Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Thirtieth Session
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.12 (A/10012)
1. During the period covered by the present report,1 the Office of the High Commissioner has had to face growing demands in its various fields of activities. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of refugees in need of aid under the UNHCR regular assistance programme in several regions of the world. On balance, the influx of new refugees has exceeded the number of those for whom permanent solutions have been found through voluntary repatriation or naturalization.
2. Serious problems have been encountered in ensuring the international protection of refugees, largely as a result of a lack of observance of the vital principles of asylum and non-refoulement, which has led to a number of human tragedies. New protection problems of a more general nature have also arisen because more countries are confronted with refugee problems for the first time. Close co-operation between UNHCR and the authorities concerned will be essential to safeguard the rights and interests of refugees in these countries, most of which have yet to become parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees.2
3. In the annual reports submitted to the General Assembly in recent years, the High Commissioner had occasion to explain the nature of the responsibilities entrusted to his Office by virtue of the "good offices" resolutions of the General Assembly. Under the terms of these resolutions, the High Commissioner has been called on to engage in special operations for the benefit of uprooted persons or to undertake certain tasks in favour of refugees in need of assistance with a view to being resettled in their country of origin.
4. Since the twenty-ninth session, the High Commissioner has undertaken, or participated in, several special operations of considerable scope and complexity, especially in Cyprus, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Indo-China.
5. The problems of uprooted persons which confront each of these countries stem from important historic developments. Their nature and the approach adopted in dealing with them differ from case to case. One positive development has been the implementation of the declaration of independence in Territories under Portuguese administration. As a result, thousands of former refugees and placed persons are now returning to their homes, thus reducing in due course the UNHCR caseload in Africa. In keeping with General Assembly resolution 3271 (XXIX) and with the recommendation adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session,3 they are being assisted in their repatriation and resettlement through the combined efforts of UNHCR and other United Nations agencies.
6. With regard to the problem of displaced persons in Cyprus, the generous participation in cash and in kind of Governments and other organizations has made it possible to provide essential humanitarian aid, and to continue it for the time being while efforts are being pursued to reach a solution to the problem.
7 There has also been a generous response on the part of Governments towards the resettlement programme which UNHCR has put into effect, with the concurrence of the Secretary-General, for specific groups of uprooted persons in Laos and Viet-Nam. Taking into account recent developments in the area, this programme will need to be continued. Meanwhile the dramatic population movements which took place in March 1975 called for a large-scale emergency relief programme, which has been launched jointly by UNICEF and UNHCR. The needs are so great that only a fraction of them can be met from the resources made available so far. The subsequent problem involved in the care and maintenance, voluntary repatriation and resettlement of persons who have left Indo-China will also call for considerable expenditure.
8. In order to be able to deal with these new emergencies, the Office has had to expand and redeploy its staff at very short notice, both at headquarters and in the field, where UNHCR representation needed to be considerably strengthened. Through a process of experimentation over the past few years, the Office has developed the ability to meet problems of displacement of population. Their rapid succession during the period under review, however, has caused serious administrative problems which the High Commissioner proposes to submit for consideration to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.
9. The results achieved through the special operations vary considerably. In some instances, such as the repatriation and resettlement of former refugees from colonial Territories or the airlift in the Asian subcontinent, which was reported to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session, the special operations have had the positive effect of restoring normal life for thousands of people and of providing a durable solution to their problems. In the case of the Emergency Relief Programme in Cyprus and Indo-China, the special operation is essentially a remedy intended to alleviate suffering pending the achievement of permanent solutions.
10. In all cases, and this also applies to the UNHCR regular annual programme, the High Commissioner, confronted as he is with an unending stream of human distress, has no alternative but to appeal more and more frequently to the generosity of Governments for both financial resources and immigration opportunities. A point has been reached, however, where the Office is faced with problems of such magnitude that far more resources than heretofore available will be required to meet the challenge.
11. The increasing global problems of poverty, malnutrition and ill-health, which affect the greatest part of the world's population, resulting as they do from geographical hazard, climatic conditions or over-population, are sometimes beyond human control. This is not the case as far as refugees and displaced persons are concerned. It should indeed be possible through more tolerance and social justice, if not to avert these problems, at least to keep them within manageable proportions. The close co-operation which has developed between an increasing number of Governments and the High Commissioner has made it possible to solve some of the existing refugee problems and sometimes even to prevent new ones from emerging. The High Commissioner is confident that this co-operation will be further intensified in the interest of the humanitarian cause which the United Nations has pledged to serve since its inception.
CHAPTER I INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION
12. In introducing the chapter on international protection, the primary function of his Office, the High Commissioner usually emphasizes the main results achieved and the main problems encountered by his Office in safeguarding the rights of refugees. Progress has been made in respect of accessions to international instruments and improvements in national legislation in favour of refugees. On the other hand, there have been major violations, often on a considerable scale, of the human rights of refugees, as referred to in more detail in the sections below on asylum and individual cases.
13. In addition to the violations of the principle of asylum and non-refoulement in several countries, there has been, during the period under review, a growing number of acts or threats of violence perpetrated against refugees within the mandate of UNHCR, including abductions with a view to forcible repatriation and even more serious forms of violence. These acts are in all cases a breach of the rule of law; when perpetrated against persons in a particularly vulnerable position, such as refugees, however, they constitute a flagrant violation of the minimum standards of a State's responsibility towards refugees.
14. It will be appreciated that there is no common denominator between the current progress in legislation, both national and international, which has a slow impact on the status of refugees, and the violations of refugee rights which cause human tragedies. In the light of the above, the High Commissioner urgently appeals to all States concerned to adopt a humane attitude towards refugees, whatever their circumstances and wherever they may be.
B. Asylum and related problems
15. The all-important principle of asylum must be considered from two points of view. Firstly, its practical application; secondly, its strengthening through the elaboration of legal instruments and national legislation. As far as the implementation of the principles of asylum and non-refoulement is concerned, the High Commissioner deeply regrets to have to state that there have been, throughout the period under review, serious breaches of this principle, not only in respect of individual cases as heretofore, but also in respect of refugee groups. While a number of States have generously continued to admit new refugees from neighbouring countries, there have also been instances when frontiers were closed in the face of a large influx of refugees.
16. As far as individual cases are concerned, the situation is no better. As will be seen below, nearly half the cases who were the subject of a recent survey were either refused asylum, or returned or expelled from their reception country to the country which they had left in search of refuge. In at least 25 identified cases, the refugees concerned were abducted from a country of refuge to their country of origin. The High Commissioner has taken all possible measures to ensure due respect for the principles of asylum and non-refoulement.
17. Many countries continue to co-operate with UNHCR in this respect. The Argentine authorities have agreed to notify the UNHCR representative in that country whenever measures of expulsion or refoulement are envisaged. In such cases, the UNHCR representative will be authorized to interview the persons concerned, who, if they qualify as refugees within the UNHCR mandate, will be permitted to remain at least temporarily in Argentina. In Peru, following intervention by UNHCR, refugees who had been detained following their illegal entry into the country have been released.
18. Furthermore, an agreement concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Yugoslavia provides that, in certain cases, extradition is not applicable to refugees.
19. The question of a draft Convention on Territorial Asylum was again considered by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session. By resolution 3272 (XXIX), the Assembly decided to consider, at its thirtieth session, the question of holding a conference of plenipotentiaries on territorial asylum. It further decided to establish a Group of Experts on the draft Convention on Territorial Asylum, composed of representatives of not more than 27 States, designated by the President of the General Assembly after consultation with the different regional groups, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution. The meeting of the Group of Experts, which took place from 28 April to 9 May 1975, reviewed the present text of the draft Convention on Territorial Asylum.4
20. With regard to other international measures, the question of diplomatic asylum was considered by the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session. In its resolution 3321 (XXIX), the Secretary-General was requested to prepare and to submit to the General Assembly at its thirtieth session a detailed report on this question.
C. Determination of refugee status
21. UNHCR has continued to co-operate with the Governments of Contracting Parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees5 and the 1967 Protocol thereto in drawing up and implementing procedures for determining which persons are entitled to be considered as refugees according to the relevant definitions. When they do not exist, the High Commissioner promotes their establishment and one of his principal aims is to help the enactment of the necessary legislative and administrative measures with a view to unifying as much as possible the criteria on which these various procedures are based.
22. A number of Governments have expressed the view that the present procedures and criteria for eligibility determination should follow a more uniform pattern. The High Commissioner is pursuing his efforts to this end in consultation with the Governments concerned.
23. A problem has arisen in respect of the eligibility of persons who, for personal reasons, were not in a position to apply for refugee status, but are facing problems similar to those of refugees. This question is being further studied in6 accordance with the suggestions formulated by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session. The General Assembly will be kept informed of developments in this respect.
24. Significant developments in respect of eligibility determination took place in certain countries. In Austria, which has recently acceded to the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, an instruction was issued whereby persons who had become refugees after the 1951 deadline, and who had not yet requested recognition as refugees or whose previous applications had been rejected because of the deadline, might now apply for refugee status. In France, the Appeals Commission of the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, which is dealing with problems of refugee status on behalf of the Government, established the principle of the right to refugee status on the basis of family unity. In so doing, it went beyond the minimum requirements of the 1951 Convention, in which the principle of family unity is formulated as a recommendation. Under the decision taken by the Appeals Commission, an appellant who has asked for renewal of his passport - thereby availing himself of the protection of his country of origin - and who was not of age at the time of the request for renewal, retains his right to claim refugee status on the basis that members of his family have been recognized as refugees.
D. Family reunion
25. The human suffering caused by the separation of members of refugee families .continues to call for the close attention of UNHCR and, following the emergence of new refugee problems, efforts to reunite refugees with their close family members need to be considerably intensified. As revealed by the survey started in 1974, (see section E below), there are at present many hundreds of individual cases pending. UNHCR, has been submitting to Governments details of a number of these cases with a view to assisting them in taking a decision to reunite the refugee families concerned. Governments have, on the whole, shown sympathetic understanding for the plight of such refugees, and have in many cases taken action in accordance with recommendation B of the Final Act of the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons, held at Geneva from 2 to 25 July 1951,7 which is very specific on this point.
26. The problem continues to attract the attention of various agencies and institutes. Thus, a Conference of Experts on Family Reunion, convened by the Institute of International Law in co-operation with the Italian Red Cross, at which UNHCR was represented by an observer, was held at Florence in June 1974. The resolution adopted by the Conference reaffirmed the importance of taking into account the desire expressed by family members with regard to their reunion, and to the country in which such reunion should take place. The impartial role played by humanitarian organizations in facilitating family reunion was also stressed.
E. Legal problems of individual cases
27. With the over-all increase in the number of refugees requiring UNHCR assistance and in the number of countries where these refugees are located, the problems of individual cases have assumed such proportions that they tend at time times to overshadow current protection Activities. It has become necessary, therefore, to identify more clearly the specific problems concerned and to determine the means required to obviate their tragic human consequences and to prevent their recurrence.
28. A survey of individual cases was accordingly started in 1974. It will be continued on a current basis and the General Assembly will be kept informed of its results and of the conclusions that might be drawn from it. At the present initial stage, the survey necessarily covers only a selection of particularly difficult cases, involving some 550 persons during the period from July 1974 to February 1975. On the basis of present findings, this figure is likely to show an upward trend.
29. The cases dealt with are spread over some 70 countries throughout the world. The majority are in Africa and Latin America. Of the total of 550, over 100 have been under detention for a prolonged period of time. Over one third are cases of persons threatened with expulsion and for whom resettlement opportunities must be found in other countries. The third group consists of persons who face a variety of serious problems, such as the impossibility of being reunited with their family, obtaining employment or more generally benefiting from. the economic and social rights provided for under the 1951 Convention or 1967 Protocol. By February 1975, a solution had been found for the problems of about one third of the caseload.
30. In addition, however, there are at present, in certain countries of temporary asylum in Latin America, several thousands of refugees for whom resettlement opportunities are required, which in turn are dependent on the refugee obtaining the necessary travel and identity documents. While this can be regarded as a general problem, the variety of cases is such that individual attention is needed for almost all of them. The same is true of hundreds of refugees who wish to be reunited with their family, which again depends on obtaining the necessary resettlement opportunities and travel and identity documents.
31. Last, but not least, there is at present a number of refugees who are under threat from certain groups in their country of residence and who are known to fear for their lives. It will be appreciated that their situation constitutes a heavy responsibility for this Office. The solution to their problem would be for one or more countries to admit them for permanent settlement. The High Commissioner trusts that every effort to this effect will continue to be made.
32. The reasons for the steady increase of individual cases are manifold. The number of refugees coming within the competence of UNHCR tends to grow as the rate of naturalization and of voluntary repatriation of refugees has not so far kept pace with the new influxes. Secondly, in view of increased travel facilities within continents, and also from one continent to another, there is a growing number of countries where individual refugee problems are bound to arise. It may happen, therefore, that a limited number of refugees find themselves in a country which has never been faced with refugee problems and does not have adequate machinery to deal with them. Thirdly, for many years the main influx of refugees took place into countries with a highly developed legal infrastructure, where the division between executive, legislative and judicial powers facilitates the implementation of legal instruments concerning refugees. This enables refugees to appeal against decisions that are not in keeping with the rights provided under international legal instruments and national legislation. The 1951 Convention and the Statute of UNHCR are largely based on the aforementioned legal infrastructure. There is today, on the other hand, a majority of refugees in countries with different legal systems, where their situation is determined to a large extent on the basis of internal administrative regulations which are chiefly geared to public order.
