Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twenty-eighth Session
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/9012)
1. In 1972, for the second year in succession, UNHCR was faced with serious new situations of considerable scope in terms of their size and of the range of assistance measures required. All of them emerged on the African continent. On the other hand, there was a welcome development inasmuch as, following the conclusion of the Addis Ababa Agreement, the problems of thousands of Sudanese refugees could be solved through voluntary repatriation, which was in turn facilitated through international aid towards relief and rehabilitation in the areas to which the refugees returned. Some of the new tasks involved were carried out in the frame of UNHCR's regular activities, others under special programmes initiated at the request of the Secretary-General with UNHCR acting as coordinator in the framework of the United Nations system. The discharge of these tasks involved several appeals to Governments for contributions in cash or in kind as well as opportunities for resettlement through migration. It also called for renewed efforts on the part of other members of the United Nations system, of the intergovernmental organizations and of the non-governmental organizations concerned.
2. The response of the international community to the new challenges confronting it has been definitely encouraging. It may be noted in this connexion that the Economic and Social Council, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme and the General Assembly adopted resolutions or decisions recognizing the usefulness of United Nations action in the humanitarian field. The High Commissioner was thus in a better position to act as coordinator in respect of the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan and to establish a special programme for assistance to Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality. In the latter case, further concerted action will be required, in particular with regard to the granting of permanent resettlement opportunities, if the proposed objectives are to be rapidly reached and further human suffering is to be avoided.
3. As shown in the present report, the considerable demands on emergency relief for new refugees did not deter the Office from its basic objectives of seeking to help refugees to become self-supporting and of consolidating their economic and social position. This task was facilitated to some extent by the fact that the majority of new refugees sought asylum in countries which had already gained considerable experience in dealing with refugee emergencies and where a mechanism of international assistance had been in effect for a long time.
4. While by force of circumstances it was imperative to concentrate on the material needs of refugees, UNHCR action in the vital field of international protection was equally pursued. Protection is gaining even more in importance at a time when an increasing number of refugees in developing countries require individual,, rather than collective, measures of assistance. An encouraging development has been the steady growth of the network of legal instruments relating to the status of refugees, including those on statelessness. The effective implementation of the provisions embodied in these instruments and of the increasing number of national laws and regulations affecting refugees remains, of course, of the utmost importance and was the subject of close contacts between UNHCR and the authorities of countries of residence.
5. Once again it has proved possible to alleviate the plight of many human beings through a determined effort in which Governments, the local population and the intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations have played a vital role. While their constant support remained essential in many areas, it has nevertheless proved possible for international assistance to be phased out in respect of certain projects. The High Commissioner cannot but express the renewed hope that every effort be made, not only to solve existing problems, but also to prevent new ones from occurring.
CHAPTER I INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
A. Introductory remarks
6. During the period under review, the activities of UNHCR in the field of protection were again directed towards a further strengthening of the legal framework for protection, and promoting the adoption by Governments of appropriate measures, both legal and administrative, to give full effect to international standards established for the benefit of refugees. As indicated below, additional States have acceded to the basic international instruments relating to the legal status of refugees. It would be in keeping, however, with the universal spirit of the Convention and humanitarian character of the problems of refugees that all States should in due course become parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto, as recommended by the General Assembly and by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.
7. As new refugee problems of considerable magnitude emerged, the vital question of asylum was again of predominant interest. It is gratifying that the reception countries concerned met the challenge successfully. It is important that a similar liberal asylum policy should be followed in respect of individual refugees who often still face considerable difficulty in gaining admission to a country.
8. Considering the humanitarian character of the problem of refugees, it is equally essential that the necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the unity of the refugee's family is maintained and that refugees who are separated from their families are helped in every possible way to be reunited. Renewed efforts to this end have been made by UNHCR in accordance with the decisions of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme and recommendation B of the Final Act of the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons,1 which states, inter alia, that the unity of the family is an essential right of the refugee.
9. Experience has again shown that there is a growing interdependence between the adequate implementation of protection measures and the successful integration of refugees. This is particularly evident in the case of such questions as access to employment, more details of which may be found below.
10. Activities in the field of protection are, as before, conducted from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Headquarters through some 30 Branch Offices, which are located in the countries or areas where the majority of refugees are at present being settled, and through special missions. While the task of protection is carried out on a world-wide basis as far as possible, considerable attention had to be focused on the African continent where by far the largest number of refugees are at present settling and where, in many countries, a new legal infrastructure is being developed. On-the-spot surveys of the legal position of refugees in the countries concerned showed encouraging results. The close co-operation which has developed with the Governments of the countries of residence and with the Organization of African Unity should lead to further improvements in the legal position of refugees in the area.
B. Developments in respect of the legal framework of international protection
11. The legal framework of international protection has been further strengthened, through both additional accessions to legal instruments of benefit to refugees and improvements in relevant national legislation. As of 31 March 1973, nearly half the membership of the United Nations, that is, 65 States, had become parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and 54 States had acceded to the 1967 Protocol.2 The majority of States which have generously welcomed refugees on their territory by granting them asylum or admitting them for resettlement are parties to either or both of these instruments. There are, however, certain geographical areas where no State has, as yet, acceded to either instrument, while several refugee problems have already arisen in the area concerned. Furthermore, refugee problems are apt to emerge at short notice in areas where they were hitherto unknown. It is essential, therefore, that additional States, including those which have few or no refugees on their territories, should also accede to the basic intergovernmental instruments relating to the status of refugees. This would not only be in keeping with the universal character of the Convention and the Protocol, but is, also becoming a practical necessity in today's world.
12. It may be noted that accession to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol not only implies that Governments take on commitments in respect of refugees, it also means that the authorities concerned familiarize themselves with problems concerning the legal status of refugees and that closer contacts are developed between the High Commissioner's Office and the authorities in these countries for the benefit of refugees. Many States have made reservations to one or more articles of the Convention and Protocol. In certain instances they considered this necessary because of the requirements of their national legislation. In some cases it might be possible for the reservations to be waived, as has already been done by certain States. As national legislation is becoming more liberal in respect of aliens and as economic conditions improve, it should become possible for a further number of States to waive their reservations in due course.
13. Another legal instrument which is of fundamental importance for refugees is the OAU Convention of 1969, which governs the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa. This Convention, which is the regional complement of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, is of particular significance since the major part of the UNHCR caseload, that is, over I million refugees, are to be found in Africa. The text contains legal provisions relating to the question of asylum and provides that the granting of asylum should not be regarded as an unfriendly act by a Government towards the country of origin of the refugees concerned. During the period under review,, three further States3 acceded to the instrument bringing to eight the total number of States parties to it. When one third of the OAU membership, that is, 14 out of 41 States have acceded,, the Convention will enter into force. Another six accessions are therefore required for this purpose. Many States in Africa which have a considerable number of refugee problems on their territory are parties to the 1951 Convention and/or the 1967 Protocol, and other States also apply the provisions of these instruments in practice. However, taking into account the humanitarian character of the OAU Convention, this should not constitute an insuperable obstacle to accession. It is in any case essential for both the countries of residence in Africa and the refugees themselves that the greatest possible number of States members of OAU should accede to the Convention which,, beyond the legal provisions it contains, reflects a spirit of solidarity essential to the solution of refugee problems. More detailed information concerning the number of parties to agreements directly or indirectly benefiting refugees may be found in annex I below.
14. On the national level, further measures of interest were also taken for the benefit of refugees, including access to employment, social security and refugee travel, details of which will be found below.
1. Implementation of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees
15. In order to give full effect to the provisions of these two instruments,, it is, of course, necessary that the national legislation of parties to them are adjusted or that new laws are adopted as required. The Office has a useful role to play in this respect by making its technical assistance available in particular to Governments which have recently acceded to these instruments and wish to receive more detailed information on the way in which they should be put into effect. Furthermore, in accordance with article 8 of the Statute, article 35 of the 1951 Convention and article II of the Protocol, the Office is under the obligation to keep itself informed of the situation of refugees and of the manner in which the Convention and Protocol are being put into effect. In his report to the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session,, the High Commissioner indicated that the questionnaire sent to Governments for this purpose had elicited replies from 26 States.4
16. As of 31 March 1973, replies to the questionnaire had been received from a further 10 States, parties to the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol, making a total of 36.5 Replies are still due from 30 States parties to the Convention and from 24 States parties to the Protocol. It is noteworthy, however, that the great majority of the main countries of reception of refugees should have replied to the questionnaire. It is also gratifying to note from the reports received to date that only in a few instances is there a clear lack of conformity between the legal measures adopted at the national level and the requirements of the Convention and the Protocol. Moreover, in many cases where States have introduced reservations in respect of certain articles, these articles are often, nevertheless, applied in practice.
17. In evaluating the degree of conformity of national measures with the standards laid down in international instruments, it is perhaps appropriate to express a word of caution. In some cases, conformity exists in so far as the general legislation of the country permits the application of the provisions of the Convention and Protocol, although no specific measures have been adopted to give effect to those provisions. Furthermore, the practical effect of legislation in respect of refugees more often than not depends on administrative practice. It is therefore necessary for the High Commissioner to go one step further and seek additional information in respect of the regulations adopted to give effect to the legislation concerned. This is being done as a matter of current practice and the High Commissioner hopes to be able to report more fully on the matter in the course of time.
2. Practice followed by States in granting asylum
18. The emergence of several new problems of refugees in Africa during the period under review has given opportunities to the Governments and people of the receiving countries again to demonstrate their traditional generosity by granting asylum to thousands of newcomers (see chap. II below). A considerable proportion .of the refugees arrived in groups and were of agricultural stock. The majority arrived in various countries in Central and East Africa which had already received large numbers of refugees on their territory. There were also new arrivals from countries under colonial administration in southern Africa.
19. The increasing number of accessions to intergovernmental legal instruments concerning refugees which include a clause on non-refoulement was a step forward and will, no doubt, in due course have a favourable influence on the practice followed by States in granting asylum. Legislation and administrative regulations were also further developed on the national plane. Thus, for instance, in the United States, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has issued detailed instructions on the handling of asylum requests to their district directors.
20. Appropriate procedures dealing more specifically with the determination of refugee status - which is closely linked to the granting of asylum - were established in another country in Africa, that is, Senegal. They had already previously been adopted in Algeria, Botswana, Morocco, Tunisia and Zambia and are under consideration in several other countries in Africa. Such procedures have been in force for a number of years in several other countries, mainly in Europe. In most cases, UNHCR co-operates in different ways in, or advises on, the determination of eligibility of refugees. In addition to being admitted to the territory of a given country and being recognized as a refugee, the asylum seeker also needs to have his legal situation regularized by being formally admitted to residence.
