Fund, from which an amount of $532,160 was spent mostly to meet emergency needs of refugees in some countries of Africa and South-East Asia.
59. As in previous years, a number of complementary projects outside the UNHCR assistance programme were financed from special trust funds in an amount of $1,498,684 specifically earmarked by the donors for particular types of assistance, including $644,352 for assistance towards local settlement, $361,536 for the UNHCR Education Account and $285,258 for the facilitation of repatriation.
60. The Governments of reception countries continued to assume a large degree of responsibility for aid to refugees and supporting contributions amounting to some $3,480,000 were provided from within these countries. The amount is lower than those for 1969 and 1970 because some countries had made large special contributions in earlier years, when the rural settlement projects were being launched. Other sizable supporting contributions were the food rations which the World Food Programme continued to supply within the framework of its co-operation with UNHCR and the granting by certain countries of bilateral aid which indirectly also benefits refugees in the receiving country.
61. In carrying out its material assistance programme, the Office has continued to place primary emphasis on helping refugees to achieve a permanent solution to their problems by giving them an opportunity to become self-supporting as rapidly as possible.
62. Voluntary repatriation which, together with resettlement through migration and local settlement, constitutes the most important solution to the problems of refugees, has been facilitated in every way possible by UNHCR. The number of refugees who returned to their homeland during the period under review was estimated at 10,000. The Office committed an amount of $30,805 to help over 1,100 refugees, at their request, to return to their homes. This assistance was mainly for the payment of transportation costs.
63. The promotion of resettlement through migration has again been facilitated by the liberal attitude of the traditional immigration countries and of a number of other countries which have admitted refugees, including the handicapped. This has been particularly helpful in those countries or areas where newly arriving refugees cannot easily settle for economic, social or demographic reasons. While a number of refugees emigrated from their country of reception independently, 10,180 refugees, mostly in Europe and Latin America, benefited from UNHCR resettlement assistance in the form of counselling, language training, resettlement grants and contributions towards resettlement processing. An amount of $356,749 was committed for this purpose in 1970. The Office continued to co-operate with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and with a number of non-governmental organizations in this field.
64. The greater part of the UNHCR caseload, 258,000 refugees out of 270,000, required assistance towards local integration. As will be seen from the various area and country sections below, UNHCR projects in Europe and Latin America concentrated mainly on the consolidation of previous measures for the settlement of refugees in particular the handicapped. In Asia, a variety of projects were put into effect, including housing, establishment in agriculture, medical assistance, and education and training. In Africa, the rural settlement of refugees continued to call for a wide range of measures including emergency relief, medical assistance, the clearing of land and provision of equipment and often also for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure. Co-operation with other members of the United Nations system has continued, especially in this area of activity (for further details see chapter V).
65. Educational assistance which contributes greatly to the integration of young refugees was comprised of projects for primary education included in the UNHCR programme and projects for post primary education financed from the Education Account to which Denmark, Norway and Sweden have made major contributions.
66. In various countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, 2,423 refugees benefited from educational facilities provided from the Education Account in an amount of some $319,000 in 1970 (see annex II, table 4). The majority were assisted in attending secondary school and vocational training courses.
67. An amount of $64,509 was committed to help 3,587 refugees to solve their individual legal problems. The legal counselling provided for refugees has again proved very useful in furthering the integration of refugees and helping them to benefit from legal and administrative regulations of which they were not always aware.
68. Supplementary aid was provided at a cost of $186,654 to assist 25,758 refugees in meeting their basic needs until such time as durable solutions could be found to their problems.
69. As will be seen from the area and country sections below, the assistance needs of refugees in Asia and the Middle East remain much the same. In Europe they are decreasing, while in Africa they tend to grow, in view of the continuing influx of newcomers.
70. In considering assistance requirements of refugees in 1971 the Executive Committee of the UNHCR programme accordingly decided to adopt a financial target of $6,572,000 (compared with $5,769,400 in 1970) (for further details see annex II, table 5 below).
B. Assistance to refugees in Africa
71. The number of refugees coming within the competence of UNHCR in Africa was still about 1 million (for further details see annex II, table 2). There have been influxes of some 55,000 new refugees, including one new group of 1,400 from Chad in the Central African Republic, and others belonging to existing groups - 23,500 in the Sudan, 17,000 in the United Republic of Tanzania, and the others mostly in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Zambia. The influx has been counterbalanced by the fact that a similar number of refugees ceased to be the concern of UNHCR either because they had returned to their country of origin or because they had again availed themselves of the protection of the Government of that country.
72. A part of the refugee population in Africa - some 200,000 - are establishing themselves on the land in organized settlements under projects financed largely by UNHCR. The others are settling independently, among the local population, mostly in agriculture. A number of them also benefit from UNHCR projects for rural settlement, medical assistance, or education and training. There is a growing problem of individual cases, mainly of urban origin, who live in some of the larger towns. These refugees, many of whom applied for UNHCR assistance in 1970, face particular difficulties in respect of employment and sometimes also legal status. Further measures for their benefit, including in particular social counselling, are envisaged.
73. In view of the influx of new refugees and of the severe droughts in several countries, the number of refugees in receipt of food rations increased during the period under review from some 59,000 to 77,000, nearly half of them in the Sudan and most of the others in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The over-all number of refugees benefiting from UNHCR assistance in Africa nevertheless decreased from some 250,000 in 1969 to some 241,600 at the end of 1970 because an increasing number of those already in settlements became self-supporting during this period.
74. Among important specific developments, mention should beamed of the implementation of sizable projects for the settlement of refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and the Sudan, which were started in 1969 and continued throughout 1970.
75. As in previous years, an amount of $52,000 was made available to UNHCR by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa and transmitted to voluntary agencies for assistance to refugees from that country, mostly individual cases in Eastern and Southern Africa. The assistance was intended mainly to meet basic needs and provide primary education.
76. As indicated by the Economic and Social Council in its report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session,19 a formula was worked out between the United Kingdom Government and UNHCR whereby assistance could be provided to persons from Southern Rhodesia living outside that country from sources outside the UNHCR regular programme, in accordance with the General Assembly resolutions on UNHCR good offices. The new arrangement was put into effect at the end of the period under review.
77. As heretofore, voluntary repatriation constituted a solution to the problems of a number of refugees in Africa. At least 9,000 refugees - mainly Congolese, Rwandese, Sudanese and Zambians - are known to have returned to their country, the majority through their own means. The Office has facilitated the repatriation of some 1,100 of these refugees at their request mainly by covering the cost of the transportation involved in their homeward journey.
78. In addition, UNHCR used its good offices to facilitate the return of some 4,500 Nigerian children from the Ivory Coast and Gabon to their homes in Nigeria, as explained in more detail in the section on West Africa, below.
Resettlement through migration
79. The Office continued to give the closest attention to the promotion of resettlement in Africa, particularly in view of the importance of this solution for the individual cases in urban centres. The Office maintains close co-operation with the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, whose main task is to facilitate the resettlement of individual refugees and their placement in employment in various countries in Africa. An amount of $18,799 in special Trust Funds was made available to the Bureau. In April/May 1970 a seminar, organized by OAU for the national correspondents of the Bureau, was widely attended by representatives of Governments and international organizations. A joint mission of representatives of OAU, UNHCR and the International University Exchange Fund visited West Africa in November to explore resettlement opportunities and establish local committees to assist the correspondents at the Bureau. Some 250 African refugees were resettled through migration, with UNHCR assistance. The particular problems encountered by handicapped African refugees also received special attention.
80. In 1970 settlement on the land constituted the solution to the problems of the great majority of refugees receiving UNHCR assistance (some 240,000) in over twenty countries which received refugees in Africa. The methods followed were those described in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty fifth session.20 Progress continued to be made in many settlements in spite of the usual adverse factors, such a droughts, new influxes of refugees resulting in overcrowding of existing settlements, and diseases affecting sizable groups of refugees. In many settlements standards were raised and the refugees were able to diversify their crops and achieve a higher degree of self-sufficiency. Infrastructures, including water supplies and road networks were improved. Health and educational facilities were further developed, often to the benefit of the local population, as well as of the refugees. In some areas the phasing out of UNHCR projects has been delayed because of the new influx of refugees joining groups already in the area and for whom new assistance projects had to be put into effect. It proved necessary therefore to include increased allocations in the 1971 programme for the rural settlement of refugees in Africa.
81. Increased attention was paid to the sociological problems involved in the rural settlement of refugees. The Office and the United Nations Institute for Social Development commissioned a study on social change and development institutions in the refugee population, which was carried out at the M'Boki refugee settlement in the Central African Republic. The study concentrated on the role which rural institutions can play in the adaptation of social structures of a refugee community to new conditions of life and is expected to be of assistance in furthering the economic and social integration of refugees.
Education and training
82. In 1970, projects for the construction of primary schools planned or already started were continued, especially in Uganda, and new projects were started in the framework of the rural settlement of refugees. Some schools already functioning were transferred to the governmental authorities which assumed responsibility for running costs. As far as post-primary education is concerned an amount of some $184,000 was committed mostly in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, the Central African Republic and Burundi for the benefit of over 1,500 refugees including 1,097 who were enabled to attend secondary schools and 396 who followed training courses.
83. As indicated in more detail in chapter V, UNHCR has continued to benefit from the close co-operation of UNESCO. Co-operation with the united Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa was further developed after agreement had been reached on a division of functions whereby UNHCR may provide assistance to refugees otherwise within the competence of the Programme up to and including the first level of secondary education, while the Programme assists refugees at the higher levels of education.