33. While the survey that was started only a year ago is insufficiently advanced to permit general conclusions, if the trend revealed so far is confirmed, it might prove necessary for the legal instruments at present in force to be supplemented by more detailed internal legal regulations which should be applied to all persons qualifying as refugees.
F. International legal instruments concerning refugees
34. As will be seen from annex I below, there have been few new accessions during the period under review to the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. The majority of States which have welcomed large numbers of refugees on their territories or are otherwise concerned with refugee problems have already acceded to these basic instruments.
35. There are a few countries, notably in Asia, which are directly or indirectly concerned with problems of refugees and whose accession to the Convention and Protocol would be particularly desirable. It is furthermore hoped that the appeal launched by the High Commissioner in June 1974, and supported by the World Peace Through Law Centre, for more States to accede to the Convention and Protocol will lead to a substantial increase in the number of parties to these instruments. Ratification by States which are involved in refugee problems is in itself not sufficient, since the problems of refugees, which are of universal character, tend to emerge rapidly and unexpectedly in countries where such problems rarely occurred before. Changed conditions in many countries give rise to new refugee problems. Their scope is often such as to require rapid action on the part of countries of reception. The fact of acceding to the Convention and Protocol increases awareness of the legal position of refugees and therefore contributes to promoting a state of preparedness which facilitates the handling of refugee problems in the countries concerned. For all these reasons, the High Commissioner believes that it will be in the interest both of the refugees themselves and of Governments for the largest possible number of States to accede to the Convention and Protocol.
36. Experience has shown that the implementation of the provisions of the Convention and Protocol is of the utmost importance for the day-to-day protection of refugees. As mentioned in previous reports, a questionnaire was addressed to Governments parties to the Convention and Protocol with a view to obtaining detailed information on the measures taken with a view to implementing these instruments at the national level. Of 63 States to which the questionnaire was sent, 39 have so far responded.8 The countries concerned are among those which have generously received large numbers of refugees on their territory. There remain, however, many countries which have not yet replied. The need is felt for more detailed data concerning the implementation of the Convention and Protocol, for, as indicated in the section dealing with individual cases, the inadequate application of some of the basic aspects of these instruments, often resulting from a lack of appreciation of the grave consequences this may entail, gives rise to human tragedies that should at all costs be avoided. The data required in this questionnaire not only provide a wealth of information on the practical aspects of the protection of refugees, but also help maintain a dialogue between UNHCR and the governmental officials directly concerned. In the final analysis, they constitute perhaps the most efficient way to achieve rapid and humane solutions in this difficult field.
37. The OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, adopted on 10 September 1969, came into effect in June 1974 following accession by the fourteenth State. Since that time, two more States, Morocco and the United Republic of Tanzania - the latter being one of the countries in Africa which has welcomed a very large number of refugees - have deposited their instruments of accession. Of the 16 States parties to the OAU instrument, 15 have also adhered to the 1951 Convention and 14 to the 1967 Protocol. The OAU Convention of 1969, which constitutes a valuable complement to the 1951 Convention, provides, inter alia, that the granting of asylum should not be regarded as an unfriendly act by any State and that no persons should be subjected by a member State to measures such as rejection at the frontier, return or expulsion, which would compel him to return to or remain in a territory where his life, physical integrity or liberty would be threatened.
38. It is to be hoped that many more countries in Africa will become parties to this important regional instrument, which in some respects goes beyond the provisions of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol.
39. The Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen,9 it will be recalled was signed on 23 November 1957 at an intergovernmental conference, convened upon the initiative of the Government of the Netherlands, by the eight participating Governments, including most seafaring nations of Europe. It is designed to regulate the status of refugee seamen who have no country in which they may lawfully stay, who cannot even land in the country under whose flag they are sailing and who are consequently unable to leave the ship on which they sail. Parties to the Agreement, which came into force on 27 December 1961, undertake to issue to refugee seamen the travel document provided for by the 1951 Convention, or a similar document, and to accept them on their territory. A Protocol to this Agreement, adopted 12 June 1973, extends the scope ratione personae of the Agreement by enabling refugee seamen who acquired refugee status as a result of events occurring after 1951 to benefit from the Agreement in the same way as they now benefit from the 1951 Convention.
40. During the period under review, Switzerland acceded to the Agreement, bringing to 19 the number of contracting States. Four more States - Canada, Morocco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - have adhered to the 1973 Protocol, which came into force on 31 March 1975 following the deposit of the eighth instrument of accession. As there are now also a number of seamen among refugees from non-European countries, it is hoped that more accessions will be received, particularly from those States outside Europe under whose flags many ships are sailing.
41. Developments concerning United Nations legal instruments relating to stateless persons and the reduction of statelessness will be found below in section G on the impact of nationality on the problems of refugees. Progress was also achieved in respect of several other legal instruments, the details of which may be found in annex I below.
42. UNHCR was represented by an observer at the second session of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts held at Geneva from 3 February to 18 April 1975.
43. Article 64 of draft Additional Protocol No. 1, on the protection of refugees and stateless persons, to the 1949 Geneva Conventions10 was not amended by the Conference. This article will be considered at the third session of the Diplomatic Conference in 1976. A new article 64 bis on the reunion of dispersed families was proposed by 27 delegations. It will also be discussed at the third session, at which UNHCR will again be represented.
G. The impact of nationality on the problems of refugees
44. Nationality has a double impact on the situation of refugees: on the one hand, the granting to refugees of the nationality of their country of residence, mainly through naturalization, is the decisive step in the integration of refugees who are not in a position to return to their country of origin. By acquiring the rights of a citizen, they cease to be refugees and get the full benefit of all civic rights and, after a period of time, which varies from one country to another, also of political rights. On the other hand, if a national is deprived of his nationality, he may as a result become a refugee, since he can no longer benefit from the protection of his own country. Nationality legislation at both the national and international level is thus of considerable importance from the point of view of UNHCR.
45. The Office has continued its endeavours to facilitate naturalization by promoting measures designed to simplify administrative procedures, to reduce fees and to obviate the need for a refugee to prove the release from previous nationality, which is often a major impediment.
46. Progress continues to be made in respect of naturalization. Thus, for example, recent developments have taken place in Botswana, which has introduced a naturalization project for Angolan refugees wishing to settle on its territory, and in Burundi, which has decided to waive naturalization fees in the case of destitute refugees. There is a majority of refugees, however, who are permanently settled from an economic and social point of view, but who have not yet acquired the nationality of their country of residence, partly because the conditions of naturalization are too stringent, partly also because in many cases refugees are unaware of the possibilities offered to them in this respect.
47. Refugees who are de jure stateless may benefit from the two conventions on statelessness adopted by the General Assembly: the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, 10/ and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. 11/ The 1954 Convention, which came into force on 6 June 1960, defines the basic rights of stateless persons in provisions similar to those contained in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; it is thus of considerable importance for stateless refugees who find themselves in a country which is not a party to the 1951 Convention. Following accession by Zambia and Lesotho, a total of 29 States were parties to this Convention at the end of March 1975.
48. The Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, signed on 30 August 1961, will enter into force in December 1975, that is, two years after the sixth State has acceded to it. This Convention provides for the acquisition by operation of law of the nationality of the contracting State by children born of stateless parents in its territory and will thus contribute towards eliminating the perpetuation of refugee status. It is interesting to note, in this connexion, that a law adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974, whereby children of mothers who are nationals of the Federal Republic of Germany automatically acquire that nationality, has been extended to include children born after 31 March 1953, and will thus have a favourable impact on refugee families. It is hoped that further States will accede to this Convention, particularly those where nationality is based on jus sanguinis and where implementation of the provisions of this Convention will effectively contribute to the legal integration of refugee children.
49. Pursuant to the terms of the 1961 Convention, the General Assembly, at its twenty-ninth session, adopted resolution 3274 (XXIX) on the question of the establishment of a body to which persons claiming the benefit of the Convention might apply. In this resolution, the General Assembly requested UNHCR provisionally to undertake the functions foreseen under the 1961 Convention and decided to review,, not later than at its thirty-first session, the opinion of the High Commissioner and the arrangement he should have made in this regard with a view to taking a decision on the establishment of the body envisaged under article 11.
H. Social and economic rights of refugees
50. Observance by Governments of the social and economic rights of refugees is an essential condition for their economic integration. Given the situation facing many reception countries at the present time, refugees are more likely to be affected by economic difficulties, as they are often among the first to lose their jobs. Access to employment is one of the essential conditions for the successful integration of refugees, and special efforts, particularly in these times, are called for to ensure that refugees do not suffer unduly from the tendency towards unemployment. In such circumstances, naturalization assumes particular relevance in view of the greater degree of security of employment enjoyed by nationals in most countries. Tribute is due to those Governments which, notwithstanding present economic difficulties, have taken special measures to protect the employment of refugees
51. With regard to the right of refugees to engage on their own account in various activities, such as agriculture, handicrafts or commerce, action was taken by two Governments, which should be mentioned. The Government of Morocco, in response to an intervention by UNHCR, has decided that the recent decrees restricting certain economic activities to nationals would not be applied to persons qualifying as refugees. In taking this decision, the Government of Morocco has extended to refugees, in respect of self-employment, treatment more favourable than that provided for in article 18 of the 1951 Convention. The Government of Zaire has decided that the recent restrictive measures taken with regard to foreign labour will not be applied to refugees. It is hoped that similar measures in favour of refugees will also be applied in those reception countries where this has not been the case so far.
I. Issue of travel documents
52. Further progress has been made regarding the issue of travel documents to refugees in accordance with article 28 of the 1951 Convention. UNHCR has continued to provide technical help to the Governments which have requested it and travel documents have been printed by UNHCR for the benefit of refugees in Senegal and Swaziland.
53. A refugee census has been completed in South Kivu, Zaire, and refugee identity cards have been distributed. In Burundi, identity cards have also been issued to refugees.
54. A serious problem has arisen, however, in respect of the issue of travel documents to several thousands of refugees in Latin America, as indicated in more detail in section E above.
J. Consular assistance to refugees
55. Refugees abroad holding Convention travel documents issued by the Federal Republic of Germany may benefit from a single grant in emergency cases, or a loan, to enable them to return to the Federal Republic. Such financial assistance may be requested from the mission of the Federal Republic of Germany in the country concerned, but it is subject to the approval of the Foreign Ministry in each case.
K. Transfer of assets of refugees
56. As in the case of any other aliens in a country, the transfer of assets from their country of origin to their country of residence has always constituted a problem for refugees. In its article 30 on the subject, the 1951 Convention provides, inter alia, that:
"A Contracting State shall give sympathetic consideration to the application of refugees for permission to transfer assets wherever they may be and which are necessary for their resettlement in another country to which they have been admitted."11
57. A number of Governments are implementing this provision in a satisfactory way. The problem of transfer of assets has recently arisen in respect of the Asians of undetermined nationality who were resettled from Uganda. The High Commissioner is pleased to note the Ugandan Government's agreement that UNHCR initially might channel to the Government all claims by Asians of undetermined nationality from Uganda who are of concern to this Office in respect of movable and immovable property left in Uganda.
58. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees continued to allocate payments from the Residual Indemnification Fund to refugees who had suffered persecution under the national socialist regime by reason of their nationality. This operation, based on agreement between the High Commissioner's Office and the Federal Republic of Germany, was completed at the end of 1974, when a final payment of $US 370 for each victim of persecution was made to some 1,250 persons, essentially hardship cases, thus exhausting the Residual Indemnification Fund.
59. As from 1 January 1975, a small reserve is available for UNHCR payments to persons who, at any time between 8 May 1945 and 31 December 1965, were refugees in the sense of the 1951 Convention and who were detained for over 90 days in a concentration camp by reason of their nationality. This reserve accrued from reimbursements by the authorities of the Federal Republic of Germany in respect of persons who first received payments under any one of the earlier UNHCR funds,12 but were subsequently found to quality for larger payments under indemnification legislation of the Federal Republic.
60. As at 31 March 1975, over 16,000 persons had benefited from the three UNHCR funds, as well as from the reserve, and payments awarded totalled some $US 16.5 million. As regards indemnification, under legislation of the Federal Republic of Germany, of refugees persecuted under the national socialist regime by reason of their nationality, DM 293,400,000 have been paid out to some 5,900 persons as at 31 March 1975.
CHAPTER II MATERIAL ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES IN THE, FRAMEWORK OF THE ANNUAL PROGRAMME
A. Introductory remarks
61. The assistance activities of UNHCR in 1974 were characterized by important new developments, especially in Africa and Latin America.
62. In Africa, the attainment of independence by Territories formerly under Portuguese administration has had major repercussions on the material assistance activities of UNHCR in that continent, affecting as it does over half of the 1 million refugees within the competence of UNHCR. An account of the measures already taken or to be taken by UNHCR for the repatriation and resettlement in their homelands of the refugees and displaced persons from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique is given in chapter III below.
63. In Latin America, UNHCR continued to face a greatly increased workload in giving relief to the refugees from Chile and in promoting their local settlement or resettlement in other countries.
