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Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Executive Committee Meetings

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

1 January 1965

United Nations General Assembly Official Records: Twentieth Session

Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Supplement No.11 (A/6011/Rev.1)


1. In so far as the assistance activities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are concerned, 1963 was a year of transition. It was during that year that as the final efforts were being made under the major aid programmes for "old" refugees to eliminate the inheritance of the last war once and for all, the first steps were being taken to launch a current programme designed to meet present needs. This programme, under which the High Commissioner is now attempting to deal with new problems as and when they arise and thus avoid new accumulations of refugees in distress, was put to a practical test in the following year, for it was in 1964 that new groups of refugees made their appearance in Africa and that events in many cases tended to alter, aggravate or further complicate some of the problems with which the High Commissioner was already dealing on that continent. Thus, in addition to having to help Governments meet the most urgent needs and to having to find appropriate solutions for these various problems, the High Commissioner had to take care that the old problems did not flare up again here or there and had, in addition, to make the necessary adjustments in the plans prepared for the "old" refugees as the implementation of these plans, which, with very few exceptions, are scheduled to terminate in 1966 or 1967, proceeded.

2. Because of the diversity and, indeed, the instability of the situations with which the High Commissioner has been faced, he has been continually forced to adapt his activities to varied and often changing needs. The programmes drawn up to meet these needs have likewise had to be modified or adjusted fairly often, and the periods originally fixed for their implementation have occasionally had to be extended. Thus, in comparison with the previous programmes on behalf of the "old" European refugees, the current programme is characterized by a greater degree of flexibility and also by a concern for prompter action which, however, as it forms part of long-term plans, is more apt to be affected by changes in the internal situation of some of the countries where it is carried out.

3. In the exercise of what may be called his social function, as distinct from the function of legal protection which still forms the essence of his mandate, the High Commissioner has been equally careful to observe the basic principles governing his action. In response to appeals from the Governments of the countries of asylum, he has consistently tried to assist those Governments in overcoming the difficulties resulting from the admission of relatively large numbers of refugees to their territories. In so doing he has acted as a stimulus, catalyst and co-ordinator in conformity with the role which is properly his and which derives from the essentially supplementary character of the aid which he is able to provide the refugees and host Governments through his programme. This role has been fully accepted and understood by the host countries and by all the participants in this humanitarian work - whether Governments, public or private organizations. Thus, the High Commissioner's programme forms part of an infinitely vaster endeavour and most often represents merely the nucleus around which multiple forms of assistance are later built up, their delicate and complex machinery having been set in motion by the action of the international community.

4. As is apparent from the present report, the activities of the High Commissioner's Office are thus being conducted within a framework of increasingly broader and more active international co-operation. As regards both his social function and his function of protection, the High Commissioner is benefiting from an increasing measure of interest, understanding and goodwill on the part of all those associated with his activities, whether Governments, United Nations specialized agencies or other inter-governmental organizations, or the innumerable voluntary agencies which form the link between the international bodies and the refugees. This co-operation is coupled with a growing awareness by the international community of how important the problems of refugees and the tasks entrusted to the High Commissioner really are. Thus, in 1964, several countries made a financial contribution to his aid programme for the first time. This programme is, moreover, relying to an ever-greater extent on the help of the specialized agencies and other organizations in the United Nations family, such as the World Food Programme, which are operating in precisely those areas where the High Commissioner is increasingly called upon to provide assistance.

5. Though chiefly affecting his social function, the extension of the activities of the High Commissioner geographically has also been reflected in a broadening of his basic responsibilities for the international protection of refugees, which is still his main task. This latter function is being carried out in an increasing number of countries where it is fulfilling its purpose of helping to safeguard the rights and legitimate interests of refugees and to strengthen the position of those whose integration has already been or is in the process of being assured. The accession of four more States, Jamaica, Liberia, Peru and the United Republic of Tanzania, to the 1951 Convention is evidence of the international community's increasingly broader and more unanimous understanding of the humanitarian work being done on behalf of refugees.


A. General observations

6. There are perhaps few fields where the motto of International Co-operation Year, "Peace and progress through co-operation", is more appropriate than in the humanitarian task of assistance to refugees and it is rewarding for the High Commissioner to be able to state that all those co-operating in the worldwide effort of the United Nations to alleviate human suffering in this field are living up to this motto.

7. Even more so than in previous years, the work of international assistance to refugees was largely based on the concerted efforts of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and indeed, the peoples themselves.

8. As new problems emerged, calling for a different approach, new relationships were established between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Governments, as well as other organizations. The new large-scale problems of refugees which arose in some of the developing areas called for a new pattern of multilateral co-operation whereby the responsibility for particular assistance programmes was of necessity divided between the host country, one or more specialized agencies or voluntary agencies according to the role which each one of them could play in the circumstances.