21. In spite of certain favourable trends, great difficulties were again encountered by a number of individual asylum seekers. There have been several instances where refugees who made their way to a country of asylum, often under great stress, met exceptional difficulties in gaining admission, in being recognized as refugees and in being granted residence and work permits. By force of circumstances, it may happen that a refugee enters a country illegally. As a result, the refugee may incur the risk of detention or other constraints which are often contrary to the provisions of intergovernmental instruments concerning the status of refugees. The situation of an asylum seeker is all the more precarious since he may be quite unable at short notice to find another country which will admit him. A special problem arises when individual refugees find themselves with no alternative but to undertake what eventually becomes a long journey in search of a haven. As used to be the case with refugees on ships, they set out on their travels without adequate travel entry visas, and often arrive in countries where their position is not fully understood. They may spend several days in aeroplanes or be retained at international airports until such time as they can move to a country of temporary asylum.
22. It is understandable that, in some instances, economic or security considerations may prevent the authorities of the country of asylum from admitting a refugee for permanent residence. This, however, should be the exception rather than the rule and a genuine refugee should at least be allowed to remain in the country of first asylum on a regular basis until such time as arrangements have been made for his resettlement in another country. The High Commissioner feels strongly on this point, firstly on humanitarian grounds and, secondly, because it leads to a steady increase in the number of individual cases for whom special action is required.
3. Other developments in respect of territorial asylum
23. In his last report to the General Assembly, the High Commissioner gave an account of the positive developments which had taken place in respect of the question of asylum in recent years. As explained in that report, the basic principles concerning the granting of asylum to refugees and their non-refoulement have gained increased recognition and have been given concrete expression in the legislation of certain countries and in a number of international legal instruments. Concurrently there has been a growing desire in international legal circles further to develop positive international law in respect of asylum by establishing a binding international instrument on the subject. It is in this context that the first draft of a convention on territorial asylum was brought to the attention of the Assembly at its twenty-seventh session.6 It had previously been communicated to the Economic and Social Council at its fifty-third session and to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-third session.
24. When the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session was discussed by the Third Committee, the question of asylum was referred to by several representatives and, as stated by the Chairman in his concluding remarks, the Committee decided that the High Commissioner should consult Governments on the matter and report to the Assembly at its twenty-eighth session with a view to paving the way for the convening by the Assembly of a conference of plenipotentiaries.
25. The High Commissioner accordingly has asked Governments for their comments on the desirability of concluding a convention on territorial asylum and, if possible, for their observations on the draft text. The results will be submitted to the General Assembly.
4. The impact of nationality on the problems of refugees
26. As stated in previous reports, the ultimate objective of international protection is to help a refugee to cease being a refugee. If he is unable to return to his country of origin, the best solution for him is rapidly to acquire the nationality of the country which has granted him permanent residence, so that he may benefit in all respects from the same economic and social rights as nationals. Conversely, loss of nationality or the inability to give evidence of such nationality for a given person or group of persons may result in the emergence of new problems for refugees, as has recently been the case in Africa. The High Commissioner, therefore, attaches the greatest importance to measures which are likely to facilitate the acquisition by refugees of the nationality of their country of residence, and to measures which provide for the reduction of statelessness or which benefit stateless persons as such.
27. As regards the acquisition by refugees of a new nationality, further efforts were made by UNHCR in countries of residence of refugees to encourage more favourable legal and administrative measures on the national plane. According to statistical data received in respect of 1972, an estimated 7,500 refugees within the competence of UNHCR were granted the nationality of their country of permanent residence during that year. Furthermore, two additional States have acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,7 which provides for the granting by contracting States of their nationality to persons born on their territory who would otherwise be stateless. The Convention is therefore important to stateless refugees and helps to avoid the perpetuation of refugee status. The High Commissioner hopes that it will come into force and that further States, and especially those with a considerable refugee population on their territory, will become parties to it. The High Commissioner is also in favour of any measures calculated to facilitate the determination of nationality of persons whose nationality has not been clearly established.
28. Lastly, since a proportion of the refugee population is stateless, any measures aiming at improving the situation of stateless persons as such will also benefit these refugees, especially in countries which are not parties to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. The Convention of 1954 relating to the Status of Stateless Persons8 is important also from this point of view. It may be noted that several countries which have welcomed large numbers of refugees on their territories are among the 27 parties to this Convention.
5. Access to employment
29. Employment is one of the fields where the prospects of integration of refugees are most closely linked with their legal position. It is not a coincidence that, in practically all immigration countries, the granting of an immigration visa automatically entails permission to work. In the case of refugees who have not yet been admitted for permanent residence, access to employment may also be in the best interests of the country concerned. In Africa, where a large new influx of refugees has taken place during the period under review, the problem of employment is less likely to arise in the case of agricultural workers, who constitute the majority of the refugees; until now, appropriate agricultural land could be made available in almost all cases. There is an increasing problem, however, in respect of individual refugees of non-agricultural stock in urban areas. Owing to the unemployment and underemployment which often prevail in these areas, they have great difficulty in obtaining work, even though their access to employment is provided for in intergovernmental legal instruments. Close co-operation is being maintained between the UNHCR representatives and the local authorities with a view to improving the situation.
30. It is gratifying that in Kenya a new immigration amendment act has been adopted whereby refugees, as defined in the 1951 Convention, who have been admitted for residence, do not require a special permit to work and may engage in any occupation, trade, business or profession.
31. Progress has also been made in other areas. Thus, in Lebanon, the Minister of Labour has decided that work permits would be issued to refugees within the mandate of UNHCR who are already in possession of a resident's permit. The Government of Brazil for its part has replaced its reservation to article 17 of the 1951 Convention concerning wage-earning employment by a more liberal text. The Government of Switzerland has withdrawn its reservation to article 17 altogether.
32. There are still 15 States9 which have made reservations in respect of part, or all, of article 17 of the 1951 Convention concerning wage-earning employment. Considerable numbers of refugees have been admitted over the years to some of these countries and, in several cases, the reservations are of a formal nature only or are inherent in the economic or demographic situation in the country and do not affect the liberal practice followed by the States concerned in respect of employment of refugees. It may be hoped, nevertheless, that these States will be in a position to waive their reservations or replace them by less restrictive ones in the course of time.
6. Social security
33. As the position of refugees in a given country cannot but be considered in relation to that of the nationals of the country concerned, it stands to reason that, in countries or areas with a highly developed social security system, the enjoyment of similar rights as nationals in this respect should be of considerable importance for the successful integration of refugees.
34. When the Council of Europe adopted the 1953 European Interim Agreements on Social Security,10 these were made specifically applicable to refugees coming under the terms of the 1951 Convention. The new European Social Security Convention, adopted in March 1970 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which was open for signature in December 1972, was also made specifically applicable to refugees within the meaning of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. Beneficiaries under this new social security convention may, when they move from one country to another, accumulate pension periods acquired in both countries and transfer their pension rights from the first country to the second. A Convention on Social Security and related Protocol concluded between Austria and France in May 1971 entered into force in November 1972. The Protocol to this Convention specifies that its provisions shall apply to refugees in the same manner as to nationals of the two contracting States, which is in keeping. with article 24 of the 1951 Convention. As regards national measures, the French authorities have decided to grant refugees recognized as such in Algeria, who have transferred their residence to France, the same treatment with regard to retirement pensions as French nationals who have returned to France after having resided in Algeria.
7. Travel documents and identity certificates
35. Substantial progress has been achieved during the period under review with regard to the issue of travel documents by States in accordance with article 28 of the 1951 Convention. Thus Australia, which recently withdrew an earlier reservation to that article, is now making arrangements, in co-operation with the Office, for the preparation of documents to be issued to refugees residing in that country. Further, the United States of America has given careful consideration to the matter of the issue of Convention travel documents and has published its regulations with regard to their issue. The issue of Convention travel documents in the United States began in August 1973.
36. The Turkish authorities have been able to effect an improvement in favour of refugees to whom they have issued Convention travel documents. Whereas it was formerly not possible for these documents to be extended while the holder was abroad, such documents may now be renewed for at least one year and for a longer period, if necessary, in cases where this is considered justified, through the Turkish representative in the country to which the refugee has travelled.
37. Austria and France have adopted the text of an agreement which provides that, once a refugee has moved from one of these two countries to the other and has resided for a certain period of time in the second country, that country takes over the responsibility for the issue of travel documents for the refugee concerned.
38. Within the framework of its protection function, UNHCR continued the important task of allocating payments from the Residual Indemnification Fund to refugees who had suffered persecution under the national socialist regime by reason of their nationality. By the end of February 1973, payments totalling $2,057,190 had been approved to persons who were refugees in the sense of the 1951 Convention at any time between 8 May 1945 and 31 December 1965. The funds available for these payments accrue from reimbursements from the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany in respect of persons who first received payments under either of the two earlier UNHCR Funds and who were subsequently found to quality for larger payments under the German indemnification legislation. As of 30 March 1973, a total amount of $15,994,085 had been awarded to 15,773 persons benefiting from the UNHCR Indemnification Funds (First Fund, Supplementary Indemnification Fund and Residual Fund). As regards the indemnification, under legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany, of refugees persecuted under the national-socialist regime for reason of their nationality, a total of DM 231,941,391 had been awarded to 5,101 claimants as at the end of March 1973.
CHAPTER II MATERIAL ASSISTANCE IN THE FRAME OF THE UNHCR CURRENT PROGRAMME
A. Introductory remarks
39. Several important developments took place in 1972 which called for new initiatives on the part of UNHCR to meet the needs of refugees, both inside and outside the frame of UNHCR regular activities. Firstly, there was a marked increase in the number of refugee problems in Africa, where some 90,000 persons left their countries of origin to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. Secondly, the phasing out of UNHCR assistance continued in those areas or in respect of those projects where this proved feasible. Thirdly, two programmes falling outside UNHCR regular activities, that is, the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan and the programme for assistance to Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality, claimed considerable efforts and resources on the part of Governments, UNHCR and other organizations concerned with refugees. Even so, it proved possible to keep up with demands, to provide the necessary relief to new refugees and to continue consolidating the economic and social situation of those of longer-standing. A total of some 230,000 refugees benefited from UNHCR assistance during 1972.