64. The difficult economic conditions which prevailed throughout the world in 1974 and their possible effects on the situation of refugees in certain countries received the close attention of UNHCR with a view to avoiding undue hardship for refugees, who are often among the first to be affected by a shortage of employment opportunities.
65. Notwithstanding the heavy demands made on the resources of UNHCR in order to meet the requirements of the special humanitarian operations (see chap. III below) the UNHCR regular programme for 1974, for which a revised target of $11,808,000 was approved by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, was put into effect practically in its entirety. Some 322,659 refugees benefited under the programme in 1974, for whose assistance $11,285,280 was obligated by UNHCR. The major portion of these funds were again used to assist refugees in Africa, who constitute the large majority of the refugees of concern to UNHCR. An account of the assistance provided is given below. Financial and statistical data concerning the material assistance programme may be found in annex II below.
66. As in the past, every effort was made in 1974 to assist refugees in making a free choice between the main solutions open to them; that is voluntary repatriation, resettlement through migration, and local settlement. As will be seen from the following sections, voluntary repatriation was mainly resorted to by persons returning to their country of origin in Africa. Local settlement, which absorbed the major part of the programme funds, also applied essentially to refugees in Africa. On the other band, resettlement through migration provided a solution mainly for refugees in Europe and Latin America. Some 810 refugees benefited from assistance towards voluntary repatriation, 271,190 from assistance towards local settlement and 19,733 from assistance with a view to their resettlement in other countries. Details of the amounts committed for these various types of assistance are given in table 2 (see annex II below).
67. Further efforts were made in 1974 in respect of counselling and educational assistance. These forms of aid were of special importance in Africa, as described in more detail in the following section. Commitments for counselling projects totalled some $165,000 under the 1974 Programme. Educational assistance at the primary level was covered, as in previous years, through local settlement projects included in the annual Programme: grants for assistance at the post-primary level, totalling 968,000, were provided from the Refugee Education Account.
68. At its twenty-fifth session, the Executive Committee approved a financial target of $12,656,000 for the UNHCR Annual Assistance Programme for 1975. As shown in table 4, the major allocations were destined for Latin America, the United Republic of Tanzania and for the repatriation of the refugees from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.
B. Assistance to refugees in Africa
1. General developments
(a) Introductory remarks
69. There was little change in the over-all number of refugees in Africa, estimated at approximately 1 million at the end of 1974, which included some 650,000 refugees from Territories formerly under Portuguese administration. Countries giving asylum to major groups of refugees mainly included Zaire (nearly 500,000), the United Republic of Tanzania (over 193,000), Uganda (over 110,000), Senegal (over 86,000), the Sudan (nearly 54,000), Burundi (nearly 49,000) and Zambia (over 40,000).
70. Main developments in 1974 included the need for increased assistance to refugees from Burundi, many of whom were transferred to rural settlements in the course of the year. This was notably the case in the United Republic of Tanzania, where the populations accommodated in the Ulyankulu and Katumba settlements, opened in 1972 and 1973, respectively, grew substantially as a result of transfers and new arrivals.
71. Another major aspect of the year's activities has been the continued assistance to refugees from colonial Territories. The developments occurring in 1974 with regard to the liberation of Territories under Portuguese administration were to have important consequences in this respect. It is recalled that UNHCR assistance to refugees from these Territories, who have constituted the largest proportion of the over-all refugee population in Africa, had hitherto consisted in facilitating their local settlement within the countries of asylum, in co-operation with the Governments of those countries. In view of the likelihood of a widespread desire on the part of these refugees to repatriate, this assistance was limited in 1974 to short-term measures designed to meet immediate needs especially with regard to health and education, while plans were made for the formulation of repatriation and resettlement programmes.
72. A further development, which is likely to have an impact on UNHCR assistance activities in 1975, has been the recent influx of Ethiopian refugees into the Sudan. Emergency relief has been provided through an allocation from the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund to meet immediate needs until more suitable plans offering longer-term solutions can be formulated.
73. As indicated in table 2, financial commitments for assistance in Africa represented the largest share of funds obligated under the 1974 Programme, a trend similar to that of previous years. Commitments from special trust funds included an allocation of $90,000 from funds made available to UNHCR by the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa. This allocation made it possible to provide assistance mainly in the form of living allowances, medical care, establishment assistance and educational assistance to over 600 South African refugees. The greater part of these funds were administered by voluntary agencies under agreements with UNHCR.
(b) Voluntary repatriation
74. The number of refugees in Africa in need of assistance from UNHCR in their voluntary repatriation assumed more modest proportions in 1974, after the large-scale repatriation in 1972 and 1973 of Sudanese refugees under the United Nations immediate relief programme in southern Sudan. It will be recalled that this programme, which was co-ordinated by UNHCR, had facilitated the return to the Sudan of some 140,000 refugees and of some 500,000 Sudanese persons displaced within the Sudan. Some 749 refugees in Africa, including refugees returning to Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, were assisted in their voluntary repatriation in 1974, mainly through the provision of transport facilities. Commitments for this purpose under the programme totalled $14,717.
75. The problems mentioned in last year's report13 concerning the restricted emigration opportunities available to refugees in Africa tended to persist in 1974. Notwithstanding increased efforts by UNHCR, in co-operation with the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees, only a relatively small number of African refugees were resettled through migration within Africa.
(d) Local settlement
76. Commitments for local settlement, as indicated in table 2, totalled over $4,940,000 in 1974, covering a wide variety of projects mostly in respect of land settlement, counselling and primary education. Grants from the Refugee Education Account for post-primary educational assistance are included under special trust funds, of which a detailed breakdown is provided in table 3.
77. As indicated in table 1, beneficiaries of local settlement assistance in Africa under the annual programme totalled some 263,000 in 1974, an increase of some 30 per cent compared with the preceding year, due mainly to the need for increased assistance to refugees from Burundi.
78. As in previous years, invaluable support was provided in respect of integration assistance by Governments and voluntary agencies, which frequently acted as implementing agents for projects financed by UNHCR. An estimate of these supporting contributions is provided in table 2.
(i) Rural settlement
79. The establishment of refugees in rural settlements continues to provide the most satisfactory solution for a large part of the refugee population in Africa. In 1974, it was of special importance as a major form of assistance to refugees from Burundi, residing in the United Republic of Tanzania. Specific forms of help covered by this assistance have included the distribution of individual plots for cultivation, the provision of tools, seeds and fertilizers, expert agricultural guidance throughout the initial stage of settlement, help in constructing roads, schools, storage facilities, medical centres and other essential buildings, and in laying on an adequate water supply. Diversified co-operative activities were again encouraged, and a number of adult literacy campaigns and self-help projects were organized.
80. Notwithstanding delays in some construction projects, progress in rural settlements was generally satisfactory. Several settlements became entirely self-sufficient in the course of 1974, making it possible for the Governments concerned to assume full financial and administrative responsibility for their operation.
81. The importance of counselling as a means of providing effective guidance to refugees has been mentioned in previous reports. This is particularly so in Africa, where the number of refugees living individually in urban areas and the difficult problems confronting them have tended to increase. Many are unsuited to settlement on the land, but lack alternative solutions through limited employment or educational prospects or restricted opportunities of resettlement in a third country. These difficulties, combined with the rising cost of living, have caused hardship for these refugees, many of whom are dependent upon supplementary aid to meet their immediate needs.
82. Efforts have continued to improve the counselling services available to refugees. The studies made by the UNHCR social consultant in Africa, following visits to various African capital cities, have led to a strengthening of qualified staff and in proposed adjustments designed to increase the efficiency of existing counselling services in Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, the United Republic of Tanzania and various countries in West Africa. New services were established in Burundi and the Sudan in 1974, administered initially by UNHCR Branch Offices, until wider participation, notably by voluntary agencies, could be secured. Plans are also under way for the establishment of appropriate counselling services in Botswana and Ghana.
(iii) Education and training
83. With the technical advice of UNESCO, assistance in the field of education and training has again been aimed at ensuring that refugees benefit from primary and post-primary educational facilities to an extent commensurate with those available to the nationals of their countries of asylum. Assistance in the field of primary education, financed under the annual Programme, has mainly involved help in constructing and maintaining primary schools in the rural settlements and in meeting initial running costs until this responsibility could be assumed by the Government concerned. Projects of this kind were implemented in several settlements to meet the needs of new arrivals in 1974. Refugee children living outside the settlements, particularly those in urban areas, received assistance where necessary to enable them to attend local schools.
84. Post-primary educational assistance in Africa was financed through grants totalling some $825,000 from the UNHCR Education Account, largely administered by voluntary agencies. This amount, which represented an increase of approximately 15 per cent compared with the previous year, mainly covered grants enabling individual refugees in various countries to follow secondary school and vocational training courses. A somewhat higher number of university scholarships were awarded than in 1973 in fields of study likely to lead to employment opportunities. Assistance from the Education Account also included grants for the construction and equipment of national educational institutions on the understanding that refugees were admitted as students. This was the case, for example, of a school in Bujumbura attended by Rwandese students and of the Piastre Technical Institute in the Sudan, which offers specialized training to a number of Ethiopian refugees.
85. Educational assistance at all levels represented an important component of UNHCR's assistance to refugees from colonial Territories. Close contact was maintained for this purpose with OAU and with the national liberation movements. Individual scholarships at the post-primary level were again provided on the basis of the agreement concluded by UNHCR in 1970 with the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa, with which co-operation has been further strengthened.
(e) Immediate relief
86. Immediate relief to meet the urgent needs of refugees in Ethiopia and Mozambique, as well as a number of Namibians in Zambia, was provided in 1974 from allocations totalling nearly $280,000 from the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund. Valuable support was also provided by World Food Programme (WFP) in the form of food rations which were distributed to new refugees.
2. Main developments in various countries
87. With the voluntary repatriation to Rwanda of several hundred refugees, the over-all number of refugees in Burundi fell in the course of 1974 from 49,000 to 48,500, all of Rwandese origin. Of this number, some 45,000 have been living in Burundi since 1964 and are largely self-supporting.
88. In 1974, UNHCR provided further help in facilitating the local settlement of part of the group of refugees who had arrived from Rwanda in the latter part of 1973. Many were transferred to the existing rural settlements located at Mugera, Muramba and Bukemba, and were helped to become self-supporting.
89. Other needy refugees, especially the aged and handicapped, benefited from aid in various forms under a multipurpose project financed by UNHCR. This project covered subsistence allowances for those in immediate need, various forms of local settlement assistance, as well as help towards family reunion or repatriation, as appropriate. The newly-created Refugee Counselling Service, which began operating in 1974, played an important role in this respect.
90. Educational assistance provided by UNHCR in 1974 to refugees in Burundi included help in meeting the salaries of primary school teachers at the Muramba settlement. At the post-primary level, assistance was provided, under an agreement with the World University Service, to 600 secondary school students and 20 university students in Bujumbura. Help was also provided in meeting the running costs of a secondary school in Bujumbura, attended by refugee children.
91. Total commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance to refugees in Burundi totalled nearly $79,000, including some $55,000 for multipurpose assistance and $22,000 for the local settlement and counselling projects. Grants from the Education Account for post-primary educational assistance totalled $46,225.
92. The number of refugees in Ethiopia, estimated at just over 5,000 at end of 1973, rose to approximately 6,000 in the course of 1974, mainly owing to a new influx into Ganduar of some 1,000 refugees from the northern areas of the Sudan, bringing the total number of these refugees to nearly 5,600. The remainder included refugees of various origins living for the most part in and around Addis Ababa.
93. Relief assistance in the form of food and medical supplies were provided by UNHCR to the Sudanese refugees, while plans were being made by the Ethiopian authorities for more durable solutions. After careful consideration of various possible alternatives, it was decided to establish a rural settlement further inland within the Begemdir and Siemen Province. While final preparations were under way, UNHCR continued to help meet various immediate costs, including those of relief supplies covering the urgent needs of the refugees.
94. The problem of individual refugees in Addis Ababa continued to give rise to concern in 1974. It is recalled that refugees in Ethiopia are allowed to take up employment on the sane conditions as nationals. However, lack of employment opportunities or of adequate skills on the part of the refugees, combined with certain administrative delays, has aggravated their situation. These delays also affected the functioning of the Government Refugee Bureau, which was initiated in 1973 and which was to be responsible for co-ordinating refugee matters at the administrative level. The Refugee Counselling Service, established in 1971 in conjunction with the World Council of Churches and the International University Exchange Fund, has continued its efforts to assist refugees in finding permanent solutions through suitable education and training, or through establishment in crafts and trades, rather than through the continuation of supplementary assistance. Educational assistance at the post-primary level was provided to 89 refugees in 1974.
95. Total commitments under the 1974 programme amounted to some $51,000, including over $28,500 for local settlement assistance and $19,000 for supplementary aid projects. In addition, a sum of $175,000 was made available from the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund for relief assistance to the Sudanese refugees in Ganduar. The commitments from special trust funds included over $80,000 in grants from the Education Account.
96. The refugee population in Kenya, estimated at 2,140 at the end of 1974 as compared with 2,400 at the beginning of the year, was composed of small groups of individual refugees from various countries living mainly in urban areas. Movements in the course of the year included the return home of some 500 Sudanese refugees, and the arrival of new refugees from Burundi and Rwanda.