9. On a more general plane there has also been increasing awareness of, and interest in, the problems of refugees, as evidenced by broadening financial participation in the work of UNHCR and by the receptive attitude of Governments and organizations which were called upon to deal with the problems of refugees for the first time in 1964. The progress achieved during the period under review is due in no small measure to the true spirit of international solidarity in which Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations are co-operating between themselves and with this Office in the interest of the cause of refugees, as shown in more detail below.

B. Co-operation with Governments and local authorities

10. Close co-operation between UNHCR and Governments and local authorities has continued to constitute one of the corner stones of the mechanism of international co-operation in favour of refugees. As new problems arose, the work of the High Commissioner was extended to further geographical areas in accordance with the universal character of his task. Concurrently there was a general widening of interest in the problem of refugees among Governments, many of which have become increasingly aware of the international scope and character of the problem and realize that it is possible through assistance from the international community to alleviate the burden of assistance to refugees which is the primary responsibility of host countries, and to speed up the orderly settlement of new refugees in agreement with all parties concerned.

11. Several countries where new problems of refugees have arisen made the fullest use of the possibilities which were thus open to them, and were able, in co-operation with UNHCR, to enlist considerable support from the international community, including intergovernmental organizations and voluntary agencies towards the implementation of plans for the local settlement of refugees on their territory.

12. The participation of host countries in the work of UNHCR was also facilitated through their increased representation at sessions of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, whether as new members of the Committee or as observers. Co-operation between the authorities of the host countries and UNHCR was also furthered through close contact between their officials and UNHCR missions and representatives in the field. In view of the increasing number of new refugee problems which emerged in 1964, the High Commissioner found it necessary to strengthen his existing branch offices and missions in Africa and Asia and to open new offices in 1964 and early in 1965 in Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Macao and Nepal.

13. Special mention should also be made of the increasing importance of the role of a number of semi-official agencies created by, or with the support of, Governments in various countries, which co-operate in the protection of refugees or in the implementation of assistance programmes. The work of these agencies, which constitute a most useful link between the governmental authorities and the international organizations, is of great value to the work of protection and assistance. There are countries such as France and Italy where they have been in existence for many years, but they have also been instituted in other countries like Algeria and Burundi, where problems of refugees arose more recently.

C. Co-operation with subsidiary organs of the United Nations, specialized agencies and other inter-governmental organizations

14. From the start of its activities in the field of assistance to refugees, UNHCR has maintained close relations with other members of the United Nations family and with inter-governmental organizations interested in the work of assistance to refugees. Thus, for example, the ILO has co-operated with UNHCR, particularly in the field of international protection, UNESCO in the field of education, WHO as regards medical assistance to refugees, and also UPU, UNICEF, UNRWA and TAB in field of common interest.

15. More recently, as UNHCR was called upon to extend its activities in particular to newly developing areas, more extensive co-operation was established with the ILO, FAO and also TAB, which are instrumental in promoting the implementation of the development programmes put into effect in areas where there are large numbers of refugees. The whole pattern of co-operation between UNHCR and the specialized agencies and TAB was discussed at meetings of the ACC and of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme, which stressed in this connexion that particular attention should be paid to the principle that financial responsibility should, wherever possible, be assigned to agency or agencies which have undertaken operational responsibilities in respect of all or part of the projects concerned.

16. Of major importance during the period under review has been the large-scale support of the World Food Programme which made available sizable quantities of food for refugees in Africa, particularly in Burundi and Tanzania, and has undertaken to contribute considerable further food supplies for refugees who are being assisted in their settlement on the land in the framework of the UNHCR current programme for 1965, as described in more detail in chapter III, section B, concerning assistance to refugees in Africa.

17. With regard to the relations of UNHCR with regional organizations, the ICEM continued to act as UNHCR's operational partner in the field of resettlement of refugees from Europe and the Far East. Invaluable support with regard to the solution of the problems of "old" European refugees is being received from the Council of Europe which continues to promote improvements to the status of refugees in the framework of European integration. Both EEC and OECD also bear the interests of refugees in mind in the course of their activities.

18. Pursuant to the recommendation adopted by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its eleventh session to this effect, the High Commissioner extended co-operation with regional organizations to other geographical areas where this could further solutions to the problems of refugees. Closer contacts had already been established with the Organization of American States, particularly in the field of human rights. The High Commissioner also entered into relations with OAU, which is actively concerned with the problems of refugees in Africa. At its thirteenth session the Executive Committee invited the OAU to be represented at its meetings. Contact was also maintained between UNHCR and the Afro-Asian Legal Consultative Committee, which at a recent session adopted certain principles concerning the treatment of refugees, for submission to Governments of participating countries.

19. All the organizations which have thus been brought into relationship with UNHCR are each making a valuable contribution to one or more aspects of the work of this Office. The role which they play in the framework of the over-all mechanism of international co-operation on behalf of refugees is most important.