Further allocations for assistance to refugees in Africa
84. Taking into account the considerable outstanding needs in respect of assistance to refugees in Africa, allocations in an amount of $3,709,000 were included in the UNHCR programme for 1971. Details are given in annex II, table 5.
85. There were some 4,000 refugees in Botswana at the end of 1970 of whom some 3,800 were Angolans and small numbers of urban background from other countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.
86. An amount of $43,686 was committed under the UNHCR programme for 1970 mainly to carry out the rural settlement project for some 3,700 Angolans which was first delayed mainly because of difficulties in transporting the necessary commodities to the remote area where the settlement is located. While two successive droughts seriously affected harvests there was an abundant rainfall at the end of 1970, and the first harvest in 1971 is expected to be a good one. A number of refugees received technical training and are now making their living as fishermen. Others have become proficient in handicrafts. A primary school was also constructed under this project. Most of the unspent funds for rural settlement were re-allocated to the World Council of Churches to assist in the local settlement of a small number of refugees.
87. In addition, individual assistance was provided for refugees, mainly form the Republic of South Africa, through the World Council of Churches and the Botswana Christian Council through a grant from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa.
88. There were approximately 38,800 refugees living in Burundi at the end of 1970, some 7,200 fewer than at the end of 1969. The reduction in numbers is due to the voluntary repatriation of some 3,000 Congolese, in particular following the amnesty that was granted by the Congolese Government in November 1970, and to the departure of over 4,000 Rwandese who left Burundi for neighbouring countries in four organized settlements, while the others are scattered, mainly in the Bujumbura area. The remaining Congolese continue to live independently, along the Congolese border, earning their living as fishermen and small farmers.
89. A UNDP/FAO Integrated Rural Development Project is being put into effect in the Cankuzo and Mosaso areas. While the implementation of some aspects of the project were delayed, good progress was made in the Cankuzo area where the four settlements for Rwandese refugees are located. Living conditions were improved, and new agricultural techniques including mixed farming, the diversifying of crops, cattle raising and bee-keeping were introduced. The maintenance and construction of roads and the maintenance and improvement of the water supply system continued. Trust funds in an amount of $97,000 allocated in 1969 towards the financing of these activities remained available for this purpose during the period under review.
90. With regard to educational assistance, scholarships to the value of $17,000 contributed from the Education Account were granted to over 700 Rwandese refugees. Furthermore, four primary schools constructed under earlier programmes were opened in the Mugera settlement.
91. Over 900 destitute refugees, mostly Rwandese loving outside settlements, received individual assistance.
92. To sum up, the first phase of the UNDP/FAO Integrated Rural Development Project was continued until 31 May 1971. Pending the coming into effect as from 1971 of the second phase of the Project, under which pre-investment operations are envisaged, a holding operation may be required.
Central African Republic
93. During 1970 the number of refugees in the Central African Republic rose by 4,200 to 27,200 at the end of the year. Of the newcomers 2,800 were Sudanese arriving at the M'Boki settlement, while 1,400 were refugees from Chad who entered the north-central part of the country, where they are being assisted from a grant of $7,200 from the UNHCR Emergency Fund, administered by the Central African Red Cross. The number of Sudanese refugees living outside settlements (2,400) remained unchanged. The 3,000 Congolese may be regarded as settled.
94. Of the total population of some 20,500 refugees living at M'Boki, about 13,500 are now self-sufficient with regard to food. Most of the others have not yet lived in the area for two full cropping seasons. It will be recalled that in 1969 an agreement was concluded between the Government of the Central African Republic and UNDP on preliminary operations for the rural development of the Department of Haut M'Bomou, which includes the M'Boki settlement. The first phase of the UNDP/FAO Integrated Rural Development Project was started in October 1970; its aim is to consolidate the living conditions of the local population and of those refugees who are self-supporting as regards food, to develop a basic infrastructure and to carry out studies on the further development of the region.
95. An amount of over $250,000 was committed under the 1970 programme for assistance to refugees in the Central African Republic, most of which was used to consolidate the M'Boki settlement.
96. The Bureau pour le dévelopment de la production agricole, under its agreement with the Government and UNHCR, continued to implement the rural settlement project at M'Boki until the end of September 1970. As from 1 October 1970, non-self-supporting and newly arrived refugees were assisted by a UNHCR social welfare officer who also co-operates in the arrangements for the transport of refugees from the border areas to the settlement. The Office contributed some $253,000 under its programme to cover the cost of that project at M'Boki during 1970. UNDP contributed $50,000 in the form of trust funds for a holding operation from July to September until the introduction of the rural development project in October 1970. While in the past efforts were mainly directed towards achieving maximum agricultural output for direct consumption, the Bureau's activities in 1970 were devoted principally to the improvement of production methods. Over 653 new agricultural plots were opened, making a total of 4,855, thus enabling many refugees to take advantage of the more fertile land that was made available. Newly arriving refugees were also provided with blankets through a special contribution of $8,100 outside the programme.
97. In addition to distributing foodstuffs under the project, the Bureau also arranged the distribution of seeds, which were needed because crops had been affected by adverse weather conditions, and which were purchased through a $32,000 Emergency Fund grant. The viability of the settlement was increased, mainly through the construction of additional roads and bridges, bringing the total road network to 273 kilometres. The BDPA also arranged for the opening of ships to facilitate the purchase and distribution of basic supplies including food by the inhabitants of distant villages.
98. Further progress was made in respect of educational assistance. Two more primary schools and additional lodgings for two teachers were financed, bringing the number of such schools to ten. As from September 1970, over 1,000 children were enrolled in primary schools. The construction of the secondary schools in M'Boki was completed through a grant from the Education Account and the building was f officially handed over to the Government.
99. In 1970 a study of M'Boki entitled "Social change and development institutions in a refugee population" was carried out by Professor G. Gosselin, under the sponsorship of UNHCR and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Taking M'Boki as a basis, the study concentrates on the role that rural institutions can play in the adaptation of the refugee community's social structure to new conditions of life.
100. Both the UNDP/FAO project for the development of the Haut M'Bomou refugee settlement and the UNHCR project for assistance to newly arrived, non-self-supporting refugees are being continued through 1971. The two projects are closely connected in that once refugees are considered to be self-supporting, i.e. after they have been guided through two cropping seasons, they come within the framework of the UNDP/FAO Integrated Rural Development Project.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
101. At the end of 1970, there were an estimated 490,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo including some 400,000 Angolans living in the provinces of Congo Central, Bandundu, Kasai and Katanga, 55,000 Sudanese in the Province Orientale, 24,000 Rwandese in the Kivu Province, and 10,000 Zambians in the Katanga Province.
102. An amount of $293,213 was committed under the UNHCR programme for 1970 of which nearly all was to be used for local settlement.
103. As regards the Angolans most of whom are living off the land, UNHCR assistance, for which an amount of $30,000 was committed in 1970, was directed towards improving living conditions by consolidating rural settlements in certain areas and providing further facilities in respect of medical and educational assistance. The International Organization for Rural Development put a project into effect for these refugees, which includes the distribution of basic necessities and equipment, the improvement of farming and cattle-raising techniques, the granting of medical and social assistance, and the promotion of community development activities.
104. As indicated in the report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session, the $600,000 rural settlement project for Sudanese refugees in the Province Orientale, implemented by the International Organization for Rural Development, started late in 1969.21 A further sum of $260,000 was committed under the UNHCR programme in 1970 for this purpose. Two areas, Amadi and Kpyo, both about 150 kilometres from the Sudanese border, were selected, each eventually to accommodate 10,000 refugees. A first group of 4,389 refugees were transferred to Amadi in the spring of 1970, followed by a second group of 1,295 at the end of the year. They received arable land, agricultural tools, seeds, food rations and other basic necessities. Subsistence crops and cotton as a cash crop were satisfactorily raised, and poultry-keeping and fishing were encouraged. Roads were constructed and a ferry re-established across the River Uele. Eight classrooms were built, and a medical centre and dispensaries were equipped. Preparatory work was started in Kpyo in June 1970 for the arrival of some 5,000 refugees early in 1971. Reception facilities were established, roads constructed, plots of land marked out for agriculture and farming equipment stocked.
105. Ten thousand Zambian refugees, members of the Lumpa sect living in the Katanga Province, are to be settled in the Kaniama area. Progress was made during 1970 in negotiations with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo regarding their legal status, with reference to their religious practice. The Office concluded an agreement with the International Organization for Rural Development for the implementation in 1971 of a project for their settlement.
106. The Rwandese refugees in two settlements north of Goma continued to benefit from the ILO technical assistance towards the consolidation of the co-operatives established jointly under an earlier ILO/UNHCR integration and rural development project.
107. From the UNHCR Education Account, $13,000 was used to provide secondary school scholarships for some 260 Rwandese refugees in the Kivu Province. Furthermore, the running costs of the Ecole secondaire protestante d'Isiro for Sudanese and Congolese children continued to be defrayed from trust funds made available in previous years.
108. Supplementary aid was provided to individual refugees in Kinshasa and in a few other townships.
109. At the end of 1970, the Rwandese refugees could be considered as satisfactory settled. The settling of Sudanese refugees on the land had started successfully, and preparatory measures had been taken for the settlement of the Zambian refugees. The Angolan refugees will continue for some time to require assistance through small projects to further their integration. The problem of individual refugees is growing in Kinshasa, as in many other African cities, and new measures will be required to deal with this question.