97. As in previous years, UNHCR assistance was administered by the Joint Refugee Services of Kenya (JUESK), which has sought to offer guidance and assistance notably in respect of resettlement and repatriation. For those wishing to integrate locally, JURSK offered assistance in finding suitable employment, access to education, facilities to learn the English language, and various measures to help the refugees to become self-supporting, in some cases through establishment in small businesses.
98. Total commitments for assistance in Kenya under the 1974 programme amounted to some $75,000, of which $26,000 was for resettlement assistance and $32,000 for local settlement. In addition, over $76,000 was made available in grants from the Education' Account enabling 101 refugees to continue their post-primary education, in accordance with the detailed survey of needs undertaken by UNHCR in 1973.
99. The number of refugees in Rwanda on 31 December 1974 had decreased to approximately 6,000, mostly from Burundi, following the voluntary departure, mainly to the United Republic of Tanzania and Zaire, of some 2,000 Burundi refugees. Almost half live in the Mutara rural settlement, some 1,500 in the area of Bugesera Est, 1,000 in or around Kigali (including 250 refugee students), and the remainder scattered over the country.
100. UNHCR assistance in 1974 was mainly directed to the development of the Mutara settlement, a project implemented by AIDR (Association Internationale de développement rural outre-mer) with supporting contributions from the Government and from a number of voluntary agencies. By the end of the year, 2,500 refugees had been settled at Mutara on individual plots of land and provided with tools and seeds. A provisional dispensary was used during the year while a permanent medical centre with a dispensary and maternity unit was being constructed. Two primary schools were built, providing education to 280 refugee children as from September 1974. The second of these schools was to be completed early in 1975. A bridge, roads and a market place were also built. Food rations were suspended at the end of 1974, when the main outstanding problem was that of the settlement's water supply. Measures to improve the situation were then being studied.
101. Of total commitments in 1974 for assistance in Rwanda, amounting to over $575,000, some $537,000 was used for local settlement assistance, mostly in connexion with the consolidation of the Mutara settlement. In addition, approximately $23,000 was used to provide various forms of assistance to 671 individual refugees in need of help with regard to family reunion, resettlement abroad, or installation or subsistence expenses, including medical care. Some $13,000 was obligated to cover the temporary recruitment of a project officer to ensure effective implementation of the Mutara settlement project. Grants from the Education Account totalled nearly $97,000 for the academic years 1973/1974 and 1974/1975, benefiting 72 university-level and 318 secondary-level refugee students.
102. The refugee population in Senegal, who originate mainly from Guinea-Bissau, increased through a new influx, in early 1974, from some 84,000 to 86,500, of whom the majority live in villages in the Casamance region.
103. The assistance activities of UNHCR in Senegal, aimed hitherto at facilitating the local settlement of the refugees, were revised in the course of the year in view of the prospects of a large-scale repatriation movement following the independence of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau in September 1974. In view of the new situation, UNHCR's projects already in operation for infrastructural improvements, especially in the Casamance region, were restricted to maintaining existing facilities, including the mobile health services, to completing minor construction work and to assisting in the field of primary education, notably through helping to meet teachers' salaries. The arrangements made meanwhile for a programme of repatriation of refugees to Guinea-Bissau are described in chapter III below.
104. In urban areas, widespread unemployment and rising prices have added further to the problems already facing individual refugees, who turned in increasing numbers to the social services in Dakar and Ziguinchor for help. Supplementary aid was provided to many of these refugees and in some cases assistance was given to facilitate their transfer to rural zones. As in previous years, the National Committee for Aid to Refugees has co-operated closely in implementing these and other projects financed by IDTHCR. Voluntary agencies also provided generous financial support.
105. Total commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance to refugees in Senegal amounted to nearly $77,000, of which some $75,000 was for local settlement projects, benefiting some 15,200 refugees. Grants for post-primary educational assistance amounted to nearly $39,000, benefiting 42 refugee students. These scholarships were awarded under an agreement with the World University Service. The Teranga School, built in 1973 with funds channelled through UNHCR and equipped by UNICEF, opened in Ziguinchor in January 1974.
106. The total number of refugees in the Sudan was estimated at the end of 1974 at 53,500, of whom 49,000 were from Ethiopia and the remainder from Zaire. The increase in the total number as compared with that of the previous year 451,000) was due mainly to the arrival of some 3,000 new refugees from Ethiopia.
107. In co-operation with the Government of the Sudan, UNHCR assistance was again mainly directed towards land settlement. At the Qala-en-Nahel settlement, where 24,000 Ethiopian refugees are living, further progress was made towards consolidation despite delays notably in the construction of primary schools, owing mainly to shortage of materials and qualified contractors. Settlement roads have been improved and additional vehicles and agricultural machinery purchased. The provision of additional medical supplies has helped improve the health situation. The harvest of durra was affected by excessive rainfall and flooding, which also reduced livestock. Crops were, however, sufficient to cover the needs of the refugees, but the purchase of new livestock had to be delayed. Towards the end of 1974, preparations were made for a survey to determine the needs of the settlement in respect of post-primary education.
108. The test drillings carried out following the geo-hydrological survey undertaken in preparation of a new settlement at Esh-Showak, planned to accommodate some 22,000 non-settled Ethiopian refugees now living in the Tokar/Port Sudan area or in areas south of the proposed site, have given encouraging results. The agronomic survey designed to determine the suitability of the region for animal husbandry and agriculture has also given promising results, and the prospects for the establishment of this new settlement look hopeful.
109. Refugees from Zaire at the Rajaf settlement attained self-sufficiency in the course of 1974. The sale of charcoal and fishing constituted their major source of cash income.
110. To meet the needs created by the growing number of individual refugees in Khartoum, a Refugee Counselling Service was established towards the end of 1974 with funds provided by UNHCR. The purpose of the service is to offer advice and assistance to these refugees in overcoming their initial difficulties, and in finding durable means of becoming self-supporting.
111. Total commitments under the programme for assistance to refugees in the Sudan amounted to nearly $64,000. Commitments for local settlement included in this total amounted to some $30,000. Commitments for supplementary aid projects totalled nearly $30,000. Grants from the Education Account for post-primary courses amounted to $34,000, including a number of scholarships enabling refugees from Qala-en-Nahel to follow vocational training courses at the Piastre Technical Institute. Nine refugees graduated from this Institute in 1974 and found suitable employment.
112. Following the departure of some 6,000 Sudanese refugees, who returned home in the course of the year, the total number of refugees in Uganda was estimated at the end of 1974 at 112,500, comprising some 78,000 Rwandese, 34,400 Zairians and a small number of refugees of various other origins including some from southern Africa.
113. Of the total refugee population in Uganda, over 40,000 were living in eight rural settlements. In close co-operation with the Government of Uganda, UNHCR assistance to these settlements was again largely aimed at promoting various improvements carried out by the refugees themselves. Projects provided for the construction of administrative buildings and roads, the improvement of health services and the drilling of boreholes. However, a number of delays, owing to shortage of materials and of suitable contractors for work in isolated locations, affected several projects. On the other hand, further progress was achieved towards completing the water supply scheme begun in 1973 at the Nakivale settlement. Co-operative activities were also extended and included the establishment of new agricultural co-operatives to facilitate the sale of produce.
114. Individual refugees in urban areas faced increasing difficulties owing to the rising cost of living. UNHCR co-operated closely with the Government in measures to assist these refugees. Those wishing to move to the settlements were assisted with transportation and provided with agricultural tools, household utensils and food until they had become self-supporting.
115. The increasing number of refugees terminating their primary school education has led to a steady increase in the demand for scholarships giving access to post-primary education. Requests for sponsorship to attend vocational and commercial training courses have also increased, owing to the greater demand for qualified personnel. Grants from the Education Account totalled over $55,000 in 1974, benefiting over 200 refugees.
116. Programme commitments for assistance to refugees in Uganda totalled over $736,000 in the course of the year, of which nearly $725,000 was for local settlement assistance. This included approximately $415,000 for infrastructural improvements at six of the organized settlements, and an allocation of some $300,000 from the Programme Reserve for additional costs in respect of the water supply for the Nakivale settlement.
(h) United Republic of Tanzania
117. The number of refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania was estimated at over 193,000 at the end of 1974, an increase of some 25,000 compared with their number at the end of 1973, owing partly to a new influx and partly to revised estimates made by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The total number included nearly 91,000 Burundi refugees, some 70,600 Mozambicans and 27,400 Rwandese refugees. The remainder included refugees from Zaire, Uganda, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Namibia and Angola.
118. The Ulyankulu and Katumba settlements, opened for Burundi refugees in 1972 and 1973, grew in population in 1974, respectively from 32,400 and 7,500 to some 45,000 each, requiring substantially increased assistance from UNHCR during the year. These increases were due to the reorganization of villages in the Kigoma region, where most of the Burundi refugees were living, into co-operative units known as "Ujamaa", by decision of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. This policy applied only to nationals, and the refugees living in the area were therefore transferred to the aforementioned rural settlements.
119. Assistance to refugees at the Ulyankulu settlement in 1974 thus included the distribution of seeds, cassava cuttings and fertilizers, as well as the provision of expert agricultural advice and help. Two primary schools, a health centre and staff houses were built. Several self-help schemes, such as the digging of wells, road repairs and construction of a dam to retain rain water, were undertaken. The co-operative system was further expanded to include activities such as charcoal-making, maize-milling, bicycle repairs, shoe-making and tailoring. Enrolment at the eight schools already functioning in the settlement totalled 1,708 Pupils, of the 41 teachers, 37 were refugees. A literacy campaign attracted over 2,000 adults.
120. At the Katumba settlement, which received most of the refugees transferred from the Kigoma region, WPP food supplies, seeds and fertilizers were distributed. Temporary shelter, food, medicines and transport to the settlement were also provided to a group of refugees who entered the country from Zaire and Rwanda at the end of 1973. The first permanent school building was completed during the year, and nine temporary schools were erected by the refugees themselves. By the end of 1974, enrolment had reached 1,145; of the 20 teachers, 11 were refugees. The construction of a permanent health centre and dispensary is scheduled to be completed by the end of 1975. Rations supplied by WFP were distributed at both settlements throughout 1974. It was anticipated that most of the refugees would be self-supporting in the near future.
121. UNHCR's assistance to the rural settlement at Kigwa, established in 1973 for Ugandan refugees, included help in providing a pumped water supply and in building roads and temporary storage facilities. Food rations supplied by WFP were distributed, while crops of maize, cassava, simsim, potatoes and groundnuts were grown,
122. UNHCR provided further assistance in 1974 to several of the settlements for Mozambican refugees, pending a decision by these refugees regarding their possible return home. Financial and administrative responsibility for the settlements at Lundo and Muhukuru was assumed by the Government in mid-1974, while those at Matekwe and Mputa made further progress towards self-reliance and integration in regional economic plans. Arrangements were made for the transfer in 1975 to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania of responsibility for the Matekwe settlement. In the Mputa settlement, some 1,000 pupils had enrolled in the three existing schools and nearly 3,500 persons were attending adult literacy classes. Cashew nut trees, planted during the year, were expected to yield an important cash crop in due course.
123. General problems relating to the development of refugee settlements in the context of the over-all planning policy of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania were discussed at a seminar held at Dar es Salaam in August 1974. The seminar was attended by government officials and by representatives of the Lutheran World Federation/Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (LWF/TCRS) and of LZIHCR, since the rural settlement projects in that country are implemented under tripartite arrangements, with LWF/TCRS as the main implementing agent. The purpose of the seminar was to seek means of reaching a better understanding of refugee needs, and of providing appropriate solutions to their problems.
124. The number of individual refugees in urban areas increased considerably during the first half of 1974. In co-operation with the government authorities and the Christian Council of Tanzania, assistance of various kinds was made available, resulting in a decrease in the caseload during the second half of the year.
125. Total commitments for assistance under the 1974 programme amounted to over $2,895,000, of which $2,855,000 was for local settlement assistance. This sum mainly included allocations in respect of the Ulyankulu (6880,000) and Katumba ($1,293,000) settlements. In addition, an amount of $34 ,000 was made available for supplementary aid to individual refugees. Post-primary educational assistance was provided to 113 refugee students through grants totalling $73,000 from the Education Account. Beneficiaries were more numerous than in 1973, and included 79 secondary school students, 30 students following courses in vocational training and eight at university level. Additional financial assistance was provided by voluntary agencies. A number of refugees from southern Africa also benefited from assistance in various forms from grants made available through special trust funds.
126. As at 31 December 1974 the number of refugees living in Zaire was estimated at some 500,000, compared with 460,000 at the end of the previous year. The increase was due to an upward revision of the number of Angolans, the largest group of refugees in Zaire, estimated at 450,000. The total included some 24,000 refugees from Burundi, a substantial decrease as compared with the previous year owing to the departure of several thousands of these refugees to neighbouring countries, in particular the United Republic of Tanzania, revealed by a census taken by the local authorities in the Kivu region in the spring of 1974. In addition, there were approximately 24,300 Rwandese refugees, 750 Zambians, and a number of Namibians and South Africans.