40. The above developments are reflected in the financial commitments incurred in 1972, as shown in annex II, table 2 below. As will be seen, the Programme in Africa claimed by far the largest share. Trust funds for essential, complementary projects outside the Programme were made available to UNHCR in an amount of $1,023,116; more than half this sum was used to finance the Education Account, as shown in more detail in annex II, table 3. Supporting contributions were again provided from within the countries where projects were put into effect. The estimated amount of $2,920,000 relates only to specific, identifiable items made available free of cost by Governments. The cost of services and contributions in kind provided locally, and especially food rations furnished by the World Food Programme (WFP), are not included in the above-mentioned figure.
41. Voluntary repatriation played a major role in counteracting to some extent the increased caseload resulting from new arrivals. An estimated 65,000 refugees, the great majority of them in Africa, were repatriated during 1972. Among them were over 44,50011 Sudanese, who decided to return to their homes following the conclusion to the Addis Ababa Agreement of March 1972, as indicated in more detail in the UNHCR progress report on assistance to southern Sudanese returnees and displaced persons submitted to the Economic and Social Council at its fifty-fourth session (E/5261). While the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan, referred to in that report, falls outside UNHCR current operations, UNHCR was called on to contribute towards the repatriation cost of the Sudanese from its current programme, and an amount of $530,450 was accordingly committed for this purpose within the total of $602,699 made available from the UNHCR Programme to facilitate this form of solution. A few hundred refugees of various origins were also repatriated with UNHCR assistance.
42. Resettlement through migration again proved to be the most desired solution for new refugees in Europe. The number of those resettled with UNHCR financial assistance amounted to 10,053.12 While the great majority gained admission to the United States, most of the others left for Australia, Canada or Latin America. An amount of $372,675 was committed under the 1972 Programme towards resettlement assistance, which included counselling, language training, resettlement grants for the handicapped or contributions towards resettlement processing.
43. The number of resettlement opportunities offered to refugees, however, did not keep pace with the requirements, particularly in Africa, as explained in section B.1 below.
44. Local settlement continued to constitute a solution for the great majority of refugees, especially in the main countries of reception in Africa (the Sudan, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire). Of the total amount of $7,209,522 committed under the 1972 Programme, $5,200,643 was used for that type of solution, which benefited some 155,000 refugees. The great majority of refugees in Africa were helped to settle on the land (see section B.1 below). A few thousand refugees were assisted with a view to their local settlement in other areas. A number of refugees were helped to establish themselves, by means of a modest financial outlay by UNHCR, in an independent occupation in keeping with their skill or previous experience. Solutions of this kind are likely to be more in demand in the future, in view of the growing proportion of individual cases of non-agricultural background. In working out local settlement projects, the Office continued to adhere to the principle that refugees should, to every possible extent, be assisted on a self-help basis. As in previous years, some of the local settlement projects, especially in rural areas, were also accessible to the local population, in particular in the field of education and medical assistance.
45. Attention continued to be focused on the education and training of refugees, especially on the African continent, where the new influx in 1972 called for an increase of education facilities, especially at the primary level. Thousands of refugee children benefited from projects put into effect for this purpose. A considerable number of refugees also benefited from scholarships, mainly for secondary education, for which an amount of approximately half a million dollars was provided from the Education Account, the greater part of which was used to grant scholarships in various countries in Africa.
46. Legal assistance was provided for 4,391 refugees, the majority in Argentina, Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy and Peru. This assistance, for which an amount of $64,798 was committed under the 1972 Programme, included various forms of legal advice which considerably helped refugees with a view to their local integration.
47. Supplementary aid, which is intended mainly to help individual cases to meet immediate needs, was provided for 11,792 refugees, including a high proportion of new arrivals. An amount of $216,976 was committed under the Programme for this purpose.
48. At its twenty-third session, held in October 1972, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme adopted a financial target in an amount of $7,839,400 for the 1973 Programme. Taking into account the developments which took place in 1972, this amount includes a considerable allocation for assistance to Burundi refugees in Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire (that is, $1,350,000). There was a decrease in the allocations provided for those countries or areas where UNHCR projects are being phased out.
B. Assistance to refugees in Africa
1. General developments
49. By the end of the year, the number of refugees in Africa had grown from 990,000 to approximately 1,020,000, as shown in the table below. This, however, gives no indication of the major developments which took place on the African continent during the period tinder review, as described in the following paragraphs.13
50. The most encouraging development has been the large-scale voluntary repatriation of over 44,700 Sudanese refugees. At the time of writing, the movement continued to gain momentum. Other major movements included the influx of some 60,000 refugees from Burundi into neighbouring countries, which started in May 1972. The arrival of refugees from countries under colonial administration continued: some 12,000 entered Senegal, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia in the course of the year. There was, lastly, the sudden arrival in Zambia, in October 1972, of some 20,000 refugees from Malawi, members of the Watchtower Christian Organization, for whom emergency relief had to be provided.
51. While the repatriation of a considerable number of Sudanese eased the situation in some countries, the large-scale influx of new refugees in others necessarily constituted an additional burden: new reception centres had to be established, immediate relief organized and preparations made for the local settlement of those who would be unable to return to their homes. Furthermore, the populations of several of the UNHCR-assisted rural settlements grew in the course of 1972 as new refugees arrived from reception centres or from border areas, where they had been living among the local population.
52. The emergence of the new refugee problems in Africa inevitably called for increased expenditure, especially in respect of local settlement. An amount of over $5 million was accordingly committed for assistance to refugees in Africa, more than $4,300,000 of which was used for settlement on the land. The great number of new arrivals also called for considerable expenditure, that is, over $969,000 from the UNHCR Emergency Fund. Well over half (some $560,000) of the special trust funds made available for essential, complementary, assistance projects, was committed mostly for post-primary educational assistance to refugees in Africa.
53. As in previous years, important supporting contributions totalling over $2,500,000, as against $1,700,000 in 1971, were made from within the countries of residence of refugees.
54. Out of a total of over 64,500 returnees, the majority, that is 44,500, were Sudanese who moved or were in the process of moving to the Sudan from neighbouring countries, that is, the Central African Republic (10,800), Ethiopia (some 7,400), Uganda (some 17,600) and Zaire (8,800). The $530,450 made available from the UNHCR current programme to help finance this large-scale operation were mainly used to defray transportation costs and road repairs and, in some cases, the building of new roads whenever this could speed up the return of the refugees.
55. The other large group of refugees repatriated in Africa were the 20,000 refugees from Malawi, members of the Watchtower Christian Organization, who were assisted in their repatriation by the Zambian Government after it had obtained guarantees from the Malawi authorities that the refugees could safely return to their homes and live peacefully there.
56. Considerable efforts continued to be made by both UNHCR and the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees in order to find suitable opportunities for the resettlement through migration of refugees in various African countries. As indicated in annex II, table 1, only a limited number of African refugees could avail themselves of this solution. An amount of $40,574 was committed under the 1972 Programme for this purpose. A number of the refugees were helped in joining their relatives in neighbouring countries.
57. Taking into account in particular the growing number of individuals who do not have an agricultural background and often cannot be settled in their country of first asylum in Africa, resettlement in other countries in Africa is becoming necessary on a much larger scale than heretofore and it is essential, in order to solve problems of individual cases, that additional resettlement opportunities be provided. Further efforts in this direction, which are being made by both UNHCR and the Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, will, it is hoped, meet with success.
58. In 1972, as in previous years, assistance to refugees settling on the land has occupied the forefront of UNHCR activities in Africa and benefited over 145,000 refugees. The actual scope of many of these projects was inevitably affected by the major developments of the refugee situation, as described above. Thus, in countries bordering the Sudan, notably the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire, the prospects of repatriation led to a gradual phasing out of assistance in Sudanese settlements. Meanwhile, in other countries, especially Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire, the sudden arrival of thousands of refugees from Burundi, which began in May and reached a peak in late summer, called for emergency relief in the form of food, clothes and shelter, followed by the establishment in Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania of settlements to accommodate the newcomers, once it was clear that early repatriation was unlikely.
59. The concurrence of these events thus presented UNHCR, in mid-1972, with a new and difficult situation in which the proportion of refugees in an initial or temporary stage of settlement increased in relation to those for whom the essential task was one of consolidation. To meet the new requirements, it was necessary for UNHCR to be highly flexible and to adjust priorities rapidly in many areas.
60. The essential aim of UNHCR's local settlement projects has remained that of providing refugees with the means to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible, either in organized settlements or in the villages where they have mingled with the local population. As in previous years, the realization of this objective has entailed both careful co-ordination of effort with other bodies concerned and a judicious use of available resources, including land, communal services and expertise.
61. Assistance in settlement on the land continued to form an integral part of UNHCR local settlement projects in 1972, claiming commitments of approximately $1 million. This assistance has been an essential factor in the progress achieved by a number of settlements. Encouragement has also been given by UNHCR to the formation of co-operatives or fuller participation by refugees in such ventures, enabling them in particular to derive greater benefits from the sale of food produce through a more rational marketing process.
62. Other major components of UNHCR local settlement projects in 1972 have been in the form of improvements to infrastructure and communal services in settlement areas, for which a total sum of over $1.5 million was committed, in order to supplement those financed by Governments. These improvements have included the repair of roads and bridges, the provision or completion of water supplies needed both for irrigation and human consumption, and the construction of warehouses, community centres and other buildings.
63. Assistance has also continued to be given under the UNHCR programme in the vital field of medical care, for which about $400,000 was committed, mostly for the operation of dispensaries and the supply of medicaments.
64. Although in the course of 1972 setbacks were suffered by a number of local settlement projects, due mainly to new and unexpected influxes or to drought affecting the crops, the progress widely recorded has been satisfactory. In a number of cases, the need for assistance from the international community has decreased substantially, making it possible to prepare for a transfer of responsibility to the national Government. This was notably the case of several of the Mozambiquan refugee settlements in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Education and training
65. In 1972, UNHCR assistance at the primary level again represented a substantial part of the regular programme in Africa, where an amount of some $412,000 was committed for this purpose. These funds were used partly to provide assistance towards the building and equipment of schools in rural settlements and tartly to provide initial assistance towards their running costs, on the understanding that these costs would be taken over by governmental authorities as rapidly as possible. They were also used to enable a number of individual refugees in urban areas to attend schools or vocational training courses, according to the opportunities available.