110. At the end of 1970, there were an estimated 21,000 refugees in Ethiopia, for the most part Sudanese living in the Gambela region in the southern part of the country. These refugees, who constitute about 25 per dint of the population there, are being settled on the land in a number of villages throughout the area. In the urban centres, principally in Addis Ababa, there are about 500 individual refugees of various origins.
111. The main development in Gambela has been the continued implementation of the rural settlement of refugees which was started at the end of 1969, as indicated in more detail in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session.22 Under the 1970 programme an amount of $787,432 was committed, most of it (i.e. $698,281) for rural settlement, $10,153 for the promotion of resettlement of individual cases through migration and $26,998 for supplementary aid for some 200 refugees, and the balance for general activities.
112. Arable land had been made available by the Ethiopian Government and agricultural equipment given to the refugees under the project in the 1969 programme. The experiment of introducing new crops, started in 1969 by the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, was continued in 1970. In 1970 $20,000 was made available from the Emergency Fund for the purchase of food supplies to meet a severe shortage caused by drought. The construction of roads and bridges, for which $37,300 were committed, was continued.
113. The High Commissioner's Office focused its attention on medical and educational assistance, for which $270,100 and $379,400 were committed respectively under the 1970 programme.
114. The Office is contributing to a two-year medical programme administered by the Swedish Red Cross on behalf of the Imperial Ethiopian Government. It also made an important contribution towards the completion of work on a health centre at Itang and two health stations. The Centre, inaugurated in May 1971, for which a Swedish Red Cross contribution was also received, serves a heavily populated area.
115. When sleeping sickness broke out a centre for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease had toe established and the epidemic was successfully defeated. The Office further contributed to an anti-cholera campaign launched by the Ethiopian Red Cross, in the course of which 30,000 persons - refugees and Ethiopian nationals - were vaccinated.
116. The two primary schools for 500 pupils each, provided for under the 1969 programme, were duly completed, and running costs were assured by UNHCR. It is hoped that four further primary schools, for the construction of which a UNHCR contribution of $344,175 has been committed under the 1970 programme, may be built in the dry season of 1971/1972.
117. Assistance from the Education Account was given to fifty refugees to enable them to attend secondary school during 1970 under a project put into effect by the Committee on Inter-Church Aid.
118. Various measures of an economic and social nature were put into effect to help the refugees to settle. Thus, in four refugee communities near Gambela, boats were made available both for transportation and for fishing. A staff of eight persons, three refugees and five Ethiopians, were trained to work in three community centres to be constructed at Gambela, Itang and Goc. The centres will provide vocational and scholastic training in a variety of fields, for refugees and the local population.
119. Of the individual refugees in Addis Ababa, more than half are attending secondary school or vocational training courses, or are seeking the opportunity to do so. Others who are fitted for an agricultural life are encouraged and assisted to go to Gambela and settle on the land.
120. Supplementary aid was provided for some 200 refugees, including a number of the above-mentioned individual cases, under a project administered by the Ethiopian Red Cross at a cost to UNHCR of $26,998.
121. By the end of 1970 progress had been made in setting up the necessary infrastructure in the Gambela area. Efforts will continue to be made to provide further facilities, particularly in respect of health, education and community services.
122. According to official statistics there were some 67,000 refugees in Senegal at the end of 1970, compared with over 68,000 at the beginning of the year, the decrease being due partly to voluntary repatriation. The great majority (63,000), all from Portuguese Guinea are settling on the land in Casamance. In addition, there are up to 4,000 individual refugees in the Dakar area, most of whom are also from Portuguese Guinea with small numbers from Angola, Rwanda and other areas.
123. The co-operative attitude of the local population, as well as the generous allocation of land by the Government, have made a major contribution to the successful land settlement and integration of the refugees in Casamance. Most of the amount, $233,546, committed under the 1970 programme was therefore used to strengthen the infrastructure and especially to provide better education and health facilities in the settlements. These efforts have on the whole been successful, and activities in 1971 will again be concentrated on rural settlement, completing the school construction programme and health facilities. An amount of $156,000 was committed in 1970 towards the construction of thirty school units and the improvement of existing schools. This will bring the ratio of school attendance by refugee children to almost that of local children. With the assistance from the Education Account, fifty refugees received vocational training. Some $18,000 were committed to finance running costs for two mobile health units.
124. An amount of some $30,000 was used to provide a counselling service for individual refugees in the Dakar area, for whom employment opportunities are virtually non-existent, to encourage them to settle on the land in Casamance. Efforts are also made to help them settle in the fishing industry and a contribution of $18,800 has been made by the Danish and Norwegian Governments for this purpose. The counselling service also seeks to created viable conditions for refugees for fishing or agriculture. Housing and wells were constructed in three fishing villages where a number of refugees had returned.
125. An amount of $111,000 was made available from the UNHCR Emergency Fund to the Government of Senegal for the transfer to a more suitable location of some 5,000 refugees of the Manodji ethnic group living near the southern border of the country.
126. During 1971 further projects are being put into effect to complete the school construction programme and continue the mobile health project. Further efforts will be required towards the solution of the problems of individual refugees in urban areas.
127. In spite of the repatriation of a number of Congolese, the total number of refugees in the Sudan increased during 1970 from some 37,000 to approximately 61,000 largely owing to a new influx from Ethiopia - 24,000 persons by the end of the year - most of them in the Tokar area. An amount of $150,000 was committed from the Emergency Fund to provide urgently needed assistance to these refugees.
128. A group of 9,500 refugees from Ethiopia were transferred from Kassala to the rural settlement of Qala-en-Nahal, where they joined the pilot group of 250 established there in 1969. However, setbacks in laying out the water supply system in the settlement delayed the transfer of further groups. It was possible, nevertheless, to make headway, in particular with regard to the clearing of land and the building of huts by the refugees. The construction of a permanent health centre was completed and plans for primary schools were drawn up with the assistance of the UNESCO-sponsored Regional Educational Building Institute for Africa. Food was provided by the World Food Programme for the refugees at Qala-en-Nahal while the Government covered the cost of most of the food for the refugees awaiting transfer from Kassala. This was supplemented by protein-rich food purchased from a special contribution from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.
129. An amount of over $420,000 was committed under the 1970 programme to assist in the settlement of refugees at Qala-en-Nahal, and $450,000 made available from trust funds at the beginning of 197023 for the construction of a water supply system.
130. Following the decision of the Sudanese Government to settle all Congolese refugees at Rajaf, a group of some 1,200 refugees were transferred to temporary accommodation at the new settlement site during 1970. The World Food Programme continued to provide emergency food supplies to the settlement during part of 1970, and negotiations are aking place to ensure the continuity of these food supplies for the duration of the settlement operation. The United Nations food and Agriculture Organization has assisted in carrying out a survey of the new settlement site.
131. A small number of refugees, mostly Congolese, were assisted in continuing their post-primary education in Sudanese institutions through an allocation from the Education Account.
132. Most of the projects that were started in 1970 are being continued in 1971, when it is hoped that more rapid progress will be made in respect of the construction of the water supply system at the Qala-en-Nahal settlement.
133. Taking into account the influx of some 2,000 refugees form the Sudan, the total number of refugees in Uganda at the end of 1970 amounted to some 180,000, including some 74,000 Sudanese, 72,000 Rwandese and approximately 34,000 Congolese. Some 60,000 are living in organized settlements and the others live independently.
134. A total of over $955,000 was committed under the programme for 1970, mainly for the local settlement of Rwandese and Sudanese refugees in settlements.
135. Progress was made in the six settlements for Rwandese refugees for one of which no allocation was required. Difficulties were experienced in two of the four settlements for Sudanese refugees (Nakapiripirit and Agago Acolpii), which suffered from a severe drought.
136. The Rwandese refugees have shown their desire to establish themselves firmly in Uganda. Agricultural activities in the settlements have increased and the refugees are now largely self-supporting with respect to food. In a number of settlements the economy has been diversified. Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in the number of cattle owned by refugees in some of the settlements.
137. At Nakivale, where 8,400 Rwandese refugees are settling, a water supply scheme has been started and educational and health facilities have been improved. Of the amount of some $677,600 committed for the local settlement of Rwandese in 1970, $630,250 was earmarked for the water scheme, whereby water has to be pumped from a nearby lake for distribution to the settlement after it has been treated in a special plan to reduce its iron content. Some $47,300 have been used to convert a dispensary into a health centre, which will also provide courses in environmental health and child care. The economic position of the refugees is sound, as reflected by the fact that over 1,000 households were assessed for local tax in 1970.
138. In four other settlements accommodating Rwandese refugees, i.e. Kahunge, Kyangwali, Kyaka and Rwanwanja, agricultural activities were extended and an amount of approximately $24,000 was committed for the establishment of cattle dips and the provision of water supplies. In Kahunge a farming co-operative was established for the cultivation of cotton. Seven hundred children are already receiving primary education in that settlement and another 1,000 will receive it in Kyangwali upon completion of two more schools in 1970. An amount of some $50,000 has been committed under the UNHCR Programme for this purpose.
139. With regard to the Sudanese refugees, for the local settlement of whom an amount of some $165,000 has been committed, Nakapiripirit constitutes the main problem. In time it became clear that ecological conditions in the area were less favourable than anticipated. Furthermore the population of the settlement gradually increased from 3,000 to 9,000 persons who are experiencing increasing difficulty in establishing themselves. It is hoped that a solution may be found in 1971. An important step in the Nakapiripirit settlement has been the establishment and running of the large, well-equipped health centre and the milk-feeding scheme, which has been carried out by the Uganda/Swedish Red Cross.