127. As in other countries giving asylum to refugees from Portuguese Territories, the developments which occurred in 1974 gave rise to a revision of the assistance provided by UNHCR to these refugees, in view of the likelihood of their large-scale voluntary repatriation. The assistance provided hitherto by UNHCR to Angolan refugees in Zaire, most of whom were living in the province of Bas-Zaire and near the Angolan border, had been aimed at promoting their local settlement and integration. However, with the prospect of their return to Angola, and in consultation with the Government and the Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola (FNLA), this assistance was modified to respond rather to immediate needs, particularly in the fields of education and health. Provisional shelters were constructed, medicaments and medical equipment as well as ambulances were provided and immediate agricultural Deeds were met, including the purchase of vehicles, fuel, tools, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. As regards education, UNHCR helped finance teachers' salaries, purchase school materials, repair schools and, more generally, provide the refugees with training which would facilitate their re-integration within their home country. Plans were made meanwhile for a full-scale repatriation programme (see chap. III below).
128. Pending a decision by the Government of Zaire concerning the choice of a permanent settlement site for refugees from Burundi living in Kivu, UNHCR's assistance to this group was concentrated in 1974 on providing for their immediate educational and health needs.
129. The Rwandese refugees living in the province of Kivu and the Zambian refugees in the province of Shaba have become fully self-supporting, and required no further assistance from LTIIHCR in 1974, with the exception of some marginal help.
130. Assistance, mainly in the form of supplementary aid, to individual refugees living in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Kisangani and Bukavu, was again provided by UNHCR. To help refugees such as these in finding durable solutions to their problems, further measures were taken by UNHCR in 1974 to establish a refugee counselling service in Zaire.
131. Of total commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance in Zaire, amounting to nearly $340,000, some $315,000 was used for local settlement assistance, mostly for Angolan refugees. Commitments for supplementary aid to 443 individual refugees totalled over 6922,000. Grants for post-primary educational assistance from the Education Account totalled nearly $106,000, benefiting mainly Rwandese, Angolan and Burundi refugees; these were administered by voluntary agencies in Zaire.
132. Owing to a further influx of refugees from colonial Territories, the number of refugees in Zambia increased in 1974 to over 40,000, as compared with some 37,000 at the beginning of the year. The total number included some 25,000 Angolans, 10,000 Mozambicans, 3,300 Namibians, 600 South Africans, and the remainder of various origins. UNHCR's assistance again centred on the rural settlements, where over 13,000 of the refugees were living. However, these activities were carefully reviewed towards the end of the year, in the light of the political developments affecting Mozambique and Angola and the ensuing prospects of a large-scale voluntary repatriation movement.
133. The settlement at Meheba grew in population to over 8,500 in the course of the year through the transfer of refugees, mostly Angolans, from border areas. Full self-sufficiency was achieved by all those living at the settlement for more than one full agricultural season; others were issued with half-rations of food from WFP supplies. In co-operation with the Government of Zambia and with the Lutheran World Federation/Zambian Christian Refugee Service, which acts as implementing agent, further improvements were made to the settlement's economic and social infrastructure. New vehicles were purchased, the construction of another dispensary was begun, drugs and medicines were supplied, more houses were built under the improved housing scheme; new co-operative schemes for poultry farming and fishery were introduced, and vegetable growing was extended. The water supply was improved with the addition of hand pumps. A second school was opened in January 1974; total enrolment was approximately 1,000. Courses in cooking, nutrition and hygiene were also organized. With the prospect of the repatriation of most of the population of the settlement, efforts were made towards the end of 1974 to revise the various community development activities in order to prepare the refugees for their return and facilitate their reintegration.
134. As mentioned in the last report, administrative and financial responsibility for the settlements at Mayukwayukwa and Nyimba accommodating refugees from Angola and Mozambique, respectively, has been assumed by the Government of Zambia. Plans for the settlement elsewhere of excess population at the Nyimba settlement were reviewed in the light of the political developments mentioned above.
135. The situation of refugees living individually in urban areas continued to give rise to concern. Their lack of adequate qualifications combined with restrictions on access to employment and commercial activities have aggravated their problems. UNHCR has sought to help these refugees by providing scholarships for post-primary education, including technical and vocational training and by granting financial assistance for establishment in small businesses. Pending, longer-term solutions such as these, supplementary aid to cover immediate needs, including rents and medical care, as well as help in securing temporary accommodation, was provided to those in greatest difficulty. Refugees from South Africa benefited from assistance of a similar kind through funds provided to UNHCR through the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa. A number were also helped to resettle abroad. Despite certain difficulties, UNHCR continued its efforts with a view to the establishment of a counselling service for individual refugees.
136. Commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance to refugees in Zambia amounted to some $355,000, of which over $307,000 was used for 'Local settlement assistance, and some $44,000 for supplementary aid of the type described in the preceding paragraph. An amount of nearly $4,000 was made available from the High Commissioner's Emergency Fund for immediate assistance, mainly food supplies, to a group of 290 Namibian refugees who entered Zambia in mid-1974. Grants from the Education Account for post-primary courses benefiting 167 refugees totalled $170,212 including a sum of $150,000 provided to UNHCR by one Government to enable 88 southern African refugees to attend courses at the Nkumbi International College.
(k) Other countries in Africa
137. The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in various other African countries was estimated at 27,000 at the end of 1974.
138. In Botswana, the number of refugees fell to some 2,500 in 1974, mainly owing to the naturalization in the course of the year. Further marginal help was provided by UNHCR to consolidate the Etsha rural settlement, where 2,210 Angolan refugees were living at the end of the year, pending a decision regarding their voluntary repatriation. In the course of the year, UNHCR also helped to finance measures to facilitate the integration of individual refugees, and to provide supplementary aid to those in immediate need. The establishment in 1974 of the Botswana Council for Refugees represented an important development in this respect. It was expected that the effectiveness of the Council would be further enhanced with the establishment of a qualified counselling service, for which plans were under way. In Lesotho and Swaziland, efforts were continued to promote the self-sufficiency of individual refugees and to facilitate their access to secondary education; in the latter country, UNHCR assistance was channelled mainly through the Swaziland Refugee Relief Committee. Commitments under the 1974 Programme for assistance in these three countries totalled some $32,000. Grants from special trust funds, notably for refugees from southern Africa, totalled over 25,000, supplemented in many cases by contributions from voluntary agencies.
139. In countries in West Africa,14 there were at the end of 1974 approximately 4,000 refugees of various origins, living mostly in towns. In view of their varied needs, assistance to facilitate local integration, resettlement or voluntary repatriation was mainly provided by means of multipurpose projects, administered by the resident representatives of UNDP in the area, and implemented in some cases by voluntary agencies. Commitments for this purpose totalled over $60,000, benefiting 350 refugees in Dahomey, the Gambia, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, the Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and the Upper Volta. In addition, commitments totalling $58,000 were made available from the Education Account, under agreements with voluntary agencies, for the benefit of some 40 refugee students following post-primary courses in Liberia and the Ivory Coast.
140. Another aspect of activities of UNHCR in this region in 1974 concerned the assistance, undertaken at the request of the Governments concerned and of the Secretary-General, to populations of Malian origin driven by drought conditions to take refuge in the Niger at Camp Lazaret, near Niamey. Contributions totalling some $100,000 were made available through special trust funds to help resettle these populations at a more suitable site near to Niamey, where they would benefit from improved sanitary conditions until a longer-term solution could be found for them. These contributions helped finance the construction of a road giving access to the new site, of wells to provide water, and of storage facilities for food. An emergency dispensary was erected to cope with immediate needs, pending the completion of a rural health centre nearby. Essential food supplies were also purchased and transported. The project was administered by the Government of the Niger, in close consultation with UNHCR, with supplementary contributions from voluntary agencies working in the area.
141. As at 31 December 1974, the total number of refugees in Central Africa was estimated at 17,000, including 10,000 Angolans in the Congo, 1,000 refugees from Equatorial Guinea in Gabon, 5,000 refugees from neighbouring countries in the Central African Republic, and 1,000 refugees of various origins scattered throughout the region. As in West Africa, multipurpose projects financed by UNHCR and covering supplementary aid, local settlement assistance, resettlement and repatriation were administered by the UNDP resident representatives, often assisted by local voluntary organizations. Commitments for this purpose and for limited educational assistance totalled some $22,000 in 1974.
142. In Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, supplementary aid was again provided to small groups of refugees, mainly of European origin, notably in the form of annuities to a number of aged and handicapped refugees. In addition, grants were made available to facilitate the integration of a small group of refugees from Chile, who were admitted to Algeria in 1974. Commitments under the 74 Programme for assistance in these three countries totalled some $45,000.
C. Assistance to refugees in Asia.
143. The phasing-out of UNHCR activities in India continued following the progress achieved in recent years in the rehabilitation of refugee communities in that country. The main responsibility for assistance to these communities is borne by the Government of India, assisted by funds available under the Common Project of the 1966 European Refugee Campaign. UNHCR assistance has been limited to marginal needs in connexion with the consolidation of rural settlements and other communities, notably in the field of medical and training requirements, which were met from over-all allocations under the annual programme. On the other hand, UNHCR has been called upon to assist a number of Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality admitted to India at the end of 1972 who are in need of counselling, supplementary aid and help in reunion with their families. In the field of counselling, invaluable assistance has been provided by the Indian Council of Social Welfare.
144. In South-East Asia, UNHCR has also provided assistance in the form of food and basic needs to a group of Cambodian nationals residing in the western part of the Republic of South Viet-Nam. This project, which was financed through trust funds totalling $200,000, was implemented by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of South Viet-Nam.
145. Reception and resettlement assistance have continued to be provided to refugees of European origin in transit in Hong Kong awaiting emigration. Twenty persons benefited from this assistance in 1974, which was administered on behalf of UNHCR by the Hong Kong office of the World Council of Churches.
146. Commitments under the 1974 Programme for assistance in Asia totalled $145,000, including $66,000 for resettlement and over $63,000 for local settlement assistance. Special trust fund commitments in Asia totalled over $250,000.
D. Assistance to refugees in Europe
147. The over-all number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in countries of residence in Europe was approximately the same on 31 December 1974 (554,000) as at the end of 1973 (580,000). The majority of them have been economically and socially integrated for many years. The number of newly recognized refugees, and of those who were resettled in Europe under special programmes, was approximately equal to the number of those who departed for resettlement, mainly in overseas countries. However, the proportion of refugees from other continents continued to increase and, in view of the lack of specialized qualifications of many of them, they posed serious problems for the countries of residence. Assistance to refugees in Europe was again provided in co-operation with the authorities and the voluntary agencies.
148. In response to the High Commissioner's appeals, further offers for the resettlement of refugees from Chile were made by a number of countries in both Eastern and Western Europe. Such opportunities were frequently accompanied by special measures to facilitate the integration of these persons: they included material assistance of various kinds, notably in respect of housing, access to professional and language training, as required, and various other forms of aid. Mention should also be made of the action taken by the authorities of countries of asylum to facilitate the reunion of divided refugee families by speedily admitting those members who were initially left behind in Latin America.
149. During 1974, encouraging results were achieved in the resettlement of refugees through their migration. More than 15,000, compared with some 10,000 in 1973, were thus assisted by UNHCR in co-operation with the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICFIA). Over 14,000 were refugees from the Caribbean in Spain, most of whom were resettled in the United States of America under an expanded parole programme, leaving only some 3,000 still awaiting resettlement from Spain at the end of 1974. Arrivals in Spain of these refugees continued to average some 200 a month during 1974.
150. Of the total of 15,000 resettled, 205 were handicapped persons admitted by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
151. Assistance in 1974 to refugees in Europe in respect of local settlement, which is provided as a complement to government aid, followed the pattern of previous years' programmes. Specialized integration assistants were employed in several countries with encouraging results. Housing remained a major problem in several countries of asylum and financial assistance was therefore again provided to needy new arrivals, while some refugees benefited under national, low-cost housing schemes. Vacant apartments, in buildings financed under previous UNHCR programmes, were used to house other refugee families. Other assistance included help of various kinds towards establishment, the provision of household equipment and access to vocational training and language courses. Counselling again proved to be an essential element in facilitating the integration of refugees. A number of refugees who arrived in Europe in recent years from other continents, including in particular Uganda Asians and Chileans, benefited from assistance in their integration.
152. Following a decision taken by the Executive Committee of the High commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session in October 1974,15 measures were taken to adjust the allowances and annuities provided to aged and handicapped refugees under earlier UNHCR programmes, the purchasing power of which had become quite inadequate in face of rising prices.
153. Total commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance to refugees in Europe amounted to $677,000, benefiting about 18,660 refugees. This sum included nearly $410,000 for local settlement assistance and some $145,000 for assistance towards resettlement. Approximately $65,000 were used for supplementary aid and $58,000 for legal assistance. Special trust fund commitments in 1974 amounted to over $157,000.
E. Assistance to refugees in Latin America
154. UNHCR's assistance activities in Latin America during 1974 had to be considerably expanded in order to assist and help to resettle the large number of refugees from Chile who were admitted to neighbouring countries, the majority in transit only. In 1974, the estimated number of refugees in Latin America thus rose from 108,000 to 118,000. This number included some 91,000 refugees of European origin, a decrease of 4,000 owing mainly to natural decrease and naturalization, and 27,000 refugees of Latin American origin, compared with 13,000 at the end of the previous year.
155. With the assistance of other United Nations agencies, notably ECLA and UNDP, emergency measures to protect and assist refugees in Chile and to facilitate their resettlement continued during the early months of 1974. The National Committee for Aid to Refugees, created in 1973 with the approval of the Chilean Government and with the participation of the churches, continued functioning until its tasks of protection and assistance were taken over by the Commission for Aid to Refugees, established later in the year with the approval of the Chilean authorities, to deal with residual problems, including the reunion of families which had been separated by departure. The six safe havens, established by the national Committee to offer protection and temporary shelter to refugees pending emigration were gradually closed, leaving only one still functioning at the end of 1974.