66. In the field of secondary education, UNHCR has continued to provide assistance through the Refugee Education Account, from which expenditure in 1972 in Africa totalled some $560,000. Whereas considerable capital expenditure required for school buildings and equipment had been incurred in previous years, the majority of funds were earmarked in 1972 for the granting of scholarships, mainly for secondary education, from which more than 1,500 students were able to benefit. in view of, the policies of Governments of the host countries and manpower requirements in the countries concerned, refugee students at the secondary level were again encouraged to apply for technical education and 'vocational training which were more likely to enhance their future employment opportunities than studies of a purely academic kind. A limited number of refugees, whose results were outstanding at the secondary level, were, however, granted university scholarships.
67. As in previous years, UNHCR's programme of educational assistance was carried out with the technical advice of a small team of specialists seconded to the Office by UNESCO. Moreover, in accordance with the agreement concluded between UNHCR and the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa, educational assistance up to and including the first level of secondary education continued to be given by UNHCR to refugees from countries of southern Africa, while assistance at higher levels was assured by the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa. Assistance has also been given by UNHCR to the operation of the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, which has been mainly concerned with obtaining scholarships for individual refugees throughout Africa.
Assistance to individual cases
68. The problems of individual refugees, especially in towns and cities in search of employment or an opportunity to study, to which reference has been made in previous reports, continued to cause grave concern. Not only have employment opportunities tended to diminish, but in many cases the situation has been aggravated by a general increase in the cost of living.
69. Efforts by UNHCR to alleviate the problems of these refugees have again been mainly carried out through counselling services established in the capital cities of several African countries, notably Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal, which have continued to operate in conjunction with governmental departments and voluntary agencies. Elsewhere plans have been worked out to develop or create counselling services in view of the urgent problems facing individual cases.
70. Assistance by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to such cases has thus been of various kinds: for those in search of educational opportunities, advice has been offered as to courses most suited to the employment market, and help given to some in obtaining scholarships. For those in quest of work, assistance has been given either to find employment or to establish them in business. In cases where local employment possibilities were too limited, facilities have been provided for settlement on the land or for transfer to another locality.
71. Refugees from territories under colonial administration have again figured prominently among the individual cases of concern to UNHCR. Funds to help them were also provided by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa, in an amount of $70,000 administered by voluntary agencies in various countries. An amount of $5,000 was made available to assist Namibia refugees in Zambia from the Special Trust Fund for Namibia, administered by the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, Trusteeship and Decolonization. Furthermore, in consultation with the United Kingdom authorities, assistance was given from UNHCR programme funds to a limited number of refugees from Southern Rhodesia who applied for such aid.
2. Main developments in various countries
72. The number of refugees in Burundi at the end of 1972 was approximately 42,000,14 practically all of whom were Rwandese. Some 20,000 of these were living in settlements.
73. The main event in Burundi affecting the problems of refugees was the civil strife which broke out in April 1972 and as a result of which a considerable number of Burundi nationals left for neighbouring countries, where assistance had to be provided for them with the support of UNHCR.
74. A limited but growing influx of refugees from Rwanda started in November. Immediate care was provided by the Government, voluntary agencies and UNHCR for the new arrivals, some of whom were sent to the settlements.
75. Some of the UNHCR assistance-projects suffered setbacks following the April events through deficiencies in existing amenities in the settlements, especially the water supply, which in some cases caused a deterioration of the health situation. Educational assistance, however, continued to be provided and an amount of $58,000 was committed for this purpose from the Education Account. Help was also provided to a number of needy individual cases.
Central African Republic
76. The refugee population at the end of 1972 amounted to nearly 22,000 including some 17,000 Sudanese, 3,500 Zairians and 1,500 refugees from Chad. There was a substantial decrease in the number of Sudanese refugees as compared with the previous year, owing largely to spontaneous repatriation, following the conclusion, in March 1972, of the Addis Ababa Agreement.
77. During the first part of the year, UNHCR had continued to assist refugees arriving in M'Boki from the border area in settling down. An amount of $311,000 was committed under the Programme for this purpose. By the end of 1972, most of the Sudanese refugees who were still in the M'Boki settlement had achieved a relatively high degree of self-sufficiency and rations or half-rations were needed for only some 1,600. This was also owing to the development assistance project jointly implemented by UNDP and FAO in the Upper M'Bomou region, from which they had benefited along with the local population.
78. The Office has also continued to provide support to the 11 primary schools in the settlement, where classes in French were replaced by classes in English once it had become clear that refugees would return to the Sudan. A number of individual refugees received scholarships for secondary and university education as well as correspondence courses, financed by the Education Account at a cost of $18,000
79. Meanwhile, a sum of $300,000 was committed for preparations for large-scale repatriation to the Sudan, which included the repair of roads and bridges in the area. This work, which began as soon as the rainy season was over, mainly concerned the stretch linking M'Boki to Bambouti near the Sudanese border.
80. No assistance was given by UNHCR in 1972 to refugees from Zaire or Chad, who were living in rural areas outside the M'Boki settlement.
81. The main development in Ethiopia in 1972 was the return to the Sudan of some 7,400 refugees with the prospect of movement on a wider scale in 1973.
82. Meanwhile, of total commitments in an amount of $212,646 under the 1972 Programme for assistance to refugees in Ethiopia, $126,000 were used towards the completion of the agricultural programme, community development and the improvement of roads,, which had been started in earlier years.
83. The refugee counselling service in Addis Ababa, established in 1971 in conjunction with several voluntary agencies, has increased its activities, offering advice and assistance to the growing number of individual cases in urban areas. A sum of $441,000 was committed under the 1972 Programme for supplementary aid to these cases.
84. The counselling service was also responsible for operating a scholarship programme, financed jointly by UNHCR, the World Council of Churches and the International University Exchange Fund, which enabled 333 refugee students to continue their secondary studies at schools in Addis Ababa and Gambela from July 1971 to June 1972. Commitments under the Education Account for these scholarships as well as those for 1972-1973, amounted to over $240,000.
85. Relief in an amount of $48,000 was provided from the Emergency Fund in 1972 to a new and destitute group of 1,200 refugees at Ganduar in the Begemdir Province.
86. As a result of the events in Burundi, some 4,000 refugees from that country arrived in Rwanda in the spring of 1972. To cover the purchase and distribution of immediate necessities to these refugees, a sum of $117,000 was made available by UNHCR, mostly from the Emergency Fund. The relief operation was carried out by the League of Red Cross Societies and the Rwandese Red Cross, supplementary donations being made by UNICEF and by a number of voluntary agencies. A rural settlement project for these refugees has been started in the East Bugesera area, to which a contribution was to be made under the UNHCR material assistance Programme for 1973.
87. As at 31 December 1972, the total number of refugees in Senegal, practically all of whom were from Guinea (Bissau), was estimated at some 82,000, a slight increase over that of the previous year (80,000). They continued to settle for the most part in villages in the Casamance region. Despite the persistent drought, which has caused great hardship to the population over the past four years, only a limited amount of assistance for refugees was required from UNHCR, since the Government was helped to meet the prevailing food shortage through bilateral aid and supplies from the World Food Programme.
88. Of total commitments under the 1972 Programme, amounting to $71,968, a sum of $30,000 was committed for aid to a number of new arrivals. The assistance given included special measures for the protection of their livestock.
89. Financial support in an amount of $18,000 was given towards the cost of mobile medical units, which continued to bring medical care to refugees in the villages, and which were operated by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs. The Senegalese authorities have also assumed responsibility for primary education. Over 800 new refugee pupils were admitted to primary and secondary schools.
90. The problems of individual refugees in urban areas, estimated at some 6,000, remained the most acute. Assistance was provided to them through the counselling services in Dakar and Ziguinchor, run by the National Committee for Aid to Refugees. A sum of nearly $24,000 was committed for this purpose under the 1972 Programme, enabling some 380 of these refugees to leave town and settle on the land.
91. The major development of 1972 in the Sudan was the launching of the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan and the beginning of the return home of thousands of Sudanese refugees and displaced persons. Reference to this operation is made in section A above.
92. At the end of 1972, the number of foreign refugees within the Sudan was estimated at 57,000, which included 4,500 Zairians and 52,500 Ethiopians, of whom 4,000 were new arrivals.
93. Of total commitments under the 1972 Programme, amounting to $781,159, a sum of $750,000 was earmarked for local settlements, largely for the benefit of a group of 22,000 Ethiopians, mainly women, children and elderly people from the Tokar area whom it was proposed to settle in the area of Esh Showak in the Kassala Province. The area has been surveyed by a joint UNDP/FAO mission, which has confirmed its suitability for a non-nomadic, animal husbandry scheme, on which the new settlement was to be based. Drilling for water has also taken place and it was hoped that the settlement would be opened late in 1973. Meanwhile emergency relief was being provided to the refugee group concerned, with supporting contributions from voluntary agencies.
94. The largest existing settlement at Qala-en-Nahal, accommodating some 22,000 Ethiopian refugees, was virtually completed by the end of 1972. Most of the land was under cultivation, while further progress was made in installing the all-important water supply system. Primary schools, designed by the UNESCO-sponsored Regional Educational Building Institute for Africa, were terminated early in 1973 and have replaced the makeshift buildings in which children had hitherto been taught.
95. Progress has also continued at the Rajaf settlement for Zairian refugees, where the construction of offices and a health centre has been completed and work has begun on a primary school. By the end of the year, the population of this settlement has grown from 2,000 to 4,000. In addition, the improved roads in the area had enabled a number of Sudanese refugees to use this settlement as a transit centre before returning to their homes.
96. Assistance to an amount of over $23,000 has been given under the Education Account mainly in the form of individual scholarships.
97. The repatriation of Sudanese has resulted in a reduction in the number of refugees in Uganda, which fell to 166,600 in the course of 1972. This number included 72,800 Rwandese, 58,500 Sudanese, 34,300 Zairians and a small number of refugees from southern Africa. New refugees included 700 Zairians, who entered Uganda from the Sudan, where they had been living previously. Of the 63,000 living in organized settlements, some 13,000 refugees were still receiving rations at the end of 1972.
98. Of commitments, amounting to $303,011, under the 1972 Programme, an amount of nearly $140,000 was committed to preparations for the return of the Sudanese refugees, mainly in the form of improved transport facilities: it had meanwhile proved possible to cancel earlier plans for a transfer of excess population from the overcrowded Sudanese settlements at Nakapiripirit, Agago/Acolpi and Onigo. For some 7,000 refugees, the homeward journey, assisted by UNHCR, began late in 1972 as soon as crops were harvested, while the majority were expected to return home during 1973. In the meantime, food rations provided by WFP were distributed to those whose crops had been insufficient owing to lack of arable land or to the adverse climatic conditions affecting the Nakapiripirit settlement, where refugees numbered over 9,000 at the end of 1972.