140. Conditions are better in the centres of Onigo. Ibuga and Agago/Acolpii though the latter settlement was adversely affected by a serious drought during the second half of 1970. There are some 14,000 Sudanese, 700 Congolese and 80 Rwandese settling on the land in these centres. At Onigo a milk-feeding scheme similar to the one at Nakapiripirit was carried out until July 1970. At Ibuga, where the soil is excellent, a good water supply has been established with the funds made available from the UNHCR Programme. In all three centres new crops were introduced and good sales of cotton were made. At Ago/Acolpii the health centre was handed over to the local authorities. Following the completion of additional classrooms over 2,000 children could receive primary education in these settlements.
141. Further progress was made in the expansion of secondary schools in areas where there are heavy concentrations of refugees and from which refugee children benefit. This major project, for which an amount of $688,000 was earmarked from special contributions to the UNHCR Education Account in 1969, as indicated in more detail in the report of the General Assembly's twenty-fifth session,24 has been continued in 1970. Allocations from the Education Account in an amount of over $30,000 are being used to finance tuition and boarding fees in secondary schools and vocational training courses, for Rwandese and Sudanese refugees, at the FAO Dairy Training school in Entebbe and at the FAO/UNDP Animal Health and Industry Training Institute in Kabote, Kenya.
142. To sum up, except for unforeseen circumstances, major assistance is unlikely to be required from the international community after 1971, for assistance to the Rwandese refugees. With regard to the Sudanese refugees, however, the situation in Nakapiripirit will need to be improved.
United Republic of Tanzania
143. The number of refugees in Tanzania rose from 54,600 to an estimated 71,500 during 1970. Most of the 16,900 new refugees were Mozambiquans (15,100), and the remainder were Congolese.
144. The two largest groups in the country at the end of 1971 were still the Mozambiquans, estimated at some 55,000, or whom some 40,000 were living in four organized settlements, and the Rwandese, estimated at 14,000, most of whom (13,300) were in settlements in the north-western and western parts of the country.
145. An amount of $476,668 was committed to assist refugees in Tanzania under the programme for 1970.
146. The progress made in the settlement of refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania is reflected by the fact that only 12,000 of the 55,000 Mozambiquans were still receiving rations at the end of 1970, while all of the 14,000 Rwandese were self-supporting with regard to food at that time.
147. Thanks to the experience gained over the years by UNHCR's operational partner, the Lutheran World Federation/Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service, progress in the newer settlements has been more rapid than in those established earlier.
148. Activities in 1970 were concentrated on consolidating agriculture, health and education facilities, and on the establishment of communal facilities and co-operatives. In Muhukuru, where some 11,500 are being settled, the production of cash crops developed satisfactorily. In addition to tobacco, the refugees produced a surplus of 250 tons of maize for marketing. Refugees in the settlement have now achieved a standard of living comparable to that of the local population. A total of $189,800 was committed under the 1970 programme for these three settlements.
149. The population at the settlement of Mputa which was started in 1970 reached some 11,000 by the end of that year. UNHCR committed $243,500 for this settlement under its 1970 programme. Important work in the settlement was started and progress was made in agriculture, the establishment of water supplies and construction work, including building and improvement of internal roads, administrative and communal facilities, schools and a health centre. It is planned gradually to discontinue food rations in the course of 1971.
150. Progress in the new settlement for Mozambiquans at Matekwe, which was started at the end of 1969 has been slow, mainly because the soil condition is less favourable than in the other areas and because of the inadequated water supply. Ways of overcoming the problems which have arisen in the settlements are being studied. An amount of $45,775 was allocated towards the establishment of the settlement and for provision of food supplies.
151. At the settlements for Rwandese refugees major international assistance was discontinued some time ago, except at the Mwesi settlement, where an amount of $35,000 was committed under the 1970 programme for consolidation measures in various fields, including agriculture, health and education. The refugees in this settlement are self-supporting with respect to food and have begun to market cash crops in nearby towns. The relative isolation from which the settlement has suffered is gradually being overcome by better connexions with the nearby towns and by the construction of a road to Lake Tanganyika. It is expected that assistance in this settlement can be discontinued as from the middle of 1971.
152. In the Pangale settlement the number of refugees, mainly Congolese and Mozambiquans, decreased to 350. However, in the summer of 1970 there was an influx of 1,700 Congolese on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The High Commissioner made an allocation of $34,800 from his Emergency Fund for assistance to these refugees, their transport to Pangale and initial settlement measures there. Some 650 of them had arrived in the settlement by the end of 1970.
153. An amount of $12,087 was made available from the Education Account for scholarships and other measures of educational assistance at the post-primary level for refugees in Tanzania, which benefited some 50 refugees. An amount of $66,484 was channelled to the Mozambique Institute, mainly for hospital equipment.
154. Taking into account the considerable number of refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania and the continuing arrival of new refugees, international assistance will still be required. An evaluation mission is being sent to the country to assess further requirements.
155. The most important development in West Africa has been the repatriation of Nigerian children who had been evacuated to Gabon and the Ivory Coast during the civil war. Upon the request of the Governments of Nigeria, the Ivory Coast and Gabon, the High Commissioner used his good offices in order to facilitate the return of the children. In the course of a special mission to the area it was ascertained by UNHCR that the parents of all members of the Nigerian community wanted the children to be returned to their homes and that the necessary arrangements had been made for them to be cared for until they were reunited with their parents. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, at its twenty-first session, agreed that the operation should be financed from trust funds earmarked for this purpose outside the UNHCR Programme and a special contribution of $276,667 generously made by the Government of Denmark was accordingly used to cover the cost of transport of the children. The repatriation was carried out by air, from 9 November to 21 November from the Ivory Coast and in two phases, between 23 November 1970 and 8 February 1971, from Gabon. A total of 4,504 children (878 from the Ivory Coast and 3,626 from Gabon) were repatriated by air, with the technical advice of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, and by 1 March 1971 a total of 4,000 children had passed through the reception centres established in Nigeria and had been reunited with their families. The repatriation of a small number of children (fourteen in all) was delayed because of their need for further medical care, which they are now receiving.
156. The number of refugees living in various West African countries, including Cameroon, Dahomey, Gabon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo, decreased to about 6,000 during the period under review. They are of different origins and mostly of urban background. Flexible, multipurpose projects were put into effect for assistance to these refugees and an amount of $89,900 was committed under the 1970 programme with this object in view. The projects, implemented by voluntary agencies, often with the active support of the Resident Representatives of UNDP, included assistance towards voluntary repatriation, resettlement through migration, local settlement and supplementary aid to needy refugees. The number of beneficiaries amounted to 600 in 1970. A sum of some $26,000 from the Education Account was committed in the area, mainly for secondary and university education in Liberia. Here, as in other countries in Africa, UNHCR is studying improved ways of meeting the needs of individual refugees.
157. At the end of 1970, the number of refugees in Zambia had increased from 12,700 to 16,000 including some 9,900 Angolans, approximately 4,750 Mozambiquans and about 850 Namibians. Of the 2,800 new and newly-registered refugees, some 1,200 were Angolans and 1,600 Mozambiquans. The majority of the new Angolans were accommodated at the Mayukwayukwa settlement and most of the new Mozambiquans at Nyimba. There were thus some 8,900 refugees living in the three settlements in Zambia and in the Mkushi Agricultural Training Centre, while more than 6,000 continued to live independently.
158. An amount of $157,957 was committed under the UNHCR Programme and $33,437 from special trust funds to assist refugees in Zambia in 1970.
159. The World Food Programme provided food rations for the refugees in the Mayukwayukwa and Lwatembo settlements, while the Zambian Government covered the needs of the refugees at Nyimba. The assistance projects in Lwatembo and Mayukwayukwa were implemented by the Lutheran World Federation/Zambia Christian Refugee Service.
160. The main development in 1970 was the Government's decision to change the agricultural policy for refugee settlements from communal farming, to which the refugees were unaccustomed, to individual holdings. It is expected that this will provide greater encouragement to the refugees to cultivate the land.
161. In view of the unfavourable conditions, and in particular the poor quality of the soil, at Lwatembo, the Zambian Government decided to establish a new settlement to accommodate 10,000 persons at Meheba in the north western part of Zambia, to which all the refugees from Lwatembo and a certain number of refugees from Mayukwayukwa will be transferred, leaving at Mayukwayukwa only some 1,500 refugees, the maximum number for whom the settlement can provide an economically viable future. New arrivals and those at present in the border areas will also be accommodated at Meheba.
162. With the help of UNHCR's operational partner, Lutheran World Federation/Zambia Christian Refugee Service, encouraging progress was made with regard to refugee participation in communal and co-operative schemes. It is believed that this initiative will prove advantageous when organizing settlement life at Meheba.
163. In view of the decision to change the agricultural policy from communal farming to individual holdings, there are better prospects for the successful settlement of the rural refugee population in Zambia. Further support from international sources is still required to help the refugees to settle on the land.
Other countries in Africa
164. A certain number of needy refugees in Algeria and Morocco received assistance from UNHCR in 1970, in particular with regard to education.
165. There was an increase in the number of refugees in Kenya, who numbered nearly 1,000 at the end of 1970. The High Commissioner's Office made available some $2,700 through the National Christian Council of Kenya, $10,000 from the grant from the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa, through the Kenyan Catholic Secretariat, and approximately $42,000 to various schools and agencies, to assist refugees in Kenya in 1970.