156. Following the High Commissioner's appeals to Governments for resettlement opportunities, 2,500 refugees of Latin American origin were able to leave Chile for some 40 countries, leaving only a small caseload by the end of the year. In addition, of the growing number of family members left behind in Chile, 1,300 had been able to leave the country by the end of 1974, while the remainder awaited their turn to join the heads of families once the latter were firmly settled in their countries of asylum. The total number of persons resettled front Chile thus stood at nearly 4,000 as at 31 December 1974.
157. Attention turned meanwhile to the situation of Chilean refugees admitted to Argentina and Peru. An estimated 12,000 to 14,000 of these refugees had entered Argentina by the end of 1974, some of whom were allowed to settle permanently, while the remainder were admitted on a temporary basis only. As of the same date, some 3,000 Chileans had been admitted in transit to Peru.
158. Assistance to the refugees admitted from Chile to Argentina was provided in conjunction with a Co-ordinating Committee, grouping voluntary agencies and churches concerned with refugee work, which had been created with the consent of the authorities. This assistance included immediate relief for the new arrivals, followed by assistance with regard to housing and establishment in various liberal professions, crafts and trades, for those settling permanently in Argentina. Some 1,500 of those admitted in transit were resettled in the course of 1974 in approximately 30 countries. As the year progressed, UNHCR redoubled its efforts to secure additional resettlement opportunities in view of the increasing material and psychological problems facing this group.
159. Assistance to the refugees from Chile admitted temporarily to Peru pending resettlement was provided with the support of the Oecumenical Committee for Social Assistance (CEDAS), which groups voluntary agencies concerned with refugee work in Peru. Approximately 1,500 of this group were resettled under UNHCR auspices in 15 countries by the end of 1974, leaving a registered caseload of approximately 800, while several hundred more either had left Peru independently or were still to register with CEDAS.
160. With the invaluable support of the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration, which assisted with travel arrangements, UNHCR was instrumental in resettling over 7,000 refugees from Argentina, Chile and Peru by the end of 1974. Tribute is due to the generous response of over 40 Governments in making permanent homes available to these refugees, as well as to the 10,000 to 15,000 Chileans who were able to leave directly from Chile to countries of resettlement. By the end of 1974, outstanding problems were mainly related to the care and resettlement of refugees admitted in transit to Argentina and Peru, and the reunion within countries of asylum of a number of refugee families.
161. Commitments for assistance to refugees in and from Chile under the 1974 Programme amounted to $2,659,400, supplemented by $210,000 from the Emergency Fund. These sums included an amount of $1,798,500 for multipurpose projects covering various forms of assistance in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru, which benefited more than 9,000 refugees. The commitments for resettlement, including transport costs, from these countries totalled $1,042,000, while $18,000 was used for assistance towards voluntary repatriation from Chile. A sun of $10,000 was used to finance a team of counsellors in Chile providing guidance in the fields of local settlement and resettlement. In addition, an amount of $310,093, supplemented by a sum of $20,000 from the Emergency Fund, was committed for operational expenditure and administrative support.
162. In addition to the exceptional measures of assistance required to meet the needs of refugees from Chile, UNHCR has continued its traditional programme of activities for the benefit of other refugees in Latin America, most of whom (91,000) are of European origin.
163. Assistance to needy refugees in this group, many of whom have been resident for some time in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela., again included facilities with regard to housing, the purchase of machines and tools, and participation, in co-operative ventures or private enterprises. Medical treatment, placement in specialized institutions or monthly allowances were provided to the aged and infirm, for whom special care was again required. Since the number of places made available in specialized institutions under previous programmes has proved insufficient to meet current needs, measures to provide additional facilities are under way. Preparations were made for the construction of a pavilion for 32 aged refugees near Sao Paulo, Brazil, and for the establishment in Uruguay of an out-patient centre for refugees suffering from mental illness. Other assistance to refugees of European origin, included counselling, supplementary aid and legal assistance, benefited in all some 11,700 refugees.
164. Assistance of a similar kind in respect of local settlement, through counselling, supplementary aid and legal assistance, was provided to the refugees of Latin American origin living mainly in Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
165. Commitments under the regular assistance programme in Latin America totalled nearly $370,000 in 1974, including some $275,000 for local settlement assistance. Grants from the Education Account totalled nearly $28,000, enabling.96 students to continue their studies at post-primary level.
166. A total amount of $3,596,800 was committed in 1974, for all the assistance activities described above in favour of refugees in Latin America.
F. Assistance to refugees in the Middle East
167. The number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in the Middle East was estimated at some 17,000 at the end of 1974, compared with between 10,000 and 12,000 at the end of the previous year; it mainly comprised stateless Armenians and -Assyrians, together with refugees of European and African origin living mostly in Lebanon and Egypt, some 1,500 Zanzibari Arab refugees living in the United Arab Emirates and smaller groups of various origins in Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. Owing to the increasing difficulties faced by these refugees as a result of further sharp rises in the cost of living, restricted resettlement opportunities and limited employment offers, there was a need for increased assistance from UNHCR in 1974, particularly to the aged and handicapped, as well as to refugee students - those most severely affected by these difficulties. Efforts were also made by UNHCR, often in co-operation with voluntary agencies with experience in refugee work, to improve the counselling services available to refugees seeking qualified help or advice.
168. In Egypt, where refugees of concern to UNHCR were estimated to number approximately 4,000 at the end of 1974, local settlement assistance mainly included help in the field of housing, establishment assistance, medical care, and language and vocational training, benefiting 441 refugees. Supplementary aid to cover immediate needs, such as shelter, food, clothing, and urgent medical treatment, was provided to 372 persons, including new refugees of African origin. One hundred and sixty-four refugee students received grants to enable them to follow post-primary courses. Emergency assistance and social counselling were provided to new refugee students from Africa, who arrived at the end of 1974, pending examination of their applications for scholarships.
169. Some 3,000 refugees arrived in Lebanon from neighbouring countries in 1974, most of whom were seeking opportunities to emigrate overseas. Despite the restrictions on admission applied by many of the traditional countries of immigration, some 1,700 refugees were able to leave Lebanon in 1974, mostly for the United States of America, leaving a caseload of 3,300 compared with some 1,800 at the beginning of the year. For those awaiting resettlement, help was provided to meet medical fees and other urgent expenses. Local settlement assistance benefiting 3,300 persons included monthly allowances and the adjustment of annuities, help in providing specialized medical care as required, and various forms of establishment and educational assistance. In Iran, 88 Zanzibari refugees were also provided with establishment assistance.
170. In the United Arab Emirates further progress was made with regard to housing projects for the Zanzibari refugees of Arab origin from East Africa. As mentioned in last year's report, housing for 50 families is under construction in Dubai, while in Abu Dhabi facilities have been provided to alleviate the severe accommodation problems which face Zanzibari refugee families there. Help was also provided through trust funds to facilitate the family reunion in the United Arab Emirates of 324 Zanzibari refugees.
171. Commitments under the 1974 programme for assistance in the aforementioned countries totalled some $670,000. This included over $485,000 for local settlement projects, of which nearly $220,000 were used for the housing projects in Dubai. Some $82,000 were committed for resettlement assistance in Lebanon, and $80,000 for supplementary aid to refugees in Egypt and in Lebanon. Nearly $15,000 were made available towards the administrative costs of the UNHCR Regional Office at Beirut. Grants from the Education Account totalled $15,775, benefiting 28 post-primary refugee students, mostly of African origin. Other trust fund commitments included a grant of $30,000 for the purchase of a home in Teheran for aged and handicapped refugees of European origin.
CHAPTER III SPECIAL OPERATIONS
172. During the period under review, the scope and diversity of special operations financed from contributions outside the Regular Programme increased considerably. These operations, it will be recalled, are conducted in the context of the functions entrusted to UNHCR under the "good offices" resolutions of the General Assembly.
173. In August 1974, the High Commissioner was designated by the Secretary-General as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus. UNHCR also undertook a programme of assistance to uprooted and displaced persons in Laos and Viet-Nam in response to requests made by the authorities concerned and with the concurrence of the Secretary-General. In accordance with the basic functions of his Office and General Assembly resolution 3271 (XXIX), the High Commissioner is carrying out a programme of repatriating and resetting refugees and displaced persons returning to their homes in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.
174. In the context of recent developments in Indo-China, the High Commissioner was also called upon to participate in an Emergency Relief Programme in Viet-Nam jointly with UNICEF. Subsequently the High Commissioner was to undertake a programme for the care and maintenance, repatriation and resettlement of persons originating from Cambodia and Viet-Nam.
B. United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus
175. Following the events which took place in Cyprus in July and August 1974, the Secretary-General, on 20 August 1974, designated the High Commissioner for Refugees as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus. The High Commissioner visited Cyprus from 22 to 27 August and assigned staff from his Office to the Island to co-ordinate the relief activities there. In consultation with the authorities in Cyprus, UNFICYP, the members of the United Nations system concerned and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNHCR made an assessment of the needs with regard to short-term emergency relief, the cost of which for the period 1 September to 31 December 1974 was estimated at $22 million, to cover food, shelter, medicaments and transport of supplies.
176. An appeal to Governments to finance these immediate needs was made on 6 September 1974 by the Secretary-General, a detailed request being issued simultaneously by the High Commissioner, pursuant to Security Council resolution 361 (1974), in which it expressed grave concern at the plight of the refugees and other displaced persons in Cyprus, and requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide emergency assistance to all parts of the population. The request for continued assistance was reiterated by the General Assembly in its resolution 3212 (XXIX) and in Security Council resolution 365 (1974) of 13 December 1974.
177. Response by Governments to this appeal was prompt and generous, so that the target of $22 million for contributions in cash or in kind was reached, thereby enabling the High Commissioner to meet the immediate needs of the refugees and displaced persons during the period 1 September to 31 December 1974.
178. A supplementary appeal in an amount of $9.3 million was addressed to Governments on 10 January 1975, mainly to cover the cost of food and medical requirements during the first four months of 1975.
179. The essential task facing the High Commissioner in his capacity as Co-ordinator was that of providing for the immediate and short-term needs of some 225,000 persons of both communities affected by the events, who represented more than one third of the Island's total population. The majority were displaced; others, while not homeless, were deprived of their means of livelihood through the complete disruption of the Island's economic and social structure. Assistance measures entailed locating and procuring supplies and providing for their transport and delivery to those in need, and in co-ordinating the many offers of assistance which were being made at bilateral and multilateral levels, so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort.
180. In accordance with the function of co-ordination assigned to him, the High Commissioner established representation in both sectors of the Island to maintain regular contact with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authorities, in consultation with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus. Close contact was established with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which was involved in relief aid from the start of the emergency and played a major role, particularly in the early stages of the operation, and with the local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, whose contribution was vital in meeting the emergency needs of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
181. Several members of the United Nations system were actively involved in the Programme of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus: WFP, which from the outset arranged the transportation of food donations and later assumed responsibility for administering the food component of the entire programme; UNICEF, which undertook the procurement of all relief supplies, with the exception of food and some medical supplies; FAO, which helped to preserve livestock; WHO, which provided essential support in the medical field, including procurement. In addition, UNFICYP provided vital logistic and administrative support in Cyprus, notably through distributing relief supplies to Greek Cypriots in the north and to Turkish Cypriots in the south, and by providing transport for bulk supplies to the north, while the activities of the Humanitarian Section within UNFICYP were greatly expanded. Many members of the United Nations system were also involved in longer-term activities which, although related to the events, fell outside the scope of the assistance co-ordinated by UNHCR.
182. All the arrangements for the transportation of relief supplies other than bulk food were made by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM), which seconded expert assistance to the Co-ordinator for the purpose and chartered aircraft on behalf of UNHCR for urgent supplies. Other items were transported by sea.
183. From the assumption of his responsibility as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus, the High Commissioner arranged for regular meetings at Geneva of the representatives of the United Nations organizations and other organizations concerned with a view to co-ordinating the various relief activities. Similar meetings were held in Nicosia, as were regular meetings to brief the Governments represented in Cyprus on the progress of the operation.
184. The contributions in cash and kind provided by the international community either bilaterally or through multilateral channels made it possible to meet the targets of both appeals launched by the High Commissioner. Of the contributions made available following the first appeal, $12 million were contributed through UNHCR, including $2.7 million in the form of donations in kind. In the case of the second appeal, $7 million was contributed through UNHCR, including $2 million in kind.
185. This generous and prompt response made it possible to meet the most urgent needs. By April 1975, however, the number of displaced and needy persons in Cyprus had decreased only slightly and the problem of assisting them remained very real. The Secretary-General therefore asked the High Commissioner to continue humanitarian assistance in the Island for a further limited period.
186. With the passing of time, requests for humanitarian assistance from the authorities of the Island have tended naturally to include measures intended not only to provide emergency relief, but also to assist the displaced populations in regaining some degree of economic self-sufficiency. UNHCR has remained available to the authorities and to interested donors for the channelling of such aid., upon request from the authorities.
187. Detailed information on the progress made in carrying out United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus is given in reports submitted by the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/11488 and Add.116 and 2,17 S/1156818 and S/11730).