99. Over $150,000 was devoted to further consolidation of the six rural settlements accommodating some 38,000 Rwandese refugees, for which the Government was already financing most of the communal services. Food and crop production on these settlements have increased, and co-operative activities have become more extensive. Livestock reared by the refugees have benefited from the cattle dips constructed with UNHCR financial assistance. There were, however, some delays in completing the water supply scheme at the Nakivale settlement, accommodating 8,700 refugees; it was expected that the scheme, begun in 1971, would be functioning fully in 1973 and would supply adequate, clean water for human and animal consumption.
100. The Office has continued to give financial assistance to the construction and operation of primary schools in the various refugee settlements. It has also shared in plans for a re-assessment of the needs of Rwandese refugee children to bring their school attendance rate to the level of that of the local population. Grants amounting to some $38,700 have been made from the Education Account, enabling 114 students to follow post-primary courses, which were in great demand in 1972.
United Republic of Tanzania
101. The main development in the United Republic of Tanzania in 1972 was the influx of some 23,000 refugees from Burundi, which began in May. Their arrival, together with that of a further 1,500 refugees from Mozambique, brought the total number of refugees in this country to 98,000 by the end of the year. Of this total, the majority of about 58,000 originated from Mozambique, 23,000 from Burundi and 14,000 from Rwanda.
102. Emergency relief measures for the Burundi refugees, who were housed in reception centres while awaiting transfer to an organized settlement, included the establishment of health services, as well as the provision of transport and care and maintenance. They were financed by an allocation of $275,000 from the Emergency Fund with supporting contributions from the Catholic Relief Services and UNICEF. The relief operation was implemented by the Lutheran World Federation/ Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service.
103. Activities under UNHCR's regular Programme focused on the rural settlements, where some 69,300 refugees were accommodated. More than $million were committed for projects of this kind, again implemented by the Lutheran World Federation/ Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service.
104. Of this sum, $414,000 has been devoted to establishing and developing the Ulyankulu settlement for Burundi refugees, to which some 6,000 of the new arrivals had been transferred by the end of 1972. Over 3,000 holdings, each of three and one half hectares, have been surveyed and a start has been made to the construction of villages, roads, wells, a dispensary and other buildings.
105. Projects for the local settlement of Mozambiquan refugees, forming the largest single group within the United Republic of Tanzania, claimed some $600,000 within the 1972 Programme. Such projects mainly concerned the rural settlement at Mputa, of fairly recent date, and that at Matewke, both of which still relied heavily on UNHCR assistance. The latter, in particular, received some 4,800 new arrivals from the border area in the course of 1972, necessitating the provision of a piped water supply for both irrigation and drinking purposes.
106. Assistance by UNHCR to the older Mozambiquan settlements at Rutamba, Lundo and Muhukuru, on the other hand, could be reduced, owing to an increase of cash crop production, expansion of their co-operative activities and consolidation of public services. Administrative and financial responsibility for the Rutamba settlement was assumed by the Government as from 1 July 1972. It was hoped that similar arrangements would be possible for the settlement at Lundo in 1973 and for that at Muhukuru in 1974.
107. Administrative responsibility for the rural settlement of Rwandese refugees at Mwesi was assumed by the Government in 1971. Support by UNHCR was therefore limited to some $14,500.
108. Other significant forms of assistance have mainly included the granting of scholarships to 72 refugees for university, secondary school, vocational or technical courses, at a cost of $22,000 charged to the Education Account.
109. Taking into account the arrival of some 30,000 refugees from Burundi and the return to the Sudan of an estimated 15,000 Sudanese refugees, the number of refugees in Zaire was estimated on 31 December 1972 at some 90,000, against 475,000 at the end of the previous year. The total figure included 400,000 Angolan refugees, 36,000 Sudanese, 31,000 Burundi, 23,500 Rwandese and a few hundred Zambian refugees.
110. To help provide immediate relief for the sudden influx of Burundi refugees, aggravated by the simultaneous return of some 20,000 Zairians who had been living in Burundi, a sum of $163,000 was made available from the Emergency Fund, supplemented by donations in cash and kind by the Catholic Relief Service, OXFAM and a number of Protestant agencies. At the end of 1972, arrangements were being made for the local settlement of these refugees.
111. As in other countries neighbouring the Sudan, the prospective departure of Sudanese refugees following the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement has had considerable effect upon UNHCR assistance activities. By the time of signature, some 12,000 Sudanese refugees had previously settled in Amadi and Nugadi: a sum of approximately $765,000 was committed for this operation, representing a substantial part of over-all commitments under UNHCR's 1972 Programme in Zaire totalling over $1,400,000. Plans for the large-scale transfer of refugees from the border to settlements further inland were subsequently cancelled. An amount of $108,000 was committed later in the year, in order to prepare for the Sudanese repatriation movement, which was to begin on a large scale in the early months of 1973.
112. Angolan refugees, by far the largest group, continued to live among the local populations of the border province, helped both by these populations and by the authorities. Emergency relief, in an amount of $24,000 allocated from the Emergency Fund, was provided to 3,000 new arrivals, mainly in the form of food and medical supplies. Other UNHCR projects have so far mostly concerned the building or improvement of schools, especially in Kinanga and at Sona-Bata, and agricultural and medical assistance to various groups of refugees. The International Organization for Rural Development acted as implementing agency.
113. The presence within the country, and more especially in Lower Zaire, of such large numbers of refugees, representing in places up to two thirds of the total population, has continued to put an increasing strain upon the local infrastructure, and has given rise to growing problems of a social and economic character. The interagency mission, established to assess the situation and put forward suggestions with regard to the local settlement of some of these groups of Angolans, started its work in 1973.
114. The small group of Zambian refugees still remaining in Zaire have made good progress towards self-sufficiency despite the disappointing harvest in Kaniama, to which they had been transferred. Two primary schools, begun in the area late in 1971, were completed during 1972, providing classes both for refugee and local children.
115. No assistance has been necessary for the Rwandese refugees in the Kivu region. Their situation was not entirely satisfactory however, owing to the economic and social difficulties confronting the whole area.
116. At the end of 1972, the total number of refugees living in Zambia was estimated at 25,000, an increase of 8,000 over the previous year, owing to the continued arrival of refugees from Angola and Mozambique and to the fact that more refugees from these two areas were living in the border sections than had originally been estimated. Of the total figure, there were 17,200 Angolans and 6,400 Mozambiquans; the remainder were mostly from Namibia and South Africa. Less than half of the total refugee population (some 10,200) were living in organized rural settlements.
117. The sudden arrival towards the end of 1972 of some 20,000 refugees from Malawi, members of the Watchtower Christian Organization, caused an emergency for which a sum of $44,205 was made available from the UNHCR Emergency Fund, complementing the relief measures taken by the Government of Zambia. Provisional accommodation was provided at a reception centre in the Eastern Province, where conditions were soon to give rise to concern owing to overcrowding and an inadequate supply of water. However, after the Zambian Government had obtained guarantees from the Malawi authorities that the refugees could safely return to their country and live peacefully there, a homeward movement was organized by the Zambian authorities enabling the refugees to return to Malawi by the end of 1972.
118. Assistance by UNHCR has again been mainly devoted to the promotion of local settlements, which accounted for the largest share of commitments under the 1972 Programme, totalling over $466,500, of which some $400,000 were devoted to the rural settlement at Meheba, mainly for the accommodation of Angolan refugees. The population at this settlement, where 1,500 family plots of 5 hectares each have so far been cleared, grew to 6,250 during 1972 and was expected to rise further with the arrival of more Angolan refugees from other settlements and from the border area. A variety of crops and vegetables have been grown with good results, and it was expected that, with improved farming methods, the food rations provided from WFP supplies would be reduced after the 1973 harvest. Meanwhile, efforts have continued to improve and to extend the community services on the settlement, especially the schooling facilities available to the refugee children. As in previous years, the Lutheran World Federation/Zambia Christian Refugee Service has acted as implementing agency.
119. Assistance to the Mayukwayukwa settlement, mainly of Angolans, was more limited following the transfer of surplus population to the more recent Meheba settlement. Despite an unexpected drought, harvests were good and TQFP food rations could be diminished. Additional earnings were also derived through participation by the refugees in various co-operative ventures. It was agreed that administrative responsibility for this settlement would be assumed by the Government as from 1 July 1973, as was already the case at the rural settlement of Mozambiquan refugees at Nyimba. In view of crowded living conditions at this last settlement it has become necessary, however, to found a new settlement and possible sites were being explored.
120. The problem of the 15,000 refugees living outside the rural settlements has again caused concern. Plans have therefore been put forward to create with the Government, the Christian Council of Zambia and other bodies, a Joint Refugee Counselling Service, designed to bring more help to needy individual cases, many of whom were meeting with grave employment difficulties especially in urban areas.
Other countries in Africa
121. At the end of 1972, some 17,000 refugees of concern to UNHCR were spread over various other African countries, including Algeria, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco, Swaziland, Tunisia and countries of West Africa.
122. In Botswana, where the rural settlement of 3,800 Angolan refugees has continued to make good progress, UNHCR assistance was mainly directed to educational needs and to projects for the integration of individual cases in urban areas, most of which were to be put into effect in 1973. A total of nearly $7,500 was committed for such assistance under the 1972 Programme, while a number of needy, individual cases also benefited, in an amount of $8,000, through the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa. Assistance from this source was also provided to individual refugees in Lesotho and in Swaziland in amounts of $10,000 and $3,000, respectively.
123. UNHCR assistance in Kenya, where refugees numbered some 2,500 at the end of 1972, was mainly focused on aid to the repatriation of Sudanese and to the transfer of Zanzibari refugees to the United Arab Emirates. Most of the amount of $78,236 committed under the 1972 Programme was used for this purpose and the balance for counselling. Assistance was also provided in the field of post-primary education and an amount of $62,444 was committed from the Education Account for this purpose. The projects were implemented by the Joint Refugee Services of Kenya.
124. In various countries of West Africa, including Cameroon, Chad, the Congo, Dahomey, Gabon, the Niger and Nigeria, assistance was mainly provided by UNHCR to individual cases of need, through multipurpose projects totalling some $77,500, which were administered and, in some cases, implemented by UNDP.