D. Relations with voluntary agencies and other non-governmental organizations working for refugees

20. The fruitful co-operation maintained over the years between UNHCR and the increasing number of voluntary agencies and other non-governmental organizations working for refugees was continued and further extended during the period under review as the assistance programmes for new groups of refugees called for further support and practical action in a growing number of areas. Over 120 agencies both national and international have participated in UNHCR projects throughout the world during the past ten years. Several of these agencies are now closely co-operating with UNHCR, government authorities and other organizations in putting project into effect for the new groups of refugees in Africa and Asia. A number of agencies are also giving considerable financial support to assistance programmes as shown in annex VI below. Through the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, which groups over eighty-five agencies concerned with refugees and migration, the non-governmental organizations also take an active part in the planning and co-ordinating of relief measures for refugees.

21. Even more so than heretofore the individual members on the staff of the agencies in the field play an indispensable role in counselling the refugees and putting into effect projects for their integration or resettlement in other countries. They constitute the indispensable link between the thousands of men, women and children who are looking for help and the governmental authorities and international organizations which are co-ordinating the various relief measures. The global term "non-governmental organizations" includes a variety of private agencies both national and international, welfare services within countries, United Nations associations, special inter-agency committees for aid to refugees, confessional agencies, trade unions and many others which, all together, stand for the desire of millions of people to do what is in their power to help their fellow human beings. As in the case of the intergovernmental organizations, the contribution of individual agencies to one or more aspects of the problems of refugees is but one facet of the essential role which each agency plays in the frame of the over-all mechanism of international solidarity on behalf of refugees.

E. Award of the Nansen Medal for 1964

22. The Nansen Medal for 1964 was awarded to Dame May Curwen, D. B. E., of the United Kingdom, in recognition of the invaluable services she has rendered to the cause of refugees in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Dame May, who has devoted herself to the cause of refugees for nearly half a century, was the founder and head of the British Council for Aid to Refugees, which helped to resettle more than 20,000 refugees in the United Kingdom.

23. The Nansen Medal Award Committee also made two posthumous awards in 1964 to Mr. F. Preziosi, staff member of UNHCR, and Mr. J. Plicque, staff member of the ILO, who were killed in August 1964 in the performance of their duties while on their way to visit a refugee centre in the Congo.


A. General observations

24. The activities of the Office in the exercise of its basic function of international protection have further increased. While originally it was thought that the needs of the new groups of refugees, primarily in Africa and Asia, lay mainly in the field of social and material assistance, questions of international protection have also arisen in these areas and the countries of reception have shown an increasing interest in the question of the legal status of the refugees. At the same time, work for the protection and the improvement of the legal status of refugees in the areas where these activities have been carried out hitherto has continued undiminished.

25. The period under review has been marked by a further increase in the number of States which have become parties to the basic instrument relating to the legal status of refugees, the Convention of 28 July 1951. Moreover, the importance of this instrument is evidenced by the degree to which contracting States apply the principles and standards of the Convention, as recommended by General Assembly resolution 1959 (XVIII), beyond its contractual scope and by the fact that the principles of the Convention are being used as a basis for the treatment of refugees also by non-contracting States. In contrast to earlier laws, recent aliens legislation enacted in European countries has taken account of the special position of refugees, and the relevant provisions have been inspired by the principles for the special protection of refugees and the standards for their treatment embodied in the 1951 Convention.

26. Another feature of the period under review is the increasing interest shown by regional inter-governmental organizations in legal aspects of the refugee problem and the fruitful co-operation which has been established between UNHCR and these organizations in the field of international protection.

27. As in the past, the present report can only highlight certain developments in the field of protection. Apart from the work reported in these pages, UNHCR has continued to keep in close touch with national authorities concerning legislative and administrative measures affecting refugees with a view to the improvement of their status. UNHCR has also continued to deal with individual cases which were brought to its notice and which raised protection problems that could often be solved thanks to the co-operation of Governments, and which also gave an opportunity of raising general problems with the competent authorities. As heretofore, the activities of UNHCR in the field of international protection are supplemented by legal assistance, which forms part of the current assistance programme. This programme makes it possible to finance the provision of legal advice and legal aid to refugees; some of their problems can thereby be solved without the need for action by UNHCR in the field of protection facilitating the integration or resettlement of the refugees concerned.

B. Inter-governmental legal instruments


28. Four more States - Jamaica, Liberia, Peru and the United republic of Tanzania - became parties to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees bringing the total number of parties to the Convention to forty-seven. A list of these States is given below:

AlgeriaIvory Cost
Central African RepublicNew Zealand
Congo (Brazzaville)Norway
Federal Republic of GermanySwitzerland
GreeceUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Holy See
IrelandUnited Republic of Tanzania

29. Three African States, Burundi, Niger and Senegal, parties to the Convention, have extended their obligations under the Convention by adopting formula (b) in section B (1) of article 1 of the Convention, thus interpreting the expression "events occurring before 1 January 1951" to mean "events occurring in Europe or elsewhere before 1 January 1951".

30. The Government of Italy has withdrawn its reservations to the 1951 Convention in respect of the following articles: 6,7,8,19,22,23,25 and 34. Articles 17 and 18 are regarded as recommendations.