C. Assistance to returning refugees and displaced persons in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique
188. Reference was made above to the action taken by UNHCR in 1974 to adapt its current assistance activities for refugees from Territories in Africa under Portuguese administration to the new situations resulting from the recently-acquired or forthcoming independence of those Territories. Pursuant to the decision of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session,18 and to General Assembly resolution 3271 (XXIX), and upon the specific requests of the Governments of the Territories concerned, UNHCR formulated programmes for the voluntary repatriation and resettlement of the refugees from Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. This was done after consultation with the national authorities and liberation movements concerned and the Organization of African Unity, and taking into account the findings of the joint missions to Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, in which UNHCR and most United Nations programmes and organizations participated. It is hoped that similar action can be taken in respect of Angola.
189. The essential aims of the assistance programmes were to permit the speedy return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes, and to provide for their urgent needs while helping them to become self-supporting. Information on these programmes is given below.
190. On 15 January 1975, an agreement was reached at Alvor between Portugal and the liberation movements on the procedure and timing of Angola's accession to independence. This agreement makes explicit reference to the problems of refugees and displaced persons. It also deals with the establishment of mixed parity commissions, responsible for preparing the necessary arrangements for the reception of refugees.
191. In February 1975, UNHCR sent a mission to Luanda to discuss problems of repatriation and resettlement of refugees with the Transitional Government and with the Portuguese High Commissioner in Angola. This mission also visited North Angola, together with the mixed parity Commission, for the purpose of examining the situation there.
192. In March 1975, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees informed the Portuguese High Commissioner in Angola and the Presidential Council of his readiness to allocate an initial amount of $US 1 million to help the authorities in solving the most urgent problems facing 50,000 to 100,000 refugees returning to Angola. Of this amount, it is foreseen that $US 500,000 will be available from regular UNHCR programme funds. Should further funds be required before special contributions are made available by donor Governments in response to an appeal from the High Commissioner, it might be necessary to make an allocation from the Emergency Fund.
193. At the same time, the High Commissioner for Refugees suggested to the authorities that a joint UNHCR/UNDP mission be organized which could also include other members of the United Nations system. A programme officer was assigned to Angola at the end of March 1975 and a representative of UNHCR was established in Luanda at the end of June 1975. Since then, developments in Angola have hindered further progress.
194. The Government of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, faced with serious economic problems following its establishment in Bissau in October 1974, turned for assistance to the international community, notably the United Nations system. In November 1974,, the Government also requested the High Commissioner to undertake the voluntary repatriation and resettlement of the refugees who had been given hospitality in neighbouring countries during the struggle for liberation as well as of persons displaced inside the country.
195. Following this request, an interagency mission comprising several United Nations programmes and organizations, including UNHCR, visited the country in January and February 1975. In the light of the findings of the mission and in consultation with the Government of Guinea-Bissau, a programme was prepared for the voluntary repatriation, relief and resettlement of some 150,000 refugees and displaced persons at a cost of $US 4,025,000. The programme included provision for vehicles, the purchase, transport and distribution of food supplies, as required, and of essential items, such as household utensils, seeds and plants, agricultural tools, water supply equipment, medicines and medical equipment, as well as provision for the construction of dispensaries and health units in the settlement zones.
196. On 10 March 1975, the High Commissioner appealed to Governments to contribute towards the financing of this programme. At the end of May 1975, $US 2,926,137 had been contributed or pledged.
197. The initial phases of the repatriation and resettlement operation started in April 1975 and were expected to continue until June, when the rainy season begins. The actual repatriation movements will be considerably reduced during the rainy season from June to September, but will gain momentum thereafter. Meanwhile, arrangements for the settlement of the refugees will continue. In May 1975, the authorities had estimated that some 30,000 to 40,000 refugees had returned from Senegal and the Gambia and that 30,000 internally displaced persons had returned to their places of origin.
198. In April 1975, the Government of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau addressed an urgent appeal to WFP for food supplies for the repatriated refugees and displaced persons in Guinea-Bissau until such time as they became self-sufficient in terms of food. In response to this request, WFP, on the authority of the Executive Director, approved an allocation of $US 1 million for food supplies. The first consignment was expected to reach Bissau by early July. Should the situation require it, UNHCR will examine the possibility of covering, through local purchases, at least part of the needs pending the arrival of these supplies.
199. Close co-operation has been established between the Government of Guinea-Bissau and UNHCR with regard to the utilization of available funds in accordance with the priority needs of the refugees and displaced persons. For this purpose, a UNHCR Chargé de Mission has been assigned to Bissau, where resettlement and repatriation activities are co-ordinated through a bipartite commission. Two UNHCR officials have likewise been posted in Senegal and in the Gambia. These officials come under the direction of the Regional Representative for West Africa, where repatriation movements are co-ordinated through tripartite commissions, composed of representatives of Guinea-Bissau, the Government of the host country and UNHCR.
200. With the establishment in Lourenco Marques in September 1974 of a transitional government pending the attainment of full independence on 25 June 1975, the refugees who had received asylum in neighbouring countries began to return spontaneously to Mozambique. By March 1975, some 35,000 refugees had already returned from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and were resettling mainly in the Tete Province; in addition, approximately 15,000 of those who had sought asylum in the United Republic of Tanzania also returned to Mozambique to resettle in the Provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa. In order to meet the immediate needs of the first repatriates and pending the formulation of a programme of repatriation and resettlement, the High Commissioner allocated in December 1974 an amount of $100,000 from his Emergency Fund.
201. Meanwhile a United Nations interagency mission, similar in composition to that for Guinea-Bissau, visited Mozambique in February 1975 in response to a request for assistance from the Transitional Government of Mozambique. A UNHCR assistance programme in an amount of $7,150,000, was then drawn up for the repatriation and resettlement of the refugees who had already returned or were expected to be repatriated. The programme also covered some of the specific and immediate needs of the displaced persons living in settlements within Mozambique who were facing acute Material difficulties. Provision was made in the budget to cover food and health facilities, as well as seeds, tools and essential agricultural equipment, to allow the returnees to take advantage of the next planting season.
202. A senior UNHCR Programme Officer was assigned to Lourenco Marques in late April; the UNHCR representative for Mozambique took up his function there in June 1975.
203. Negotiations have been initiated with the Transitional Government and, in particular, its working group for international co-operation. A first list of urgently required supplies has been established which will require a UNHCR contribution of some $US 1,700,000.
204. UNHCR is also contributing over $US 100,000 in response to a request from FRELIMO in Dar es Salaam for the urgent repatriation of certain groups of Mozambican refugees from the United Republic of Tanzania.
D. Assistance to uprooted and displaced persons in Laos and Viet-Nam
205. In response to requests made by the various patties concerned in the latter part of 1973, UNHCR undertook within the framework of its "good offices" function a programme of assistance to uprooted and displaced persons in Laos and Viet-Nam. It was understood that assistance would be provided in all the areas concerned purely on humanitarian grounds, in accordance with the non-political character of the action of UNHCR, as defined by the General Assembly. One of the guiding principles in determining the over-all framework of UNHCR's action in Indo-China was co-ordination with other international aid agencies in order to avoid duplication of effort.
206. The programme of assistance, which was prepared on the basis of specific well-defined projects submitted by the requesting parties, on the feasibility of which UNHCR was fully satisfied was to be put into effect, as required, in the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam, in the former Republic of Viet-Nam, in the areas then under the control of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet-Nam and in Laos. Total budgetary requirements for the programme covering the period 1974-1975 were estimated at $12 million.. In response to the appeal made by the High Commissioner to meet this target, over $7,700,000 had been pledged by 31 May 1975. For the purposes of co-ordination with the authorities and/or the executing agencies, a Regional Office for Indo-China, based in Vientiane, Laos, was established by UNHCR in 1974.
207. At the time of writing, it was anticipated that part of the activities covered by the UNHCR programme of assistance to uprooted and displaced persons in Viet-Nam might need to be revised, in the light of the assistance to be provided in Viet-Nam through the UNHCR/UNICEF programme mentioned below.
208. In Laos, initial priority was given to assisting with the voluntary return to their homes of displaced persons, in consultation with the Joint Central Commission in Laos. Nine mixed, mobile teams were established by the authorities to carry out a census for this purpose. With the financial assistance of UNHCR, an airlift to the Plain of Jars was started at the end of January 1975. Other persons were able to return by river boats or trucks, making a total of some 33,000 persons having returned to their homes by the end of May. Assistance was provided to meet their immediate needs upon arrival. It is expected that the return process would be resumed at the end of the rainy season.
209. In co-operation with the Joint Refugee Committee, attention was then focused on the resettlement phase of the programme in Laos. Plans were made to provide household equipment, basic construction equipment, agricultural machinery and tools, medical supplies and paddy seed, to enable persons in both zones to resume a normal life as soon as possible.
210. Assistance in the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam mainly included the provision of cotton yarn to spin clothing for the displaced and uprooted persons, as well as supplies of medicaments. Assistance was also provided in the field of agriculture. The Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam acted as executing agency.
211. In areas controlled by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet-Nam, UNHCR assistance included the provision of clothing, food, construction material and agricultural machinery to assist with food production for the benefit of displaced persons.
212. In view of the rapid evolution of events to which reference has earlier been made, no assistance projects were implemented in the former Republic of Viet-Nam.
E. Emergency Relief Operation in South Viet-Nam
213. In view of the immense human suffering following the events which occurred in Viet-Nam in the spring of 1975, the Secretary-General appealed to Governments and individuals everywhere on 31 March 1975 for increased humanitarian assistance required to meet the essential needs of the civilian population. He also established an office at United Nations Headquarters to co-ordinate all forms of United Nations assistance to Indo-China.
214. Following the Secretary-General's appeal, the High Commissioner and the Executive Director of UNICEF requested Governments to make contributions. A total of some $25 million was contributed as at 31 May 1975 in cash and in kind, including some $US 12,900,000, which was channelled through UNHCR.
F. Assistance to Cambodians and Vietnamese outside their country of origin
215. The arrival of Cambodians and Vietnamese in a number of countries in the area was brought to the High Commissioner's attention by the Governments concerned. UNHCR was asked to assist these persons, to the extent possible, with a view to their ensuring temporary or durable asylum and arranging for their care and maintenance, voluntary repatriation or resettlement.
216. The total number of Vietnamese and Cambodians who left their countries is estimated at some 185,000, of whom about 130,000 are on the territory of the United States of America, while others are principally in various South-East Asian countries.
217. The costs involved for their transport, care and maintenance or local integration will be in the tens of millions of dollars. An appeal for special contributions has accordingly been launched by the High Commissioner. In order to meet the need for resettlement opportunities, an appeal has also been launched for this purpose. Positive responses have been received from a number of Governments.
218. The registration of these persons, including those wishing to be repatriated, has been undertaken by UNHCR officials, who have been assigned to the various areas where they are needed.
CHAPTER IV RELATIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
A. Co-operation between UNHCR, the United Nations and other members of the United Stations system
219. The activities of UNHCR in favour of refugees and displaced persons have continued to benefit from the efforts of the members of the United Nations system in accordance with the principles of interdependence and unity recently reaffirmed by the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination. UNHCR has participated in meetings of this Committee, and of its subsidiary bodies, notably those dealing with education and training and with the development of rural communities, which are topics of special relevance to UNHCR's action. Many members of the United Nations system are regularly represented at meetings of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme and UNHCR is likewise represented at meetings of these organizations. Close co-operation has been established both at the Headquarters level and in the field with the United Nations agencies concerned. Pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1549 (XLIX) on prior consultations, the proposed UNHCR annual assistance is sent to United Nations agencies before being considered by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.
220. In the field of activities covered by the UNHCR assistance programme, inter - agency co-operation has played a role of special importance with regard to assistance to refugees from colonial Territories, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and of the Special Committee on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Specific examples include the action by WFP in providing supplies to Angolan and Namibian refugees at the Meheba settlement in Zambia, the supply of medical equipment by UNICEF for mobile health services in the Casamance province of Senegal for the benefit of refugees from Guinea-Bissau, the survey undertaken by WHO of cases of sleeping sickness occurring in the Meheba settlement in Zambia, and the provision of scholarships for specialized training provided by WMO and UPU for refugees from colonial countries. Close co-operation was also maintained with the Council of Namibia, notably in respect of plans for the building of a health centre in Botswana, which is to be partly financed by the Council. The United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa placed at the disposal of UNHCR, in 1974, an amount of $90,000 for assistance to refugees from South Africa.
221. Expert advice has again been provided in connexion with the establishment of extensions of rural settlements for refugees, notably by FAO and WHO, which participated in surveys of proposed sites for the settlement of the Sudanese refugees - presently in Ganduar, Ethiopia. WHO also undertook a survey of the water supplies in the settlements for Burundi refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania. WFP has continued to make a major contribution in food supplies for Burundi refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania.
222. In the field of education, close co-operation has been maintained with UNESCO in accordance with the terms of the new Memorandum of Understanding signed with UNHCR in 1973, whereby expert staff is seconded by UNESCO to UNHCR to provide technical assistance as required. In the specific field of post-primary education assistance to refugees from southern Africa, close co-operation has been maintained with the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa.