166. The Office also provided assistance for individual refugees in Lesotho and Swaziland.
C. Assistance to refugees in Asia
167. As in the past, assistance was given to Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal, to Chinese refugees in Macao, to a small group of Europeans in the Far East and to a number of refugees of various origins in the Middle East.
168. Furthermore, upon the request of the Governments of the Khmer Republic and the Republic of Viet-Nam an amount of $117,000 was made available from the UNHCR Emergency Fund, chiefly under the High Commissioner's good offices functions, for assistance to refugees among the uprooted persons in these two countries.
169. The situation of the approximately 1,000 refugees of European origin wishing to emigrate from China remained unchanged. However, a small number of aged or severely handicapped refugees among them obtained exit permits and left China for Hong, Kong, where their resettlement to other countries is being arranged.
170. An amount of $11,189 was committed under the programme for 1970 for the maintenance and medical expenses of refugees in transit in Hong Kong. The Chinese refugees in Hong Kong continue to benefit from economic and social aid provided by the local authorities.
171. The number of Tibetan refugees living in India, Sikkim and Bhutan at the end of 1970 remained unchanged, i.e. some 56,000, of whom some 20,000 were still receiving food rations.
172. While the main financial responsibility for the settlement and rehabilitation of Tibetan refugees in India continued to be borne by the Indian Government with assistance from the Board of Trustees of the Common Project of the European Refugee Campaign (1966), UNHCR provided urgently required assistance which was not available from other sources, mainly for the consolidation of existing land settlements, and to provide vocational training opportunities and medical assistance. An amount of $300,000 was committed under the 1970 programme for this purpose while several projects outstanding from previous programmes were continuing.
173. Under an agreement with the Government of India, an amount of 100,000 was committed under the 1970 programme for the rehabilitation of 900 lamas, originally from Buxa, West Bengal.
174. Construction work was completed on an outstanding project for three residential units at Mundgod to house 670 aged and infirm refugees.
175. A project for the strengthening of the economic infrastructure of the Tibetan settlement at Mainpat (Madya Pradesh) for which an amount of $95,000 was committed in 1970 has been negotiated with the Indian authorities.
176. The agricultural potential of the Mahendragarh settlement in Arissa State is being developed in co-operation with the Swiss Technical Co-operation. An amount of $50,000 was committed under the 1970 programme for this project.
177. From a permanent solutions fund established under the 1970 programme to promote the local settlement of needy Tibetan refugees living outside settlements, funds were made available to the Tibetan Industrial Rehabilitation Society to provide working capital for a number of the Tibetan industrial rehabilitation units in Himachal Pradesh. Furthermore, three vocational training project were being put into effect and a fourth was under negotiation, involving a further UNHCR commitment of $20,000.
178. With regard to medical assistance, an amount of $30,000 was used towards meeting the cost of treatment for 150 tubercular patients in various sanatoria and to assist the Central Relief Committee (India) in its medical programme for refugees.
179. Taking into account remaining needs in respect of the consolidation of existing settlements and of the establishment of various scattered groups of Tibetan refugees, further international assistance will be required, and an allocation of $175,000 was included in the programme for 1971.
180. There were an estimated 66,000 Chinese refugees in Macao at the end of 1970. Good progress was made in the implementation of projects started in previous years and an amount of $135,000 was committed under the programme for 1970. A number of refugees who became homeless when their dwellings were destroyed by fire were rehoused with the help of the local authorities and the voluntary agencies and through a grant from the Emergency Fund.
181. As in the past, UNHCR-sponsored projects were concentrated mainly on the provision of housing for refugee families still living in temporary shelter, the care and rehabilitation of aged and physically handicapped refugees, and the promotion of vocational training opportunities.
182. Three allocations, totalling $90,000, were made from Programme Funds to provide a day nursery for the children of working mothers, a home for aged and invalid refugees and accommodation for blind refugees. A revolving loan fund was set up to assist needy refugees to establish themselves in small enterprises. This fund, which combines facilities provided under similar projects in the past, has already assisted more than 40 cases.
183. A block of flats, which constitutes the second part of a 1968 building project for four blocks, to provide a total of 322 flats for needy refugee families, was completed in March 1970 and is now fully occupied. A second block has since been completed. Further to recommendations by the Macao Department of Social Welfare, which is responsible for implementing the project, the original plans might be revised to allow for additional storeys to be constructed on existing and future blocks, in view of the shortage of suitable building sites.
184. With regard to education and training, an amount of $73,000 was committed from the Education account for the benefit of over 700 refugees, which enabled 500 to attend secondary school and over 208 to follow a course in mechanics and electronics. Furthermore, a commercial section was specially included in an educational institute for the benefit of refugee students.
185. Refugee boys and girls, as well as adults, also continue to receive education as well as training for various trades and occupations, under UNHCR projects started under earlier programmes, and are rapidly recruited for employment in local industry.
186. An increasing number of young refugees are benefiting from the education and vocational training they received under UNHCR-sponsored projects and are becoming self-supporting. However, there remains a large proportion of refugees, including the aged and handicapped, for whom further international assistance is essential, and an allocation of $238,000 was accordingly included in the programme for 1971.
187. Taking into account a small increase in one country and a decrease in another, the total number of refugees within he competence of UNHCR in the Middle East remained at approximately 10,000. The main groups are stateless Armenians, Assyrians and other stateless groups from the Middle East and Europe, living for the most part in the Lebanon and the United Arab Republic, with small numbers in Cyprus, Iran, Jordan and Syria. In the United Arab Republic there has been an increase in the number of African refugees, particularly young persons in need of educational opportunities.
188. An amount of $135,879 was committed under the 1970 programme for assistance in the area, including $43,247 for the promotion of resettlement by migration, $66,212 for local settlement and $26,420 for supplementary aid. As needy refugees in other countries of the Middle East were still benefiting from earlier projects, UNHCR assistance was focused on refugees in Lebanon and the United Arab Republic.
189. During the period under review 431 refugees were assisted in emigrating to other countries.
190. An amount of $66,212 was committed in 1970 for the local settlement of 548 refugees, including 192 in the Lebanon, 140 in the Trucial States and 216 in the United Arab Republic. The prevailing economic uncertainty in the area prevented the implementation of long-term projects and assistance mainly took the form of vocational training courses, major medical treatment, establishment assistance and support for aged refugees. In addition, in the Trucial States, 48 refugees were established in small businesses and modest grants were given to newly arriving refugees who were without means. In some of the countries concerned UNHCR contributed towards counselling services to advise refugees on the possibilities of local settlement or emigration and to assist them in emergency situations. Additional measures in respect of vocational training, community work and education were financed from special trust funds in an amount of $70,379.
191. UNHCR supplementary aid funds in an amount of $26,240 enabled 912 refugees to be assisted in personal emergencies. In addition, in the autumn of 1970, the High Commissioner made available $5,000 from his Emergency Fund to the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist in its action on behalf of victims of the tragic events in Jordan, with particular regard to refugees within the mandate of UNHCR.
192. Assistance was also extended to a certain number of new refugees, mainly from neighbouring countries. Should this trend continue it may affect the pattern and volume of UNHCR activities in the area.
193. The estimated number of Tibetan refugees in Nepal remained at 8,000, of whom some 2,600 live in five organized settlements. A sum of $44,000 was committed for assistance to these refugees under the 1970 programme.
194. While UNHCR continued to consolidate existing settlements mainly through the improvement of housing facilities, its activities in 1970 were increasingly directed towards assisting scattered refugee groups living precariously in northern Nepal.
195. Thus, in the Rasua area, progress was made in settling some 550 Tibetan refugees in agriculture, animal husbandry and cottage industry. The work was carried out with the co-operation of the Nepal Government Remote Areas Development Board and of a number of United Nations agencies, the objective being to link the economic future of the Tibetans to the development of the northern areas.
196. In one village, a health centre was constructed with the participation of FAO/UNDP through the Trisuli Watershed Project. Administered by the Nepal Red Cross, it will serve both refugees and the local population. Twelve housing units and a co-operative shop were nearing completion at the end of the year and the construction of a pipeline for the supply of drinking water had been started.
197. In another village, plans include the construction of a bridge and the provision of drinking water. The building of 22 housing units and a primary school was started. Plans have been made for construction in two further villages, and it is also planned to settle in Kathmandu some 100 refugees now living in conditions of extreme hardship. Since they are mainly weavers they should be able to find employment in the expanding carpet industry.
198. Under the 1970 programme, $30,000 were committed for local settlement, of which $20,000 will be used in the Mustang area to the benefit of some 500 refugees. A further $10,000 was earmarked for the construction of two schools.
199. UNHCR contributed $14,000 in 1970 to the Nepal Red Cross for the provision of medical services in the settlements, mobile clinics in the Kathmandu area and to provide counselling services.
200. A housing project for 400 refugees in the Kathmandu Valley, for which an agreement between UNHCR, the Government and the Nepal Red Cross was signed early in 1970, was delayed owing to a landslide. The Government has now provided an alternative site which, together with a second site in the area, will permit the construction of housing for a total of some 600 refugees.
201. The main tasks still facing UNHCR in Nepal are to consolidate the situation of refugees in settlements established earlier and to devise measures for the scattered groups of refugees in the north. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme allocated an amount of $65,000 in 1971 for this purpose.
D. Assistance to refugees in Europe
202. The number and situation of refugees within the High Commissioner's mandate in Europe remained much the same in 1970. Having regard to the acknowledged presence of some 25,000 new refugees, as against 31,000 in 1969, and to the number of those who have been naturalized or have emigrated overseas, about 650,000 refugees still remain in Europe, the majority of whom have been economically and socially integrated.