31. Two African States, parties to the Convention, have sent officials to UNHCR headquarters in Geneva and to a branch office, in order to obtain briefing on problems relating to the international protection of refugees and, in particular, implementation of the 1951 Convention.

32. It is the constant task of UNHCR to encourage further accessions to the 1951 Convention and to supervise its implementation in the increasing number of States which have become parties to it. Accession to the Convention is under consideration in a number of other States.

33. A "Colloquium on Legal Aspects of Refugee Problems", organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with the support of the Swiss Government, was held from 21 to 28 April 1965. By courtesy of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Colloquium was held at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, Italy.

34. The Colloquium considered, inter alia, the present limitation of the personal scope of the 1951 Convention and the possible measures whereby the Convention might be adapted so as to cover new refugee situations.


35. Four additional States have acceded to the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons: Algeria, Liberia, Sweden and Uganda. The total number of parties is now eighteen.


36. The Government of the United Kingdom has amended the United Kingdom Nationality Act in conformity with the provisions of the above Convention, which it intends to ratify in the near future.


37. Two more states have acceded to the Hague Agreement relating to Refugee Seamen during the period under review - Ireland and Portugal. This brings the total number of parties to fourteen.

38. In co-operation with the Netherlands authorities, UNHCR has continued to maintain a counsellor at the port of Rotterdam, who advises refugee seamen calling at that port on how to obtain suitable travel documents and on a country in which they may reside; and in particular, how to benefit from the provisions of the Hague Agreement, where appropriate. The counsellor had by the end of 1964 interviewed over 1,200 refugee seamen, many of whom succeeded in obtaining adequate documentation.


39. Another three Governments, the Holy See, Portugal and Niger, have become parties to the United Nations Convention on the Recovery of Maintenance Obligations since April 1964. This brings the number of States parties to the Convention to twenty-seven.

C. Right of Asylum

40. There is no more important task in the field of protection of refugees than that of endeavouring to ensure that no refugee in any part of the world is returned against his will to a country where he fears persecution. As in the past, UNHCR has made every effort, when refugees were threatened with such action, to draw attention to the so-called principle of non-refoulement, which is enshrined in article 33 of the 1951 Convention, prohibiting the expulsion or return of refugees to territories where their life or freedom would be threatened, and which has been declared to be a generally accepted principle in the Final Act of the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.

41. Given the fact that the obtaining of asylum is the basic requirement of the refugee and the prerequisite to the enjoyment of any rights and benefits, this Office has closely followed and encouraged international efforts to secure the right of asylum for the refugee and has co-operated with the international bodies dealing with this problem.

42. The draft Declaration on the Right of Asylum prepared by the Commission on Human Rights awaits further consideration by the General Assembly.

43. Consideration is being given by the Council of Europe to the question of the right of asylum where it is under study by a Committee of Experts on Human Rights.

44. The following resolution was unanimously adopted by the International Law Association at its conference held in Tokyo in 1964:

"Desirous of establishing the right of asylum of the individual in international law, in the light of the current inadequate protection of human rights;

"Takes note of the matters raised by the Rapporteur and the Committee in their report;

"Calls upon the Committee, in the light of the propositions embodied in the report and of the matters raised in the debate, to prepare some draft rules on territorial and diplomatic asylum to be laid before the next Conference of the Association."

In spite of the slow progress made in establishing an international legal basis for the right of asylum, in actual practice the principle of asylum has been generally recognized by various countries throughout the world.

D. Recognition of refugee status

45. The Office of UNHCR has continued to co-operate with Governments, in a capacity which varies from country to country, in determining which persons are entitled to be considered as refugees according to the definition of the 1951 Convention. In those countries where UNHCR representatives take part, or act as observers, in the procedures established for the determination of eligibility, some 9,800 persons were recognized as refugees during 1964.

46. The Office has also continued to examine and certify the refugee status, according to its statute, of applicants for admission to the United States, under Public Law 86.648, where the necessary evidence of refugee status was lacking; similarly the Office has examined and certified refugee status for other resettlement programmes where necessary.

E. New aliens legislation

47. In Yugoslavia a new aliens law was promulgated on 31 March 1965. This law provides, inter alia, for issuance of travel documents to persons considered by the Yugoslav authorities as refugees or stateless persons in accordance with the relevant international instruments and contains a special chapter on the admission of refugees and their protection against measures of expulsion or deportation. Provision is also made for the establishment of reception centres under the supervision of the Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs.

48. In Germany a new aliens law was promulgated on 28 April 1965 to replace the Aliens Ordinance of 1938. The new law incorporates the provisions of the Asylum Ordinance of 1953 which regulated the admission of refugees in the sense of the 1951 Convention; it extends the status provided for in the Convention to all persons to whom asylum is granted under the Federal Constitution. It introduces a central procedure for dealing with all applications for asylum on German Federal territory and provides important guarantees in the case of intended expulsion or deportation of refugees. The Office of UNHCR was consulted at various stages in the legislative procedure.