223. Other important aspects of interagency co-operation in activities covered by the annual programme have included the assistance provided by UIMP in administering UNHCR assistance projects in countries, particularly in West and Central Africa, where UNHCR has no representation. Invaluable help was also provided by UNDP in this context in the follow-up on fund-raising appeals. UNHCR also continued to benefit from co-operation of the ILO in 1974 in connexion with the surveys which were undertaken on the situation of annuitants.
224. The role of the various members of the United Stations system in the context of the special humanitarian assignments undertaken by UNHCR in 1974 constitutes a further major example of concerted effort on the part of the international community. Details of this co-operation are provided in Chapter III above.
B. Relations with other international organizations
225. There was a further strengthening of ties with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), notably in the field of assistance to refugees from colonial Territories, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3300 (XXIX) on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations. The Secretary-General of OAU, His Excellency Mr. W. Eteki Mboumoua, participated in the twenty-fifth session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme. UNHCR was represented at meetings of the OAU, including sessions of its Council of Ministers and in meetings of the Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees.
226. Also in the context of General Assembly resolution 3300 (XXIX), close consultations took place between UNHCR and national liberation movements recognized by OAU, in particular with a view to the formulation of programmes for the repatriation and resettlement of refugees from Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. A representative of the Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola (FNLA) made a statement to the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty fifth session.
227. Co-operation with the OAU Bureau for the Placement and Education of African Refugees was also strengthened with a view to providing more effective assistance in respect of the education and resettlement of refugees in Africa.
228. The Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) has continued its vital task in the field of resettlement of refugees, notably in connexion with the resettlement of refugees from Europe and Latin America.
229. The European Communities have again given generous support to the work of UNHCR, through a specific contribution in kind, including 5,000 tons of soft wheat and 300 tons of butter oil, for humanitarian assistance in Cyprus. They have, moreover, indicated their willingness to consider the possibility of contributing towards several other important UNHCR programmes.
230. Close co-operation was maintained with the Council of Europe, which has taken a special interest in the problems of medium term and long term assistance in Cyprus. The Council's Parliamentary Assembly is furthermore closely following the problems of refugees in Europe and elsewhere.
C. Relations with non-governmental organizations
231. The co-operation of non-governmental organizations has again contributed significantly to the work of UNHCR, particularly in view of the wide experience many of these organizations can offer in helping refugees to overcome the everyday problems they face within their new communities. At the international level, close relations have been maintained with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and with its subsidiary bodies which seek to harmonize non-governmental activities for the benefit of refugees,
232. As regards the activities covered by UNHCR's annual assistance programme, the co-operation of non-governmental organizations was especially important in 1974 in connexion with counselling projects. As explained elsewhere in the present report, UNHCR has been seeking to develop further this form of assistance, notably in Africa, where individual refugees living in urban areas can benefit greatly from qualified guidance. The role of non-governmental organizations has also been essential in implementing, and often contributing financially to numerous other assistance projects. These have included projects for the rural settlement. Of refugees in Africa, such as those for refugees from Burundi in the United Republic of Tanzania, as well as resettlement operations such as have been organized for refugees from Chile.
233. In the field of legal protection, non-governmental organizations have been active in promoting wider ratification and implementation of the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, and with the study of the question of asylum.
234. In addition to their assistance, both operational and financial, in activities under the annual assistance programme, the voluntary agencies have also made an active contribution to the special humanitarian assignments undertaken by UNHCR in 1974, notably in the context of the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus.
235. Tribute is also due to the unstinting efforts of non-governmental organizations in focusing and sustaining the attention of the authorities and public opinion at large on the needs of refugees. The campaign organized in the summer of 1974 by the Norwegian Refugee Council offers an example of major success in promoting widespread and generous support for their cause.
236. In acknowledgement of the role played by non-governmental organizations in Chile, the Nansen Medal was awarded in October 1974 to Bishop Helmut Frenz, Chairman of the Chilean National Committee for Aid to Refugees. This Committee was made up of representatives of eight denominations and church organizations in Chile, it provided protection, shelter and assistance to many thousands of refugees in that country, following the events of September 1973.
CHAPTER V ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL QUESTIONS
237. The year 1974 was marked by a very considerable increase in the financial requirements in respect of assistance to refugees, both as regards the regular activities of UNHCR and the special operations undertaken by UNHCR in the framework of the "good offices" resolutions of the General Assembly. The High Commissioner had, therefore, on a number of occasions to approach the international community for additional funds.
238. The growing needs of refugees from Chile, and the continuing requirements of refugees from Burundi in neighbouring countries, made it necessary to raise the financial target for the 1974 Assistance Programme, originally set at $8,739,000 to $11,808,000. This increase was approved by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session.
239. The repatriation programme in the South Asian subcontinent, started in 1973, was continued in the first four months of 1974. A total of $2,857,245 was received in 1974 for this operation, in addition to the $10,235,338 received in 1973.
240. At the request of the Governments concerned, the High Commissioner undertook a programme of assistance to refugees and displaced persons in the Indo-China Peninsula. By 31 March 1975, $7,633,737 in cash and $20,000 in kind had been received towards the target of this programme, established at $12 million for 1974/1975.
241. In August 1974, the Secretary-General of the United Nations designated the High Commissioner as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus. An appeal for funds totalling $22,000,000 was made by the Secretary-General in September 1974. Of this amount, $12,363,601 was contributed through UNHCR and the remainder through bilateral contributions. In view of the continuing needs of displaced persons on the Island, the High Commissioner, in January 1975, appealed for a further $9,300,000, of which $6,518,950 had been pledged in cash and kind through UNHCR by 31 March 1975.
242. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 3271 A (XXIX) of 10 December 1974 and the recommendation made by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twenty-fifth session in October 1974, and at the request of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, an appeal for funds totalling $4,025,000 was made by the High Commissioner on 10 March 1975. This target covered the estimated costs of a programme designed to assist with the voluntary repatriation, immediate relief and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons in Guinea-Bissau. By 31 March 1975, a total of $106,088 had been pledged. Further contributions have been received since that date.
B. Financing of the UNHCR assistance programme for 1974
243. As indicated in table 5 (see annex II below), a total of $10,251,802 had been contributed by 82 Governments by 31 March 1975 towards the revised target of the UNHCR assistance programme for 1974, amounting to $11,808,000. Contributions from non-governmental sources, as of the same date, totalled $523,136. Thanks to these contributions and miscellaneous income from other sources, the full financing of the programme was achieved.
C. Financing of the Emergency Fund
244. Expenditure from the Emergency Fund in 1974 totalled $508,743, nearly all of which was financed from the Working Capital and Guarantee Fund.
D. Financing, of complementary projects outside the UNHCR assistance-programme for 1974
245. Table 5 also indicates contributions to Special Trust Funds as at 31 March 1975 from both governmental and non-governmental sources for complementary projects outside the annual assistance programme. Of the total of $2,286,746, an amount of $956,669 was allocated to the UNHCR Education Account and the balance of $1,329,877 was applied to other essential assistance outside the programme.
E. Financing of the UNHCR assistance programme for 1975
246. The Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, at its twenty-fifth session, approved a target of $12,656,000 for the 1975 Programme. Table 6 (see annex II below) lists contributions totalling $7,524,720 announced as at 31 March 1975 by 52 Governments towards this amount.
F. UNHCR long-playing records scheme
247. Proceeds from the sale of records and cassettes amounted to some $174,000 in 1974. The resulting balance available at the end of the year to supplement funds required for specific assistance projects was $478,000. A new record is planned for 1975 and it is hoped that, despite the economic recession being felt in a number of countries, it will be as successful as the "Top Star Festival", which was launched in 1972 and whose sales reached $1,091,000 by 31 December 1974.
CHAPTER VI PUBLIC INFORMATION
248. The scope and diversity of UNHCR activities during the period under review entailed a continued need for active public support, particularly in respect of the special humanitarian assignments for which substantial funds were required. This, in turn, called for intensified efforts in the field of public information in order to make known the Office's activities to the widest audience possible and to enlist its support.
249. The production of documentary films again figured prominently as an integral part of the public information activities of UNHCR mainly with a view to distribution in abridged form to television stations in many countries. In 1974, a film was made of the official opening of a new bridge across the Nile at Juba, the construction of which had been undertaken in the final stages of the United Nations programme of immediate relief in southern Sudan. Three films were made in the early months of 1975: in Cyprus, UNHCR's role as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus was the subject of a documentary film, lasting 22 minutes, of which an eight-minute version was sent to selected television stations; in Indo-China, a film was made of the beginning of the airlift between Vientiane and Phonesavang in the context of the UNHCR programme of assistance for displaced and uprooted persons, again for distribution both as a television news item and as a documentary; and a film entitled "El Refugio" intended for television and group showing, portrayed the resettlement of refugees from Chile. The ability of UNHCR to provide footage promptly to meet the specific needs of television outlets in various countries was enhanced by the acquisition of film editing equipment, thus reducing reliance on outside technical facilities.
250. Efforts to secure widespread press coverage of UNHCR activities were especially important in connexion with the appeals launched by the High Commissioner in the course of 1974, to help finance the special operations assigned to him. Regular press releases were issued, for example, on his role as Co-ordinator of United Nations Humanitarian Assistance for Cyprus, rendering account of the response to the appeal for contributions launched in September 1974 and in January 1975. In addition, a press tour in which eight representatives of major newspapers or television stations participated was arranged by UNHCR in Cyprus, in order to provide a first-hand view of developments. This tour resulted in renewed press and television coverage at a time when public interest in the plight of the displaced persons was waning. Press releases also helped draw attention to the need for continued financial support of the subcontinent repatriation operation,19 which was still under way in the first half of 1974 and which involved the largest human airlift ever recorded. More recently, public support has been elicited through press releases on the repatriation and resettlement programmes for refugees in Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, for which special appeals were launched by UNHCR. Other events likely to generate interest in international assistance to refugees, such as the award in October 1974 of the Nansen Medal to Bishop Frenz in acknowledgement of his outstanding work for refugees in Chile, have also been the subject of press releases issued by UNHCR. In addition to press releases, regular contact was maintained with individual media representatives through informal briefings and background sessions
251. The regular news tabloid UNHCR, issued at two-monthly intervals (15,500 copies in English and 6,000 in French), has again carried articles covering all aspects of UNHCR activities which present a human interest. These have included articles on the traditional work of the Office in the field of protection, portraying a number of specific case histories in which the intervention of UNHCR has helped solve dramatic human problems, the annual assistance programme, including the transfer in 1974 of large numbers of Burundi refugees to new rural settlements in the United Republic of Tanzania, and information relating to the follow-up of large-scale operations, such as the resettlement and integration of the Uganda Asians of undetermined nationality.
252. An interesting, practical innovation concerning UNHCR has been a joint version issued in co-operation with a voluntary agency in Australia. Three issues, each comprising material provided by UNHCR, as well as local editorial matter, were published in 1974, and printed in 50,000 copies.
253. In the UNHCR Reports series, an illustrated publication entitled Airlift was issued (25,000 copies in English and 5,000 in French), giving an account of the subcontinent repatriation operation.
254. The revised edition of a basic pamphlet giving up-to-date information on the aims and activities of UNHCR was produced in Norwegian, and it is anticipated that Arabic, German, Japanese and Spanish versions will be issued in the near future. The co-operation of the United Nations Information Centre in Tokyo was especially useful in helping with arrangements for the Japanese version.
255. United Nations Information Centres continued to be helpful; in some countries they handled the distribution of UNHCR material and in others they served as depositories for it.
256. These examples serve to illustrate the increasingly diversified approach which UNHCR has adopted in the field of public information, in seeking to inform the world at large of the nature of its activities, the objectives and problems involved, and to secure the active public support which is essential in work of a humanitarian nature. These efforts may be said to have met with encouraging results in the light of the widespread sympathy demonstrated by public opinion for the continued efforts of UNHCR to provide international protection and assistance to refugees, and of the generous response by Governments, voluntary agencies and private individuals to the special appeals which the High Commissioner has launched in 1974.
(Note: Financial and statistical data tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)
1 1 April 1974 to 31 March 1975, except for statistical and financial data, which relate mostly to the budgetary year 1974.
2 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545, P. 137.
3 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/9612/Ad .1), para. 80
4 For the report of the meeting of the Group of Experts, see A/10177.
5 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 606, No. 8791, p. 267.
6 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545.
7 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545.
8 Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Germany (Federal Republic of), Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Cameroon, United States of America, Zaire, Zambia.
9 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 506, No. 7384, p. 125.
10 9 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75.
11 12 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 189, No. 2545.
12 The first UNHCR Indemnification Fund, established on the basis of the Agreement concluded between UNHCR and the Federal Republic of Germany on 5 October 1960; the Supplementary Indemnification Fund, placed at the disposal of
UNHCR in accordance with the Agreement concluded between UNHCR and the Federal Republic of Germany on 24 November 1966; the Residual Indemnification Fund constituted from in flowing reimbursements.
13 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth-Session, Supplement No. 12 (A/9612 and Corr.1), paras.48 and 49.
14 Excluding Senegal.
15 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 12A (A/9612/Add.1), para. 80 (f).
16 For the printed text, see Official Records of the Security Council, Twenty-ninth Year, Supplement for July, August and September 1974.
17 Idem, Supplement for October, November and December 1974.
18 Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session Supplement No. 12A (A/9612/Add.1) para. 80 (m).
19 For the report on the operation to the General Assembly at its twenty-ninth session, see Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 12B (A/9612/Add.2).