203. Some "old" refugees continue to benefit from earlier projects financed from major aid funds. In Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Greece, for example, refugees still awaiting settlement were able to obtain apartments reserved for refugees when they became vacant. In the Federal Republic of Germany, a large number of families living in poor conditions were rehoused by the German authorities under a special programme for handicapped refugees. In Greece, two major housing projects were completed in 1970, while in France more than 330 persons were either rehoused or placed in old people's homes.
204. As in the past, the funds allocated under the programme for 1970 were intended essentially to supplement the substantial financial assistance given to refugees by the countries of asylum. In 1970, a sum of $531,282 was committed under the current programme for this purpose, compared with about $850,000 in 1969.
205. Although the number of refugees resettled through emigration with UNHCR assistance was slightly lower in 1970 than in the previous year - 6,667 compared with 8,907 - this kind of solution, which entailed a financial contribution of about $150,000 from UNHCR, has nevertheless done much to lighten the burden of some of the countries of reception. The close co-operation between UNHCR, the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, the United States Refugee Programme and the voluntary agencies again bore fruit. In a number of countries - Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey - UNHCR continued to provide, through voluntary agencies, assistance to refugees wishing to emigrate, mainly by providing counselling services. In that way it was also possible to cover the cost of services such as medical examinations and the procurement of papers required for resettlement.
206. The main countries of overseas immigration were again Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. Some of the refugees in Spain were also resettled in Latin America. In Europe itself, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries once again accepted refugees on permanent basis, including in particular handicapped persons. Although the number of handicapped refugees is declining, thanks to the measures taken to assist them, there are still refugees in this category, including new arrivals, and the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme recommended, at its twenty-first session, that Governments should continue to carry out special projects for these particularly deserving cases.
207. Attempts to solve the problem of the refugees from the Caribbean area in Spain encountered new difficulties in 1970. Some 4,780 of them were able to emigrate, the majority to the United States. However, their influx into Spain increased considerably while the pace of departures slowed down because of the adoption by the United States authorities of stricter rules for their admission. By the end of 1970 the number of applicants for emigration was estimated to be 12,700, compared with 6,400 the year before. Supplementary aid is therefore needed for a number of these refugees during their stay in transit in Spain.
208. An amount of $243,300 was committed in the course of 1970 for local settlement and counselling services. Approximately 1,650 refugees benefited from this form of assistance. In several countries where international aid is still needed to facilitate the settlement of new refugees, UNHCR gave a modicum of financial assistance to the authorities or the agencies responsible for helping the refugees. In most of the other countries, however, the local authorities and the voluntary agencies are increasingly taking over the work of helping refugees, whether through counselling services or local settlement projects such as those concerned with the physical and social rehabilitation of refugees.
209. The problem of individual refugees which has arisen in Africa is also beginning to make itself felt in some European countries, particularly the Federal Republic of Germany, where a growing number of African refugees are to be found. A counselling service has been established there to assist them.
210. As in previous years, voluntary agencies and government authorities in most of the European countries continued to play a role in connexion with legal assistance projects to which UNHCR contributed $52,613. In Belgium and Greece, this type of assistance was mainly given to facilitate naturalization, while in Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany it helped to promote the economic and social integration of the refugees. The legal counselling services showed once again their great usefulness in such varied areas as legislation concerning aliens, job opportunities, social security and compensation for refugee victims of the national socialist regime. The number of beneficiaries totalled 2,463.
211. Under the heading of supplementary aid for particularly needy refugees, a total of $86,419 was provided in 1970 to 12,285 refugees, most of whom were in Spain. In addition, a sum of $5,000 from the Emergency Fund was used to assist refugees from the earthquake which ravaged the area of Gediz in Turkey in the spring of 1970.
212. The transfer of responsibility for refugee assistance from the international community to the countries of reception in Europe has already enabled UNHCR to reduce considerably its contribution to the aid projects undertaken in those countries. Having regard to the needs which still exist in one of these countries and expenditure in connexion with the promotion of resettlement activities, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme has made an allocation of $373,000 for assistance to refugees in Europe in 1971.
E. Assistance to refugees in Latin America
213. At the end of 1970 the number of refugees within the High Commissioner's mandate in Latin America was virtually the same as in the previous year, namely about 110,000. Through greater efforts, particularly with regard to the systematic evaluation of the needs of refugees, a larger number of them were settled locally of helped to emigrate. During the year, approximately $327,000 were committed for that purpose, a third of this amount going to Argentina, slightly less to Brazil, and the balance to Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and a few other countries.
214. In general, progress was made. Some 400 refugees were helped to settle in various countries, the solutions most frequently adopted being, in order of importance, placement in old people's homes or institutions for psychologically or socially handicapped persons, establishment in a craft or trade and the provision of accommodation. As in the past, the High Commissioner's Office continued to pay special attention to the problem of handicapped refugees and those who were too old to look after themselves. As these problems have not yet been fully solved, measures were taken either to enlarge suitable institutions or to obtain places in them for a specific number of refugees. These efforts were successful in a number of countries, namely Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela, and there are a present 824 places available of which a large number are earmarked for elderly refugees. The plight of refugees suffering from mental or social handicaps, most of whom are in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, is a source of concern. Where necessary, a start was made on building additional accommodation for them, and every effort has been made to see that persons who require only periodic care continue to be looked after. In Brazil 30 places have been reserved in a special workshop for handicapped refugees who will thus be able to develop their skills and receive some vocational training. A sum of $215,000 was committed or spent in 1970 on local settlement.
215. Under a UNHCR project for which approximately $68,000 were committed in 1970, assistance was given to about 2,770 refugees from the Caribbean area - compared with 4,100 in 1969 - in the transit countries, and especially in Mexico, pending their definitive resettlement which, owing to the complexities of certain immigration procedures, sometimes takes longer than expected. Transportation costs were met by UNHCR in a small number of cases.
216. An allocation of $20,000 enabled counselling services to be provided for a total of 1,161 persons. Studies have been undertaken in this connexion in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela to determine the needs of refugees who have not yet been settled and develop appropriate forms of assistance.
217. Some 50 refugees were able to pursue secondary or higher studies or to take a vocational training course, thanks to an allocation from the Education Account. Some 1,120 refugees, most of whom are in Argentina, were given legal assistance in such fields as accommodation and employment. Lastly, through its supplementary aid programme, UNHCR was able to provide for 547 refugees assistance which they required pending their integration into the economic life of the country.
218. In view of the continuing refugee problems in Latin America, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, at its twenty-first session, approved an allocation of $325,000 to continue in 1971 the work already undertaken, on the understanding that this allocation could be supplemented if necessary by drawing on the over-all allocations.
III. FINANCING OF UNHCR ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF MATERIAL ASSISTANCE
219. In recent years new refugee situations have continued to emerge in various parts of the world, particularly in Africa. At the same time the need for assistance of some of the existing groups of refugees increased, either because of new arrivals or because special circumstances in the settlement areas, such as poor harvests, required the expenditure of additional funds to meet the refugees' basic needs for a longer period of time and to help them achieve self-sufficiency. It was therefore necessary to increase the financial target of the UNHCR annual programme of material assistance from some $4,630,000 in 1968 to nearly $6 million in 1969 and more than that amount in 1970, and to over $6,570,000 in 1971. However, these increases may be regarded as very limited in relation to the needs of refugees and to the considerable increase in the cost of lining over the years and to the fact that many UNHCR projects entail the transportation of supplies over long distances to reach the settlements.
220. Constant efforts have been made by UNHCR to make known the needs of the refugees and the financial requirements of the annual assistance programmes which are designed to meet only minimum requirements. The High Commissioner is particularly gratified that by 1971, the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of UNHCR, the material assistance activities of his Office were receiving the full support of a large number of Governments, among them many Governments of asylum countries, some of which face difficult economic problems, as well as that of other organizations and the public at large.
221. In keeping with the recommendations of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, governments have assumed a much larger degree of financial responsibility for the annual programmes and some have also made generous contributions in the form of special trust funds to finance essential complementary assistance outside the programmes. These special contributions will help to improve the daily life of refugees and encourage them to make the considerable efforts required in order for them to become integrated into their new communities.
Financing of the UNHCR material assistance in 1970
222. The Executive Committee, at its twentieth session, established the financial target for the 1970 programme at $5,769,400. The Committee later raised this target to $6,029,400 when further funds were required to permit the continuation of a rural settlement project for Sudanese refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As shown in annex II, table 6, a total of $4,632,332 was contributed towards this programme by 81 Governments and $222,347 came from non-governmental sources. Together with miscellaneous income, such as proceeds from investments, and transfers of balances from earlier programmes, these contributions permitted the 1970 programme to be fully financed, despite the increases in the financial target for that year.
223. Special trust funds in a total of $1,619,480 were received in 1970 for complementary assistance projects outside the 1970 programme, including $836,962 for assistance under the Education Account. Of the total amount, $1,357,435 was received from Governments and $262,045 from non-governmental sources.
224. The trust funds made available by Governments were used to finance measures which included the installation of water supplies, the establishment of fishing industries, the provision of seedlings such as banana suckers, extra medical aid, and a contribution towards the Bureau of Placement and Education of Refugees in Addis Ababa. The Danish Government contributed the funds necessary to enable UNHCR to accede to the request of the Nigerian Government for assistance in the repatriation of Nigerian children from Gabon and the Ivory Coast.