49. In the Netherlands a new aliens bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament and will be promulgated in due course. The bill contains procedural provisions regarding the admission of refugees, the withdrawal of refugee status and expulsion. The special position of refugees is taken into account and in various provisions the principles embodied in the Convention of 1951 have been incorporated. The Office of UNHCR was consulted during the preparation of the bill.

F. Facilitation of travel

50. The Office of UNHCR has continued its efforts in favour of the facilitation of travel of refugees, particularly by encouraging the issue of adequate travel documents and by endeavouring to promote the abolition of the visa requirement on a regional basis. In this latter respect mention should be made of the Council of Europe Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees, to which eight States are parties, as well as various bilateral agreements on the subject.

51. Two further Governments, Algeria and Colombia, have begun issuing the special travel document for refugees for which the 1951 Convention provides.

52. An agreement concerning the abolition of the visa requirement for refugees was concluded between the Benelux countries and Switzerland and entered into force on 15 June 1964. According to this agreement, refugees holding Convention travel documents issued in Switzerland can travel to the Benelux countries, and vice versa, for a period not exceeding three months without the requirement of a visa.

53. A further agreement between the same countries, which also entered into force on 15 June 1964, concerns the right of return of refugee workers resident in Switzerland and the taking up of employment in the Benelux countries and vice versa. According to this agreement such refugees may return to their first country of asylum during a period of two years, but if they are permitted to stay beyond that period they will be accepted as resident in the country to which they have migrated.

54. An agreement has also been signed between the Benelux Union and Austria with regard to the right of residence and the prolongation of refugee travel documents. This agreement, which entered into force on 1 April 1965, regulates the question of the transfer of responsibility for the issue of a new travel document in the case of a refugee who moves from one country of asylum to another.

55. In 1961, the Council of Europe concluded an agreement on travel by young persons on collective passports between countries members of the Council of Europe. An article of this agreement provides for an optional declaration extending its provisions to young refugees and stateless persons. Up to the present time Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom have made such a declaration.

G. Improvement of the rights of refugees in the framework of regional legal instruments

Organization of African Unity

56. In accordance with point 6 of the resolution on the Problems of Refugees in Africa, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU in July 1964, the ad hoc Commission for the Problem of Refugees in Africa prepared a draft Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in Africa. At the invitation of the Secretariat of the OAU, the Office of UNHCR commented on this draft. The draft Convention was submitted to the OAU Council of Ministers at Nairobi in February 1965, which requested member States to submit their comments before the next session. The Council of Ministers also established a Committee of Legal Experts in order to examine the draft Convention in light of these comments prior to that meeting. UNHCR is maintaining contact with the competent bodies of the OAU in relation to this work.

European integration

57. In other areas, particularly in Europe, where there are still some 750,000 refugees within the mandate of UNHCR, the High Commissioner has continued to strive for the extension to refugees of rights similar to those of nationals of their country of residence, or at least to those provided for by intra-European legal instruments. This task is facilitated by the willing co-operation of regional inter-governmental organization such as the Council of Europe, OECD and EEC.

58. Pursuant to the provisions of a resolution of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe on the improvement of the status of refugees in the framework of European co-operation the position of refugees was also fully taken into account in the preparatory work for the drawing up of a European Consular Convention.


59. The Office of UNHCR was represented by observers at the seventh session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee which met in Baghdad in March 1965. At that session the rights of refugees were discussed on the basis of draft articles prepared by the Secretariat of the Committee. The Committee adopted certain principles concerning the treatment of refugees, which will be submitted to the Governments of participating countries for their comments. These principles deal with the definition of refugees, asylum, right of return, compensation, movement and residence, basic freedom, right to property, access to courts and to legal assistance, and with expulsion and deportation. The principles contain safeguards for the continued application of the provisions of existing conventions. The Office of UNHCR is maintaining liaison with the Consultative Committee on this matter.


60. The Office of UNHCR has continued to maintain contact with the Human Rights Commission of OAS in connexion with refugees problems.

H. Indemnification

61. Previous reports of the High Commissioner have contained information on the administration of the Indemnification Fund of DM 45 million placed at the disposal of the High Commissioner in accordance with article 2 of the Agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, concluded on 5 October 1960. On the basis of the progress made, the High Commissioner was in a position to establish the date for the closure of the UNHCR Indemnification Fund at 30 September 1964. This date was fixed in order to enable final payments from the Fund to be effected before Christmas 1964. Of a total of 40,229 applications, 12,152 were decided positively, and payments made as of 31 March 1965 amounted to $US 12.45 million. The amount available for payments was increased beyond the amount originally received from the Federal German Government as a result of interest accrued on investments and the revaluation of the DM in 1962. A small reserve has been maintained in order to make payments where appropriate in cases pending under the appeals procedure and the few cases in which screening is still in progress.