C. Assistance to refugees in Asia
125. Developments in Asia were twofold during the period under review. Firstly, the need emerged to strengthen UNHCR representation in South-East Asia in order to appraise the situation of various groups of persons who might be the concern of UNHCR. Following consultations with Governments in the area, the High Commissioner appointed a Regional Representative for South-East Asia to be stationed in Bangkok, Thailand. Secondly, as stated by the High Commissioner in his report to the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session, refugees in other areas in Asia, including in particular Macau and Nepal, were on the way to achieving self-sufficiency, so that only marginal assistance was required. In consultation with the authorities concerned, UNHCR's branch offices are being closed in both areas.
126. In India, the main financial responsibility for the resettlement and rehabilitation of refugees continued to be borne by the Government of India. Additional financial support was provided by the Board and Trustees of the Common Project of the European Refugee Campaign.
127. The objective of UNHCR projects, for which an amount of $134,250 was committed under the 1972 Programme, was the completion of previous assistance measures. The focus of the projects was on the provision of vocational training, medical facilities in settlements, road camps and support to handicraft centres run by refugees.
128. The Government of India, the Central Relief Committee (India) and WHO continued a joint medical scheme for the prevention and control of tuberculosis among refugees. A four-member medical team, after completing a course of training at the National Tuberculosis Training Institute in Bangalore, worked among refugee groups in various parts of India. Approximately 10,280 refugee cases were registered, over 1,400 were vaccinated and treatment was started for some 300.
129. In Macau, an amount of $79,175 was committed under the 1972 Programme to complete a housing project started under a former programme and to provide the necessary equipment for projects that UNHCR had previously sponsored.
130. In Nepal, an amount of $46,000 was committed to provide medical services, counselling and vocational training. Through a revolving fund and a fund for permanent solutions, the refugees were helped to attain self-sufficiency in the organized settlements.
131. On hundred and forty refugees of European origin received exit permits from the People's Republic of China, as against 73 during 1971. An amount of $130,208 was committed under the 1972 Programme mainly for care and maintenance and medical facilities for these refugees while in transit at Hong Kong. The majority were resettled in other countries. They included a considerable proportion of handicapped refugees, who were admitted to institutions in various countries in Europe. At the end of 1972, a total of 49 European refugees were still awaiting the completion of immigration formalities.
D. Assistance to refugees in Europe15
132. The over-all number of refugees in countries of reception in Europe remained relatively unchanged during 1972, that is, approximately 615,000. The number of new refugees, estimated at over 15,000, including 12,000 from the Caribbean area in Spain, was largely offset by migration and naturalization. There was a further increase in the number of other refugees of non-European origin, especially in the Federal Republic of Germany. Responsibility for assistance to needy refugees in Europe, in particular new arrivals and aged or handicapped refugees, continued to be taken over to an increasing extent by the local authorities and voluntary agencies. Some $522,000 was committed by UNHCR in 1972 for assistance to refugees in Europe compared with $667,000 in 1971. In most cases, the major part of the funds required to meet their needs came from sources within the countries of asylum, largely in the form of public services. Many European countries were also faced with additional demands, in particular for the resettlement and care and maintenance of Uganda Asians and for their participation in the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan.
133. Over $270,000 of the total amount committed under the 1972 Programme went towards local settlement projects, mainly for housing, and counselling to facilitate integration. A good part of this amount was used to assist refugees from the Caribbean area in Spain, as mentioned below.
134. Nearly $132,000 were committed for assistance in resettlement mainly, through counselling services, which have in many instances greatly facilitated migration. Some 9,500 refugees were thus resettled with UNHCR assistance in co-operation with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and the voluntary agencies. A considerable part of the allocation for resettlement was again used for the placement of severely handicapped refugees, some 160 of whom were admitted to Belgium, Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. A number of handicapped refugees were generously accepted by some of these countries at no cost to UNHCR.
135. The largest group of beneficiaries for resettlement assistance were the refugees from the Caribbean area in Spain, some 7,700 of whom were helped by UNHCR in emigrating to other countries, compared with approximately 5,000 in 1971. There were, however, some 25,000 refugees from the Caribbean region still awaiting emigration opportunities at the end of 1972 in spite of the increase in the number of those resettled and a reduction in new arrivals. It is expected that, if the diminishing trend in arrivals continues, this situation will improve. UNHCR contributed $35,439 to provide temporary shelter for the new arrivals, while $111,000 were committed to assist some 200 refugees from the Caribbean area to settle in Spain. Assistance by UNHCR was again made available largely in the form of loans, the repayment of which will be used to assist other refugees in that country.
136. Legal aid, for which $52,815 were committed, has in many instances proved to be one of the most effective ways of promoting the integration of individual refugees at low cost to UNHCR. Some 3,293 refugees were thus helped in completing the legal and administrative formalities required for the regularization of status and the acquisition of nationality.
137. Over $62,000 were committed to provide supplementary aid to needy refugees in other European countries.
E. Assistance to refugees in Latin America
138. The number of refugees in Latin America of concern to the High Commissioner remained relatively unchanged in 1972 at approximately 105,000 persons, of whom 37,000 were residing in Brazil and 33,000 in Argentina. The great majority of the refugees were of European origin, while some 7,000 came from within Latin America.
139. Considerable progress was made in 1972 in the implementation of local settlement projects for the benefit of the remaining refugees of European origin still in need of assistance, as well as in meeting the needs of refugees from other Latin American countries. Emphasis continued to be placed on the promotion of integration, legal aid and social counselling.
140. An amount of nearly $320,000 was committed by UNHCR in 1972 to assist these refugees, most of which, that is, $180,000, was used to assist them to become self-supporting and to further their integration in "-, he countries of residence. Some 430 refugees, including handicapped persons, benefited from this assistance, more than half of whom were in Argentina and the others mainly in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The assistance provided covered mainly the establishment of refugees in crafts and trades and the provision of adequate housing, as well as medical treatment and annuities for aged refugees.
141. A total of 65 aged refugees were admitted to homes, some of them taking vacant places provided under earlier UNHCR programmes, while others were settled in newly-built accommodation. At the end of 1972, a total of 845 places for refugees in homes for the aged in Latin America had been provided through UNHCR funds.
142. More than 100 mentally ill refugees were assisted, either as out-patients under a special project, which came into force in 1972, or in homes or institutions. Other forms of assistance included supplementary aid to refugees facing emergency situations, legal assistance with regard to naturalization, social security schemes and the regularization or procurement of essential documents, and social counselling. Over 300 refugees were assisted with small grants while in transit countries awaiting emigration.
143. A small number of refugees were helped under UNHCR's Education Account towards the financing of secondary, technical or university education, the assistance consisting mainly in the payment of fees and the purchase of books or equipment.
F. Assistance to refugees in the Middle East
144. The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in the Middle East totalled some 11,000 at the end of 1972. Some 5,000 of these refugees were living in Egypt, approximately 3,400 in Lebanon, where there was a new influx in 1972, about 2,000 in the United Arab Emirates, and small groups in Cyprus, Iran, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. They are composed mainly of stateless Armenians and stateless Assyrians, African refugees, the number of whom is constantly increasing, and several hundred refugees of European origin. While emigration continued to provide the best solution for the refugees, who find it increasingly difficult to obtain employment in the countries of asylum, there was a decrease in the number resettled following the application by some countries of more selective admission criteria. The African refugees, mainly young students for whom resettlement opportunities are very rare, have encountered particular difficulty in finding employment upon the completion of their studies. Intensive counselling has been necessary to advise the refugees on the acquisition of suitable qualifications and to guide them towards temporary local solutions until migration opportunities become more easily available.
145. A total of $133,547 was committed by UNHCR in 1972 to assist refugees in the Middle East, of which $62,988 were used to provide counselling services, primary education and vocational training for young refugees, as well as various forms of assistance, including medical aid for the aged, sick and handicapped, and annuities for aged refugees who could no longer envisage the possibility of resettling in another country. A sum of $23,213 was committed to promote the resettlement of refugees wishing to emigrate, 280 of whom were thus assisted, and $37,346 for supplementary aid, in particular for new refugees. A sum of $10,000 was committed to provide local settlement assistance to Zanzibari refugees in the United Arab Emirates.
CHAPTER III ASSISTANCE TO UGANDA ASIANS OF UNDETERMINED NATIONALITY
146. The operation on behalf of the Uganda Asians constituted a new challenge for UNHCR during 1972. It called for speedy action with a view to finding countries where they could be admitted for permanent residence or on a temporary basis pending their final resettlement. At the same time, it involved the collecting of considerable funds required to cover the costs of their evacuation, care and maintenance in transit and migration to countries of permanent resettlement.
147. In August 1972, the Ugandan authorities announced that all Asians residing in Uganda who were not of Ugandan nationality were to leave the country within a period of 90 days, that is, by 8 November. The great majority of those affected held British passports, and over 27,000 were subsequently admitted to the United Kingdom. There remained, however, some 6,000 to 7,000 persons of undetermined nationality, for whom alternative solutions had to be sought. Over 2,500 of these were accepted forthwith by Canada (1,370), Denmark (16 - handicapped), India (208), Switzerland (190) and the United States of America (784, via Italy, on parole basis). Pakistan also took a number of them and a few made their own arrangements to leave. Approximately 3,650 were left behind.
148. With the deadline fast approaching, the main task was to ensure their safe and speedy evacuation from Uganda to countries of permanent settlement or, failing this, to places of temporary accommodation. Upon the request of the Government of Uganda, the United Nations, in October 1972, worked out the modalities of the evacuation of Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality. The resident representative of UNDP in Uganda was given over-all responsibility for the evacuation operation, assisted by officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross and of the United Nations agencies serving in Uganda. The United Nations centre for documentation assistance and transportation arrangements, established for this purpose, provided those leaving Uganda with travel documents issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, whereas the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration provided technical assistance and transport arrangements, including the chartering of large numbers of aircraft. Work began on 28 October, that is, three days after the conclusion of the agreement, and, by the deadline of 8 November, practically all the remaining Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality had left Uganda.
149. Meanwhile, the High Commissioner, at the request of the Secretary-General, had appealed to a number of Governments for their assistance in admitting the Uganda Asians and in contributing the necessary funds for their resettlement and care and maintenance. Offers for temporary accommodation in transit centres were received from the Governments of Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco and Spain. This made it possible for the remaining 3,650 Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality to be evacuated in time to transit centres as follows: Austria (1,518), Belgium (432), Italy (1,153), Malta (364) and Spain (183). It was not necessary to use the transit facilities generously offered by the Governments of Greece and Morocco.