225. The special trust funds made available from non-governmental sources were used inter alia for additional basic supplies such as blankets, medical supplies for mass vaccination, materials to improve or repair accommodation in refugee institutions and aid to aged and handicapped refugees as well as for education and aid to refugee artists.
226. During 1970 an amount of $532,160 was expended from the Emergency Fund, to assist refugees in distress in the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Jordan, the Khmer Republic, Macao, Senegal, the Sudan, Turkey, the Republic of Viet-Nam and the United Republic of Tanzania, 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 granted to refugees under various earlier projects.
Financing of the UNHCR material assistance in 1971
227. As shown in annex II, table 7, by 15 February 1971, fifty-nine Governments had announced contributions totalling $4,113,089 towards the financing of the programme for 1971, for which a target of $6,572,000 was established by the Executive Committee at its twenty-first session. Of these Governments, twenty-five have announced a substantial increase in their 1971 contributions over those for 1970. Together, these increases amount to some $560,000.
228. Financial support from the private sector is also expected to be forthcoming in 1971 as a result of nation-wide refugee campaigns being organized in the Nordic countries. The High Commissioner greatly welcomes the spirit of solidarity illustrated by these campaigns, a major share of the proceeds of which will be used for important complementary projects outside the UNHCR programme, while the primary responsibility for the financing of the programme will remain with Governments.
229. The rights to use the various recordings included in the third long-playing record "World Star Festival" produced for the benefit of refugees, expired at the end of July 1970. Further production of the record then had to be discontinued but the stocks on hand are still being sold. By the end of 1971 the sales of records and music cassettes are expected eventually to show a total net profit of over $900,000. A number of Governments generously waived taxes and duties on the sale of the record, or made special contributions to UNHCR equivalent to the amount of such taxes and duties. In organization the promotion and sales campaign in many countries where UNHCR has no representative, valuable help was received from Resident Representatives of UNDP and Directors of United Nations information centres.
230. During 1970, a seven-inch long-playing record was issued in Japan for sale at the United Nations Pavilion and elsewhere during the World's Fair at Osaka. The purpose of this record was essentially to provide an opportunity to bring the work of UNHCR to the attention of visitors.
231. Meanwhile, preparations have begun for the issue of a fourth UNHCR long-playing record, "Top Star Festival", which will be put on sale early in 1972.
IV. PUBLIC INFORMATION
232. Through its public information activities UNHCR seeks to reach governmental and official bodies, academic, journalistic and other opinion-forming circles, and the general public. Special emphasis is placed on an approach to young people.
233. Every effort continues to be made to create increased awareness of the plight of refugees throughout the world, and especially among those who could give their support to the work of assistance to refugees. It has proved difficult, however, fully to achieve this objective, in particular because public attention is directed towards the problems of refugees mainly during the initial and sometimes dramatic phase when the emergence of a new refugee problem makes a dynamic impact. Sustained interest and attention is needed, especially at a later stage, after the emergency phase, when permanent solutions have to be achieved, often at much greater cost than initial care and maintenance for newcomers. This explains why the achievement of permanent solutions to the problems of refugees, and the collection of the necessary funds, depends to a large extent on the effectiveness with which the problems are publicized. In carrying out its public information activities, UNHCR is paying increased attention to the need to apply the most effective means of communicating to the public the problems facing the Office, with particular regard for the need to reach the growing number of people whose goodwill and interest in the work for refugees can be enlisted. With this objective in view UNHCR is considering the possibility of expanding its public information services by entrusting special tasks to national bodies, including voluntary agencies and television companies. In other words UNHCR information activities are intended to act as a catalytic agent in order to put at the service of the cause of refugees the powerful media of mass communications that are at present available in many countries.
234. The year 1971 marks the twentieth anniversary of the creation of UNHCR and of the signing of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951. Furthermore, it is the fiftieth anniversary of the nomination in 1921 by the League of Nations of Fridtjof Nansen as the first High Commissioner for Refugees. A ceremony marking these events will be held during the twenty-second session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, in October 1971. Special attention is being given by UNHCR in its public information activities to preparation for the observance of these events.
235. In its public information work UNHCR makes use of publications such as books, pamphlets and background notes, and audio-visual material including films, photographs, posters, broadcasts and television programmes. The long-playing records and the recently issued United Nations postage stamp have also contributed.
236. In addition to the use of these public information media, the work of UNHCR was made known through statements made and lectures given by the High Commissioner, and by senior members of the staff.
237. In the field of publications new material has been issued and that already existing has been brought up to date. The HCR Bulletin, a quarterly publication of some twenty-four pages, with a circulation of 16,000 copies in English and 4,000 in French, continued to be distributed to governmental and other authorities, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies, academic circles, and mass media and the general public. The Bulletin has been given a new format and layout. While it still provides reference information rather than feature material, it now includes an editorial over the High Commissioner's signature and an extensive main article.
238. A new pamphlet in the series "UNHCR - What it is, What it does, How it helps refugees" has been produced in English, Farsi, French, German, Norwegian and Spanish. Editions in a variety of other languages, including Arabic, Portuguese and Turkish, are planned. The pamphlet, of sixteen pages, has a distribution similar to that of the Bulletin. A further pamphlet on the work of UNHCR and other agencies working for refugees in the last fifty years will be produced in English and French and will be distributed through UNHCR channels. Other language versions will follow.
239. A paperback book entitled As they came in Africa appeared in English in March 1971 and will appear soon in French. A Danish edition is also planned. Fully illustrated, it provides a vivid picture of UNHCR's activities on the African continent. In addition to being distributed to certain interested circles, the book is on sale to the general public through United Nations channels.
240. To mark the twentieth anniversary of UNHCR a special commemorative book A Mandate to Protect and Assist Refugees has been published in English and French. The book traces the various methods used by UNHCR since 1951 to solve refugee problems on a permanent basis and, apart from a limited distribution, will be on sale.
241. A film, "The Promise of M'Boki", referred to in the report to the General Assembly at its twenty-fifth session, and earlier films, "Today Africa" and "Ahsante", were made available for showing in twelve countries. Material from these films was made available as basic footage to television stations.
242. Interviews with the High Commissioner were filmed for use in connexion with a fund-raising campaign to be held in the Nordic countries during 1971. A further short television film was made on the occasion of the signing of an agreement of understanding between the Australian Committee and UNHCR whereby the Committee will represent UNHCR in Australia in the field of information and public fund-raising.
243. In a lecture "La Protection Internationale des Réfugiés" broadcast by the Swiss radio in the autumn of 1970, the High Commissioner stressed the humanitarian principles that inspire his Office in striving to ensure that the fundamental rights of refugees are safeguarded and that their legal situation is improved.
244. Photographs, diapositives and posters showing UNHCR's work throughout the world in the past twenty years have been distributed in forty-one countries.
Refugee postage stamp
245. On 12 March the United Nations Postal Administration issued a commemorative stamp in three denominations on international support for refugees. At a ceremony in Geneva marking this occasion the Deputy High Commissioner spoke on the history of UNHCR. The stamps, showing a fleeing family, went on sale on that date at United Nations Headquarters, and at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
246. The third long-playing record "World Star Festival" continued to be sold during the period under review and a seven-inch record was on sale at the United Nations Pavilion during the World's Fair at Osaka.
247. The sale of these records presented a further opportunity for publicity and the distribution of information material on the activities of the Office.
248. The project to interest schools in refugee problems, initiated in Switzerland in 1968, was extended in 1969 and 1970 also to Austria, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and the United States. Interest in the project continued in Belgium, France and Switzerland and is developing in the other countries. The pamphlet "Refugees: 20 questions and answers", which was issued in 1969 in connexion with this programme has now been issued in English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish and the Nordic languages. A twenty-minute television programme has been made by the French television, which will prepare teachers to include instruction about UNHCR in the curricula of their schools.
V. INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION FOR THE BENEFIT OF REFUGEES
Co-operation with Governments
249. The spirit of solidarity in which many Governments directly or indirectly contributed to the work of assistance to refugees has facilitated the task of the High Commissioner in bringing assistance to refugees in many countries where they have been welcomed during the period under review. The positive response of an increasing number of governments to the appeals launched by the High Commissioner in respect of financial contributions and various forms of assistance to refugees has been a particularly important factor the more so since the improvement of the situation of refugees largely depends on the understanding and support of the governmental authorities concerned.
250. The High Commissioner, the Deputy High Commissioner and other senior members of the staff have maintained close contact with Governments through the Permanent Missions in Geneva and in New York, through visits to various capitals, and through field missions to areas where refugee projects are being put into effect. Similar contact was maintained at the local level through thirty UNHCR representatives and ten correspondents accredited to over sixty countries which are directly concerned with the problems of refugees. The thirty-one members of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme met for the twenty-first session of the Committee in October 1970 at Geneva. The session was also attended by observers from many countries where the refugee problem is at present particularly acute. The Office was represented at number of other governmental meetings of direct or indirect interest to the work of assistance to refugees, such as those of the Commission on Human Rights, and the executive organs of a number of other United Nations agencies and of some of the intergovernmental organizations referred to below.
Relations between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system
251. The General Assembly, in its resolution 2594 (XXIV), requested the High Commissioner to continue his efforts to achieve closer co-operation with other United Nations agencies, while in its resolution 2555 (XXIV) the Assembly recommended that the members of the United Nations system should take measures individually and in collaboration with one another to increase the scope of their assistance to refugees from the colonial territories. The High Commissioner provided data on the increased assistance furnished to the refugees concerned to the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He also submitted relevant information for inclusion in the reports which the Secretary-General is preparing on this subject. The Office furthermore was represented by an observer on a UNESCO mission which visited the headquarters of the OAU and Dar es Salaam in order to study the possibility of increasing assistance to refugees from colonial territories as recommended by the UNESCO General Conference at its sixteenth session.