62. A total of 3,438 appeals against negative decisions were received as of 31 March 1965. Of this total, 1,164 cases were still being processed at that date.

63. The Office of the UNHCR has throughout the administration of the Fund received close co-operation from the voluntary agencies, whose devoted participation was an essential element in the successful completion of this operation.

64. In the implementation of article 1 of the above mentioned Agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the High Commissioner, positive action by the German authorities has been taken in 700 cases as of 31 March 1965. This action was based on 688 positive decisions, while in twelve cases a settlement was reached outside the normal procedure. The number of cases decided by that date was 3,420 and a further 17,640 cases remain to be dealt with.

65. Payments in the 700 positive cases mentioned above amounted to $US 5.46 million in so far as retroactive payments are concerned, representing in part capital indemnification payments and to a large extent back payments of pensions. The volume of current pensions approved amounts to $US 630,000 per annum.

66. Close co-operation has been established between the UNHCR, and particularly the branch office in Germany, and the competent German authorities, including consultations at ministerial level, concerning implementation of the Agreement of 5 October 1960 as provided for in the Protocol to the Agreement.

67. The arrangements made for the reimbursement of amounts advanced from the UNHCR Indemnification Fund to refugees, whose applications have subsequently been approved by the Federal Administration Office, operate satisfactorily. As of 31 March 1965, a total of DM 1.06 million has been reimbursed in respect of 406 cases.

68. Consultations with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany were continued in connexion with the pending legislation for the enactment of a supplementary Indemnification Law. Representatives of the High Commissioner were given the opportunity of expressing their views before the competent German legislative bodies. At the time of writing this report it seems likely that this legislation will be passed before the summer of 1965.


A. General observations

69. A new momentum was reached in the implementation of assistance programmes for refugees who are the concern of UNHCR. A total of nearly 180,000 refugees benefited directly under the programmes, including some 27,500 under the Major Aid programmes for "old" European refugees (see annex I) which are now on their way to completion, and some 150,000 under the UNHCR current operations in 1964, which include the UNHCR current programme for 1964, outstanding projects from the 1963 programme and projects financed in 1964 from the Emergency Fund (see annexes II and III) and from trust funds, i.e. funds received by UNHCR for the financing of essential projects outside the programme, as shown in annex IV to the present report.

70. The general principles concerning the work of assistance to refugees which were endorsed by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at their recent sessions, are being fully applied in the interest of the universal mission entrusted to UNHCR in the field of social assistance to refugees. It should be recalled in this connexion that the assistance programmes constitute only a fraction of the over-all measures of assistance taken on behalf of refugees, which are the primary responsibility of the host country. When the High Commissioner is called upon to intervene in response to a request by the host country, his role is to act as an intermediary of goodwill and as a catalyst by enlisting the necessary support form members of the international community and from other sources, and by initiating and co-ordinating measures of assistance as may be necessary. The stimulating action of UNHCR depends therefore very much on the complex mechanism of assistance which is based on the interest of governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as described in chapter I of the present report.

71. The current programme of UNHCR is limited in scope and also in time, for measures of assistance have to be so conceived as to lead to a lasting solution of the problems. In practical terms this means that in the case of refugee problems initial action by UNHCR is planned in the framework of a longer term programme leading to the integration of the refugees and when possible their inclusion in measure of economic development taken by the host country. This applies especially to certain new large-scale problems of refugees in Africa which are described below.

72. Even more so than in 1963, the current operations have been characterized by the emergence of new problems of refugees in Africa where the total number of refugees, including those settled under earlier UNHCR programmes, grew from 310,000 at the end of 1963 to over 400,000 at the end of 1964. The gravest problem facing UNHCR in that area continues to be that of the Rwandese refugees. The new problems concern mostly refugees from the Sudan and from Portuguese Guinea in Senegal and from Mozambique in Tanzania. In Asia, UNHCR was called upon to extend assistance to Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal and to Chinese refugees in Macao. The influx of Cuban and European refugees also continued.

73. The catalytic role of UNHCR is evidenced by the fact that the $3.05 million programme attracted supporting contributions in an amount of at least $2.68 million from within countries where projects are put into effect, that in addition over $1,365,000 worth of trust funds could be committed for the implementation of projects outside the programme and that this amount in turn attracted supporting contributions which, as far as can be assessed, largely exceed $2.2 million. To this should be added governmental bilateral aid in cash and in kind given to host countries for the provision of assistance to refugees.

74. As previously, three permanent solutions were open to the refugees: voluntary repatriation, resettlement and local integration. As regards voluntary repatriation, 184 refugees were assisted by UNHCR at their request to return to their country of origin at a cost of some $28,500. It is, however, known that there is a much larger movement of refugees across the borders, particularly in Africa. However, only cases of refugees who apply for assistance come to the attention of UNHCR. Nearly 5,200 refugees were resettled with UNHCR assistance in new countries of asylum and some $414,000 committed under projects for the promotion of resettlement. Assistance towards local integration absorbed the major part of commitments entered into under UNHCR current operations in 1964 in an amount of some $2,440,000. Approximately 144,000 refugees were assisted to settle within their country of residence.