150. In response to the High Commissioner's appeals, an amount of some $2,600,000 was raised by the end of 1972 to cover the cost of resettlement and care and maintenance in transit.
151. The next, essential stage of the operation was to ensure that the temporary accommodation in transit centres, now the full responsibility of UNHCR, was not allowed to perpetuate. Further urgent appeals were therefore made for more offers of resettlement, followed by a series of personal visits by the High Commissioner to Governments in Europe and North America, in order to draw their full attention to the stress which accompanies life in transit centres, as well as to the financial implications involved in providing care and maintenance.
152. In response to these appeals, permanent resettlement opportunities were offered by many countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Guyana, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. In addition . Denmark accepted to receive a further number of handicapped persons, whose plight was especially distressing. Since then, the New Zealand Government has also agreed to include handicapped cases within their quota. More recently, the United Kingdom agreed to admit a number of Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality on compassionate grounds; by 31 March 1973, 356 persons meeting this criteria had thus been taken to the United Kingdom and a further 237 had applied for admission. By that date, some five months after their departure from Uganda, 1,660 of the original 3,650 Uganda Asians in transit centres had moved to countries of permanent settlement and negotiations were still under way with a view to the migration of some 1,970 remaining persons. Nearly all of these had ',-y then applied for resettlement in one country or another.
153. At the end of March, contributions in an amount of $2,820,000 had been received from 12 Governments. Evacuation costs amounted to $145,000. The cost of care and maintenance was some $5 per capita per day inclusive, involving at first an expenditure of some $500,000 per month, which, by April 1973, had decreased to a monthly average of some $270,000 as a result of departures.
154. A tribute is due to the Governments which have demonstrated their goodwill in response to UNHCR appeals for assistance and temporary transit facilities. The operation has also greatly benefited from the support given by international organizations and voluntary agencies and by the prompt and sympathetic reaction of public opinion in many countries to the plight of the Uganda Asians.
155. In spite of all these efforts, however, considerable difficulties are still being faced in finding permanent resettlement opportunities for some 1,750 Uganda Asians remaining in transit centres as at 31 March 1973. This problem is the more serious since, after having spent more then six months in unfamiliar surroundings in camps, many of them tend to become demoralized. In addition, there is still the problem of split families, which has been resolved in some cases, but not in all It is earnestly hoped that further appropriate resettlement opportunities will be provided in order to avoid the perpetuation of camp life and enable the Uganda Asians who are still in transit centres to find a permanent home and start a new life as soon as possible.
CHAPTER IV RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
A. Relations between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Nations system
156. The period under review provided further opportunities for concerted action between UNHCR and other members of the United Nations system, both in respect of UNHCR regular activities and special programmes. As mentioned above, the large-scale operation for East Bengali refugees was completed in the early months of 1972. In May of that year, the High Commissioner was requested by the Secretary-General to assume primary responsibility for coordinating an immediate United Nations relief programme for the southern region of the Sudan. As indicated in more detail in the report on the subject (E/5261), several United Nations agencies made major contributions to the implementation of the Programme, which has lead to the return to their homes of thousands of Sudanese. In addition, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development sent a 14-man team to the Sudan to consider the longer-term development in the area.
157. Equally close co-operation has been continued in respect of UNHCR regular activities, especially in Africa. The joint efforts of UNHCR and other United Nations agencies have also benefited a considerable number of refugees from territories referred to in the resolutions of the General Assembly on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
158. The Office continued to increase the scope of its assistance to the refugees from these territories and took an active part in the informal consultations which took place between representatives of the organizations within the United Nations system and representatives of OAU in March 1973 with a view to establishing arrangements for closer co-operation in regard to the implementation of the relevant resolutions. As in previous years, UNHCR also co-operated with the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and its ad hoc group, giving information as required on the assistance provided by UNHCR to the refugees coming from the territories concerned.
159. In terms of concrete action, invaluable support was again provided by the United Nations/FAO World Food Programme (WFP) in the form of food rations, while essential medical supplies were furnished by UNICEF and WHO, thus bringing relief in several emergency situations which occurred in 1972.
160. Beyond assistance at the emergency stage, co-operation with other United Nations agencies has continued to form an integral part of UNHCR activities, especially in respect of rural settlement. A number of agencies have introduced greater flexibility into their procedural arrangements for refugee assistance and have thus been able to increase their support. The advice and assistance of the specialized agencies has mainly been sought with regard to the choice of suitable sites and agricultural activity for new rural settlements or the extension of existing settlements. In 1972, survey missions conducted for this purpose included, among others, the UNDP/FAO survey in the Sudan, where preparations were made for the establishment of a new settlement for some 22,000 Ethiopian refugees.
161. Co-operation was continued with the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa, the Department of Political Affairs, Trusteeship and Decolonization, the United Nations Council for Namibia, and the Social Development Division.
162. Concerted action was pursued in respect of education and training. Under the Memorandum of Understanding reached by UNESCO and UNHCR in 1967 and since renewed biennially, a programme specialist and two associate experts, seconded by UNESCO to the Office, have advised in the planning and implementation of educational activities and projects, particularly those in Africa. A number of specialized agencies continued to make opportunities for education and training available to African refugees.
163. The UNDP has continued to give support to the work for refugees. In certain countries, which have refugees on their territory and where UNHCR is not represented, the UNDP resident representatives have acted as liaison with the governmental authorities and have, in some cases,, administered assistance projects for refugees.
B. Relations with other international organizations
164. Interest in refugee problems traditionally shown by a number of international organizations outside the United Nations system has again been demonstrated by the active support they have given to specific UNHCR activities during the period under review.
165. In Africa, contacts between UNHCR and the Organization for African Unity have once more been characterized by a spirit of close co-operation. In particular, a resolution pledging support for the work of reconstruction in the Sudan and urging member States to make contributions for this purpose, was adopted by the OAU Council of Ministers at its nineteenth session, held at Rabat in June 1972.
166. Among the European organizations, special mention should be made of the role played by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration in helping to resettle refugees through migration. This function was to prove vital in connexion with the Uganda Asians operation (see chapter III above).
167. The Council of Europe continued to give concrete expression of its interest in UNHCR activities in the form of a recommendation addressed by its Consultative Assembly to its Committee of Ministers, calling for increased efforts to help resettle Uganda Asians. Furthermore, at its session held in January 1973, the Consultative Assembly adopted a recommendation in which it appealed to Governments for their continued support in favour of UNHCR current activities and of the United Nations immediate relief programme for the southern Sudan. Other European institutions with which UNHCR has maintained regular contact include the European Communities and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
168. In the Americas, a useful dialogue has been pursued with the Organization of American States, which has continued to show active interest in the problems of refugees in the area and to offer support wherever possible.
C. Relations with non-governmental organizations
169. As heretofore, UNHCR benefited from the active co-operation of non-governmental organizations at both the international and national levels. They have greatly contributed not only to UNHCR current operations, but also to the speedy implementation of special programmes, such as the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan and the operation conducted for the benefit of Uganda Asians. They were particularly helpful in assisting these Asians to, assimilate within their new communities.
170. From a more general point of view, voluntary agencies have continued to act as implementing agencies for many UNHCR projects, including those for the rural settlement of refugees in Africa. They have also maintained a day-to-day link between the authorities, international organizations and individual refugees. In addition, the benefit of experience gained over the years by voluntary agencies in various aspects of refugee assistance work has now been extended to Africa, where several agencies participate in various projects designed to bring help to individual cases or groups of refugees in a number of urban centres.
171. The voluntary agencies have furthermore played a significant role in the field of public information by promoting awareness of refugee problems among layers of the population which cannot easily be reached by international organizations and by publicizing the need for financial contributions towards UNHCR material assistance activities, in particular assistance granted outside the annual programmes where the agencies themselves play an important part in providing supplementary assistance beyond the basic minimum provided from international sources.
172. The International Council of Voluntary Agencies has continued to maintain close contact with UNHCR for the benefit of refugees throughout the world, particularly in Africa, where the Council has established a fruitful relationship with the Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees of OAU.
CHAPTER V ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
173. In 1972, UNHCR was entrusted for the second year in succession with special tasks of considerable scope outside its regular annual material assistance programme. Firstly, in response to a request from the Secretary-General in May 1972, the High Commissioner accepted primary responsibility for coordinating an immediate United Nations relief programme in the southern Sudan, for which a target of $22,322,000 was established (see E/5216, annex I). Secondly, in the closing months of 1972 and at the beginning of 1973, several million dollars had to be raised at short notice for assistance to Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality.
174. These new assignments have presented UNHCR with the need to launch special appeals, while at the same time seeking to ensure the financing of the regular programme, which is the mainstay of UNHCR's day-to-day activities.
175. The response received from Governments and also from the private sector has been gratifying. By 31 March 1973, $17,216,750 had been contributed towards the United Nations immediate relief programme in the southern Sudan. By that same date, $2,819,235 had been pledged for assistance to the Uganda Asians. In spite of these heavy demands, it proved possible for the regular UNHCR assistance programme for 1972 to be fully financed. It is gratifying that the number of Governments contributing to the 1972 programme remained at the same level as in 1971. However, continuous vigilance is required to cover the financial needs of the current assistance programmes while remaining ready to seek the resources needed to meet new challenges.
B. Financing of the UNHCR Material Assistance Programme for 1972
176. As shown in table 6 of annex II below, a total of $5,934,033 had been contributed by 78 Governments as at 31 March 1973. In addition, conditional pledges totalling $62,290 were made by a further five Governments, bringing the total contributions paid or pledged to $5,996,323 from 83 Governments. This latter figure represents an increase of 14 per cent over the amount of governmental contributions to the 1971 Programme. Furthermore, as in 1971, some 92 per cent of the funds obligated for the programme were contributed from governmental sources, thus following the recommendations of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme to the effect that the regular programme should be financed to the fullest possible extent through governmental contributions.
177. An amount of $434,481 was received from non-governmental sources, mainly representing contributions from organizations in Australia, Canada, the Federal Republic of Germany, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden. These contributions, together with miscellaneous income, allowed the full financing of the UNHCR Material Assistance Programme for 1972.
C. Financing of the Emergency Fund
178. Expenditures required from the Emergency Fund in an amount of $969,204 in 1972 were met from the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund ($852,706,), from refunds ($15,383) and from earmarked donations ($101,115). Two thirds of the latter were provided by Governments and one third from private sources, as indicated in more detail in table 5 of annex II below.