252. The close co-ordination of refugee assistance activities between UNHCR and other United Nations agencies, which had already made considerable progress during 1969 was further developed pursuant to the aforementioned resolutions. Co-operation, especially in respect of settlement on the land, including medical assistance, was continued in countries of reception of refugees in Africa and also in some countries in Asia. It may be recalled that this co-operation includes special technical advice by experts of other agencies, the provision of equipment in refugee settlements and the promoting of, or contributing to, projects designed to consolidate the economic and social position of refugees, and the inclusion of refugees in the educational and training projects sponsored by other United Nations agencies.
253. Thus, for example, experts from the specialized agencies including in particular, FAO, UNESCO and WHO visited some of the refugee settlements in order to advise on the promotion of agriculture and, in particular, the suitability of the soil and the diversification of crops, the development of educational assistance and the establishment of health facilities. Furthermore, WMO continued to play an important role in controlling epidemics in refugee areas and in organizing prophylactic campaigns. The ILO for is part continued to give advice on the establishment of small industries by refugees and on vocational training facilities.
254. The World Food Programme furnished a considerable amount of food aid which was badly needed in several areas where new refugees had arrived or where the crops had been affected by droughts. In response to requests from the Governments concerned, UNICEF continued to supply essential equipment for rural health centres established for the benefit of refugees. Further UNICEF support of this kind is being considered in several refugees settlement areas.
255. With regard to the consolidation of settlements in the framework of projects co-financed by UNDP, in Burundi further action is under consideration in consultation with the Government, the United Nations agencies and other organizations concerned. In the Central African Republic the development projects for the Haut M'Bomou came into effect in October 1970, as indicated in more detail in chapter II above (paragraphs 93-100). The form of UNHCR's co-operation with UNDP and other organizations of the United Nations system, especially as regards the consolidation of settlements, is being kept currently under review, following the adoption by the assembly of the recommendations of UNDP's Governing Council for the strengthening of the capacity of the united Nations system.
256. With regard to education and training which are extremely important in helping refugees to become self-supporting, the memorandum of understanding between UNHCR and UNESCO was extended for a further two years. UNESCO, which has already seconded an expert to UNHCR, now envisaged making one and possibly two more experts available to this Office. Close contacts are being maintained between field representatives of UNESCO and UNHCR branch offices in several countries in Africa where educational assistance plays a particularly important role.
257. The World Health Organization gave advice to UNHCR on the qualifications of refugee applicants for scholarships in the medical field, which it had agreed to administer. A further number of refugees have been admitted in the UNDP (Special Fund) Animal Health and Training Institute in Kenya, under a project being carried out by FAO. Further co-operation was also developed with the World Meteorological Organization, the Universal Postal Union and the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization in respect of the granting of scholarships to refugees. Following the resolution on co-operation with UNHCR adopted by the sixteenth UPU Congress and a resolution adopted by its Executive Committee in May 1970, a few countries have already declared that they were prepared to accept refugees in their postal services training centres, while UNDP expressed its readiness to give favourable considerations to applications for scholarships by refugees. Moreover, two such scholarships are reserved for refugees under the UPU Special Fund.
258. The Office has maintained close contact with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development together with which it commissioned a study of social change and rural institutions in the refugee population which was carried out at refugee settlements in the Central African Republic and Uganda. The Office also continued to receive helpful co-operation from the Social Development Division of the United Nations with regard to community development and the question of evaluation. As in previous years, the representatives of the United Nations Development Programme were often of great assistance to UNHCR in maintaining liaison with the governmental authorities on behalf of UNHCR in a number of countries where the Office is not represented.
259. Another aspect of co-operation relates to the drawing up of plans for concerted action by members of the United Nations system in cases of natural disaster. Pursuant to the decisions taken by the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination at its fiftieth session, a functional group of United Nations agencies concerned with humanitarian problems was convened by the High Commissioner in June 1970 to explore ways of achieving better co-ordination of the activities of the United Nations system in cases of natural disaster. These conclusions, which were brought to the attention of the Economic and Social Council, emphasized the need to strengthen the United Nations system's capacity to respond to emergencies.
Co-operation with other intergovernmental organizations
260. This co-operation now extends to intergovernmental organizations throughout various parts of the world, most of which either directly assist refugees or have adopted provisions in respect of human rights including in particular the question of asylum.
261. In Africa, the Organization of African Unity has continued to take an active interest in the problems of refugees and several of its senior staff members have paid visits to areas where they are particularly acute. More States have acceded to the OAU Convention. The OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees has held a seminar for national correspondents of the Bureau with a view to improving the methods of work of the Bureau through the co-ordination of the activities of its correspondents in various countries in Africa. Constructive co-operation has been developed between OAU and UNHCR in respect of public information activities.
262. The usual co-operation was maintained with a number or European intergovernmental organizations, including in particular the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration which greatly contributes to the resettlement of refugees through migration, and the Council of Europe which gives invaluable support to various aspects of the work of UNHCR.
263. The High Commissioner's Office has remained in close contact with OAS in connexion with the settlement of refugees in various countries of Latin America. In view of the importance that, in accordance with generally accepted principles, no legal instrument should affect the rights and duties of States with regard to the granting of asylum, UNHCR also participated in the proceedings of the Inter-American Legal Committee of OAS which is preparing a draft convention on kidnapping.
Relations with non-governmental organizations and social Welfare agencies that are participating in, or contributing to, UNHCR programmes
264. As in previous years, a significant role in international assistance to refugees has been played by non-governmental organizations and social welfare agencies in many parts of the world.
265. Certain non-governmental organizations have continued to act as implementing agencies for many material assistance projects, often in a tripartite relationship with UNHCR and the Government of the country concerned. Others have made contributions in cash or kind. In a number of countries, the National Red Cross or Red Crescent societies, often financially supported by other Red Cross societies, contributed towards the health and welfare components of projects. Voluntary agencies have further provided agricultural advisers and have assisted in vocational training or the setting up of community services.
266. In Africa, non-governmental organizations have been called upon to interest themselves increasingly in the problems of individual refugees. Many attended the Seminar for National Correspondents of the Bureau for Placement and Education of Refugees held by OAU at Addis Ababa in the spring of 1970 and are represented on the national committees that have been established in a number of countries to support the national correspondents of the Bureau. In Europe and Latin America, the non-governmental organizations continued to play a vital role in the counselling and preparation of refugees for emigration and in the local settlement of those who prefer to remain in their countries of present residence.
267. A number of non-governmental organizations are active in the field of education, making scholarships available, or administering grants for study and subsistence provided from other sources.
268. With regard to fund-raising, voluntary agencies and national refugee councils have continued to provide very substantial sums of money for the benefit of refugees. Projects within the UNHCR programme and essential complementary assistance projects have been financed in this way. In the field of information, non-governmental organizations have made special endeavours to inform their members and the general public of the needs of refugees and the activities of UNHCR on their behalf.
269. The High Commissioner's Office continues to maintain close relationship with the International Council of voluntary Agencies, and in particular with its Commission on Refugees and Migration and its Working Group on Integrated Rural Development. The International Council through its membership of more than one hundred non-governmental agencies co-ordinates and stimulates action in many sectors of importance to refugees. An important part has been played by the International Council and its members in the promotion of international protection, principally through informing refugees of legal and social possibilities open to them under national legislation. Non-governmental organizations have also been instrumental in advising and assisting refugees in acquiring citizenship by naturalization, and in matters of indemnification. The expansion of the activities of non-governmental organizations in Africa is reflected by the fact that there are at present over 250 voluntary agency offices on that continent.
(Note: Statistical and financial tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 From 1 April 1970 to 31 March 1971, except for financial and statistical data most of with are based on the calendar year.
2 United nations, Treaty Series, vol. 89 (1954), 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 Austria, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, Denmark, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Italy, Monaco, Nigeria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Senegal, Sweden, Turkey, Zambia.
5 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/7612), paras. 42 and 49
7 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 506 (1964), No. 7384, p. 125.
8 Uited Nations, Treaty series, vol. 376 (1960), No. 5375, p. 85.
9 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 360 (1960), No. 5158, p. 117.
10 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 268 (1957), No. 3850, p. 3.
11 Adopted by the inter-American Specialized Conference on Human Rights, held in San José, Costa Rica, from 7 to 22 November 1969.
12 United Nations publication, Sales No.: 1951. IV. 4
13 A/Conf.9/14, para. 23.
14 Established under article 2 of the Agreement concluded between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and UNHCR in October 1960, funded by the Government of the Federal Republic and administered by UNHCR.
15 Established under the Agreement concluded between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and UNHCR in December 1966, the fund is administered by UNHCR.
16 Including the following amounts:
|Under article 1 of the Agreement of October 1960
|Under article 2 of the Agreement of October 1960
|Under the Agreement of December 1966
|From residual funds
17 C. F. annex II, table 1.
18 For which a financial target of $5,769,400 was adopted.
19 Official records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fifth Session, supplement No. 3 (A/8003), para. 660.
20 Ibid., Supplement No. 12 (A/8012), para. 76.
21 Ibid., para. 98.
22 Ibid., para. 102.
23 These have been made available in the form of contributions by the Swedish and Danish Governments and a part of the proceeds of the sale of the record "World Star Festival".
24 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8012), para. 126.