75. Legal assistance was provided for 7,208 refugees at a cost of some $99,000 under the current programme. It again proved its value in enabling refugees to achieve a permanent solution to their problems at a very limited cost to the programme. Thus, in one country, some 3,477 refugees were able through this form of assistance to assert their claim to a pension, social security benefits, etc. special mention should be made of legal assistance towards naturalization, which is all the more important since it enabled a certain number of refugees to cease being refugees.

76. Although it is a principle of UNHCR to assist refugees in becoming self-supporting, it is necessary to provide a limited amount of supplementary aid to the most needy cases until a solution can be found to their problem. Over 8,900 refugees benefited from this type of assistance during 1964, of whom were some 4,800 in Africa and Asia, at a cost of approximately $93,000. A considerable part of this sum had to be spent on emergency feeding and on urgent medical assistance. In addition to the funds spent on the programme in 1964, UNHCR was called upon to spend some $225,000 from the Emergency Fund to meet urgent problems of refugees.

77. Taking into account the emergence of several new refugee problems, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its twelfth session increased the target of the 1964 Programme from $2.6 million to $3,050,080. Furthermore, at its thirteenth session, the Committee adopted a financial target of $3.5 million for the 1965 programme including allocations the details of which may be found in annex V to the present report.

B. Assistance to African refugees

General observations

78. It is in Africa that the High Commissioner was confronted with problems of the greatest scope and gravity, particularly in respect of Rwandese refugees, over 90,000 of whom were in need of assistance. A certain instability in some of the areas of settlement hampered the assistance programmes particularly during the first part of 1964. In addition, several new problems of refugees emerged which called for urgent action on the part of UNHCR.

79. One of the main common features of the problems of refugees in Africa is that they concern people who are used to live on the land or to breed cattle. Local settlement in agriculture appeared therefore to be the most appropriate solution in most cases, except of course where the refugees had opted for voluntary repatriation. In accordance with the general principles of UNHCR its main object was to help the refugees to become self-supporting as rapidly as possible, and thus to reduce the period of time during which they need emergency aid. Rapid action, which is therefore essential, has been made possible through the active support and co-operation of the Governments and organizations interested in the work of assistance to refugees in that area.

Refugees from Rwanda in Burundi

80. The number of Rwandese refugees in Burundi, which amounted in 1963 to a total of some 26,000 - most of them in the three settlements of Kayongozi, Kigamba and Muramba - increased by 13,000 at the end of 1963 and at the beginning of 1964 as a result of a new influx mainly from Rwanda at that time. In the course of 1964 their number increased by a further 9,000 persons who had been living in the Central Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The total number at the end of that year amounted to some 48,000.

81. Responsibility for the local settlement of the refugees already in Burundi had been taken over by the governmental authorities during the second half of 1963 and these refugees were on their way towards becoming self-supporting. The Burundi Government, however, was unable to provide assistance for the additional refugees without further support from international sources and UNHCR was called upon to lend its good offices with a view to finding a solution to the problems of these refugees. The plan to transfer up to 10,000 refugees from Burundi to the Mwesi highlands in Tanzania, referred to in the High Commissioner's previous report to the General Assembly could unfortunately not be carried out so far because of reluctance on the part of the leaders of the refugees. This possibility for the resettlement of refugees in Tanzania is, however, still open and the matter is being pursued.

82. The participation of UNHCR in the work of assistance for refugees in Burundi in 1964 amounted to $380,000 which include funds from the current programme and from the Emergency Fund, as well as a sizable private contribution. Of this amount, some $230,000 were committed for the consolidation of the position of refugees who had arrived before 1963 and were settled in Kayongozi, Kigamba and Muramba. The necessary measures to this effect were taken by the governmental authorities with the assistance of nine volunteers from Great Britain and experts of the Association internationale pour le développement rural outre-mer, a Belgian organization working with the Government of Burundi. Of the $230,000, a sum of $72,000 was used for various forms of assistance including medical aid and aid towards primary education, assistance towards settlement and distribution of emergency food which became necessary after the poor harvest in July 1964, and a sum of $157,000 was allocated to the ILO zonal development plan put into effect for the benefit of both the Rwandese refugees in the three settlement areas and the local population, as described in paragraph 155 of the report to the nineteenth session of the General Assembly.1 Most encouraging progress was made in 1964 and during the first few months of 1965 in the implementation of this plan in which the TAB and FAO are also participating.

83. A mention should also be made of the assistance programme for the 13,000 refugees who had arrived in Burundi at the end of 1963 and early 1964, which was completed in the course of that year and to which UNHCR allocated $40,000.