D. Financing of programmes or projects outside the 1972 Programme
179. As in previous years, contributions were received in the form of special trust funds for complementary assistance projects outside the 1972 Programme. An amount of $521,619 was received for assistance under the UNHCR Education Account, and $697,423 was earmarked for various other projects. In addition, an amount of $2,819,199 was contributed for assistance to Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality, as shown in more detail in table 5 of annex II below.
E. Financing of the UNHCR Material Assistance Programme for 1973
180. As indicated in table 6, by 31 March 1973, 53 Governments had announced contributions totalling $6,272,598 towards the financing of the 1973 Programme, for which a target of $7,839,400 was approved by the Executive Committee at its twenty-third session.
181. It is gratifying to note that further substantial increases have been made in 1973 by several Governments and that the bulk of the governmental contributions to the Programme could be announced at an early date.
F. UNHCR long-playing records scheme
182. In March 1972, a new long-playing record entitled "Top Star Festival" was launched by UNHCR with the generous co-operation of contributing artists, 'their record companies and music publishers. A number of Governments agreed, as before, either to waive duties and taxes on the sale of the new record or to make a special contribution to UNHCR amounting to the equivalent of such taxes or duties. As part of the intensive publicity campaign accompanying the sale of the record, special presentations were made to a number of heads of State or Government and other important personalities.
183. A survey of sales up to 31 December 1972, revealed that over a million records and nearly 100,000 music cassettes had been sold, at a total net profit of $795,000, with prospects of matching or even exceeding the proceeds of the previous record, entitled "World Star Festival", which had brought in net profits in an amount of $835,700. As in the case of the first three records, the proceeds have been used to finance refugee assistance projects which cannot be entirely covered from funds available from other sources.
G. Revision of the Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
184. As indicated in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session,16 the Board of Auditors, in its report to the Assembly on the accounts for 1976 - of the voluntary funds administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,17 recommended a clarification of various aspects of the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund established under General Assembly resolution 1166 (XII) of 26 November 1957, and of the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund, formerly referred to as "Funds Set Aside". The Board of Auditors also recommended that the Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds administered by the High Commissioner be revised, inter alia, to be more specific with regard to the Emergency Funds and to cover the financing of the use of the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund.
185. In keeping with the recommendations on the subject adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-second session, the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session adopted resolution 2956 B (XXVII), under paragraphs 1 and 2 of which it decided that the Emergency Fund should be maintained at its ceiling of $500,000 by replenishments from the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund and by voluntary contributions made for that purpose, and authorized the High Commissioner to allocate from the Emergency Fund, under the general directives of the Executive Committee, up to $1 million annually for emergency situations, it being understood that the amount made available for one single emergency should not exceed $500,000 in any one year.
186. The above recommendations and decisions have been taken into account in the draft revised Financial Rules for Voluntary Funds administered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Executive Committee of the UNHCR Programme concurred with the proposed new text at its twenty-third session and the draft revised Financial Rules were subsequently submitted to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for its consideration.
H. Implementation of the Administrative Management Survey
187. The report of the Administrative Management Survey team, mentioned in the High Commissioner's report to the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh session,18 has been completed and its recommendations in respect of UNHCR are in the course of implementation, as indicated in more detail in the Secretary-General's report to the Fifth Committee (A/C.5/1446, paras. 17 to 19).
CHAPTER VI PUBLIC INFORMATION
188. As shown in earlier chapters of the present report, several new refugee. problems of considerable scope have faced UNHCR during the period under review, making heavy demands upon the generosity of both Governments and the public at large. This has presented a special challenge to the Public Information Service of UNHCR, which has found itself obliged frequently to readjust its focus to meet the new events.
189. The spotlight had to be turned first on the millions of Bengali refugees returning home from India, then on the return of tens of thousands of Sudanese who had once fled their towns and villages as a result of civil conflict in their country, later on the refugees of Burundi, who had sought asylum in Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire, and lastly on the Asians of undetermined nationality, who had been expelled from Uganda.
190. Public information activities on each of these occasions were of considerable importance in securing public support and in raising vitally needed contributions in cash and in kind. In general, priority was given to the use of television as the speediest and most effective means of mass communication, and efforts were made to produce a steady supply of film for immediate international distribution.
191. Special emphasis was given, in this context, to activities in the southern part of the Sudan, an area which had hitherto claimed very little attention on the part of the general public. Between June and the end of the year, four film missions were undertaken and produced colour films, which found ready acceptance in the form of three- to four-minute clips in documentary and news programmes with wide international exposure. A 15-minute round-up on the first three months of the operation was also distributed and assistance was given to individual television stations making programmes on this subject.
192. Extensive use of television as a mass medium was also made in connexion with UNHCR operations to find resettlement opportunities for the Asian refugees of undetermined nationality from Uganda, provisionally accommodated in European transit centres. In particular, UNHCR co-operated with Netherlands television in producing a film which portrayed the drama of split families. This was given international distribution in Europe and was shown in Canada on the occasion of the High Commissioner's visit for discussions with the Canadian authorities. This film also prompted a television network in the United States to produce its own programme on the Asians, which was broadcast at the time of a similar mission of the High Commissioner to Washington.
193. Besides the use of television, major efforts were made during the period under review to secure wide press coverage of activities, especially those relating to relief and reconstruction in the Sudan. For this purpose, press conferences were organized in six European capitals in July and August 1972, at which films prepared with UNHCR help were shown. This proved effective in interesting key writers in the topic. From time to time, selected newsmen visited the Sudan under the auspices of UNHCR and, as interest built up, a number of major papers sent their own correspondents to the area. Meanwhile, from Geneva, efforts continued to sustain press interest in activities in this area, in view of the need for further financial contributions to keep the relief operation going.
194. Key press correspondents in Geneva, London, New York and various European capitals were also kept informed of developments with regard to the problem of Asians of undetermined nationality, for whom UNHCR was trying to find resettlement opportunities. Informal ad hoc briefings for this purpose thus resulted in a number of widely read articles, many of which focused on the need to reunite families, calling attention to the fact that the real solution to the problem lay in the provision of permanent resettlement opportunities for those in transit centres.
195. The United Nations Information Centres again offered valuable assistance throughout the year, particularly in connexion with the initial phase of the publicity campaign on the operation in the southern part of the Sudan.
196. In the field of publications, this year has seen the replacement of the traditional, quarterly Bulletin, with a bimonthly tabloid, entitled UNHCR, which covers the activities of the Office in a lively, journalistic style. In addition to the regular issues of UNHCR, a supplement was published in December, featuring the highlights of the past year and presenting a summary of the programme for the year ahead. The change from the 'Bulletin to a tabloid grew out of a survey of the Office's public information policy and methods, which was carried out in 1971 by a team of outside consultants engaged by the High Commissioner for this purpose.
197. Two illustrated magazines were also published in the UNHCR Report series. The first, entitled The Water-road: Highway to regional development at Qala en Nahal, Sudan, described the development of a settlement for refugees from Ethiopia in the Sudan, emphasizing the life-giving role which the supply of water was to perform in this development. The second, entitled A Story of Anguish and Action, gave an account of the role of UNHCR in helping to bring assistance to the millions of refugees from East Bengal in India in 1971. The pictures in this publication were provided in many cases by United Nations agencies participating in the relief action (notably UNICEF, WFP and WHO), and reflected the co-operation which was manifest throughout this remarkable example of interagency co-ordination, no less in the field of public information than in the actual relief work. Both issues were distributed to Governments, information media, voluntary agencies and interested individuals. A Story of Anguish and Action has been much in demand and has also been put on sale in the United Nations Bookshops in New York and Geneva.
198. As supplement to the press releases issued on day-to-day events, an article service was introduced to provide information media with more extensive background information on topical subjects, in particular on the relief operation in the south Sudan. In addition, once the repatriation of East Bengalis from India had begun, an eight-page printed photo feature was put out, giving a broad account of the role of the United Nations in the relief operation, which was then drawing to a close.
199. Other facets of public information activities have included the continued circulation, in the United States and elsewhere, of sets of slides illustrating various aspects of the work of the Office for educational and fund-raising purposes. They have also included the redesigning of the photographic exhibition at Headquarters, as well as the mounting of a special exhibition, aimed at, promoting the record entitled "Top Star Festival" at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg.
200. To sum up, UNHCR public information activities have been characterized throughout the period under review by intensified efforts to adapt both working methods and material produced to the changing requirements of modern mass media, bearing in mind the vital importance of ensuring an effective impact on public opinion. This objective has implied, above all, a constant effort to innovate and to apply modern techniques.
(Note: Financial and statistical data tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 United Nations publication, Sales No.: 51.4.
2 During the period under review, Fiji and Mali succeeded to the Convention and acceded to the Protocol, while Brazil and Chile, already parties to the former instrument, also became parties to the Protocol. In addition, Mauritius, to those territory the Convention had been extended prior to independence, has made a general declaration to the effect that it considers itself bound by such treaties, unless terminated.
3 Liberia, Mauritius and the Sudan.
4 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8712), para. 21.
5 That is, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Federal Republic of, Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Monaco, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States of America, Zaire and Zambia.
6 See ibid., appendix, annex I.
7 Austria and Ireland; other parties to this Convention are Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For the text of the Convention, see document A/CONF.9/15. Six accessions are required to enable this Convention to come into force.
8 During the period under review, four additional States, that is, Argentina, Barbados, Fiji and Switzerland, acceded to the Convention. For the text of the Convention, see United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 360, No. 5158, p. 117.
9 Austria, Botswana, Burundi, Chile, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malta, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Zambia.
10 Council of Europe, European Treaty Series, Nos. 12 and 13.
11 Statistical data based on information received from the Government of the Sudan.
12 Not including Uganda Asian refugees resettled under a scheme financed from special trust funds (see chap. III Below) and refugees resettled under schemes promoted by UNHCR, but without its financial assistance.
13 This increase represents the net difference in figures, taking into account arrivals, departures, revised censuses of the refugee population, and births and deaths.
14 This figure is based on a revised estimate.
15 Not including the 3,600 Uganda Asians resettled and/or in transit in European countries as at 31 December 1972, as reported in chapter III.
16 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8712), para. 168.
17 Ibid., Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 7 E (A/8407/Add.5), para. 7.
18 Ibid., Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/8712), paras. 171 and 172.