84. As it became clear that the majority, if not all, of the newly arrived Rwandese refugees would have to be settled in Burundi, a programme was drawn up by the Burundi Government for their settlement in the Mugera district in the eastern part of the country. This programme, the cost of which will amount to over $1.4 million, provides for participation by the World Food Programme to nearly one third of this amount, and by UNHCR in an amount of $580,000 within the $740,000 allocation approved by the Executive Committee within the framework of the UNHCR programme for 1965. This amount will be used mainly towards the settlement of the refugees in agriculture and the transport and distribution of food.

85. The new land settlement scheme at Mugera which is intended to benefit some 25,000 new Rwandese refugees is the largest single assistance project launched in the framework of current UNHCR programmes. It was put into effect in May 1965 and a number of refugee families have since then moved into the area. Experts from FAO and the AIDR have surveyed the area and have concluded that with the tapping of water sources Mugera can offer reasonable settlement possibilities. Operational responsibility for the implementation of the project rests with the Fonds Roi Mwambutsa IV, the main social agency of the Burundi Government which will be working closely with experts from the United Nations and the AIDR. If all the difficulties entailed in the project can be surmounted the refugees could be expected to be on the way to self-sufficiency after three harvests, i.e. two years from the time work has actually started at Mugera.


86. There were at the beginning of 1964 some 40,000 Rwandese refugees in the Congo, 13,000 of whom were receiving international assistance towards their settlement in that country. The assistance programmes in the Congo were seriously affected by the disturbances in the Kivu Province in the course of 1964. As the result of the troubles which broke out, and of the subsequent Expulsion Decree and Decree on Sequestration of Property affecting aliens, including the refugees, several thousands of them again became uprooted and left for neighbouring countries including Burundi and Uganda. As of 31 December 1964, some 1,300 had been resettled in Tanzania with the help of the airlift which has been put into effect between Goma in the North Kivu and Tabora in the Mwesi highlands of Tanzania where they are being settled on the land. The airlift, which was interrupted at the end of 1964 has recently been resumed and a further 1,700 refugees are likely to benefit from it.

87. An amount of over $260,000, including a private contribution of some $30,000, was committed for resettlement by UNHCR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including over $80,000 for the financing of the above-mentioned airlift. The programme included in particular $120,000 for UNHCR participation in the initial phase of an ILO plan for zonal development similar to that which was put into effect in Burundi, and $60,000 for other expenditures, including the cost of projects for the consolidation of the position of the refugees in settlement areas during the first part of 1964 and of projects for emergency assistance during the second part of the year. At the end of 1964 two projects for the settlement of Rwandese refugees in the Eastern part of the Congo which had been put into effect under the 1963 programme with a UNHCR contribution of $28,000 were still under implementation.

88. At the end of 1964 the situation of the Rwandese refugees in the Kivu Province showed a tendency towards improvement and, once the envisaged rescinding of the Expulsion and Sequestration Decrees is effected, it will be possible for the ILO Zonal Development Plan to be carried on according to plan, thus consolidating the settlement of Rwandese refugees in the eastern part of the Congo.

89. A further allocation of $112,000 was included in the 1965 programme to enable UNHCR to carry on its work for refugees in the Congo and to continue the airlift with a view to resettling a certain number of them in Tanzania.


90. There were at the beginning of 1964 some 12,000 refugees from Rwanda in Tanzania, in two centres: Karagwe and Muyenzi, both in the West Lake region. As explained in paragraph 167 of last year's report, following the influx of new refugees from Rwanda into Burundi, the Tanzania Government generously responded to an appeal by the High Commissioner by agreeing to accept up to 10,000 of these refugees for settlement on the land in the Mwesi highlands. As the refugee leaders opposed the movement the Tanzanian authorities agreed to admit a number of other Rwandese refugees, while leaving open the possibility of admitting those Rwandese refugees who had elected to remain in Burundi. In the course of 1964, the Tanzanian authorities admitted for settlement in the Mwesi highlands some 1,300 Rwandese refugees who arrived by air from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

91. An amount of some $240,000 was committed by UNHCR in 1964 for participation in the work of assistance to Rwandese refugees in Tanzania. Of this amount, $20,000 was intended for the consolidation of the settlement of the earlier group of 12,000 in Karagwe and Muyenzi, whose settlement is making good progress. An amount of $200,000 was committed for the settlement of the 1,300 newcomers on the land in the Mwesi highlands, including the improvement of access to the settlement area and the establishment of the necessary infra-structure with a view to the settlement of the refugees. The settlement of the refugees is being carried out by the Tanzanian authorities with the active participation of the Lutheran World Federation - Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service.

92. The airlift which was interrupted at the end of 1964 has been recently resumed, and up to another 1,700 Rwandese refugees will be moved to the Mwesi highlands. A further allocation of some $100,000 was included by the Executive Committee in the UNHCR programme for 1965 towards assistance for the Rwandese refugees in Tanzania.


93. At the beginning of 1964, there were an estimated 40,000 refugees from Rwanda in Uganda. As a result of new arrivals in April 1964 the number grew to a total of 48,000. The implementation of the programme for local settlement of Rwandese refugees in agriculture continued throughout 1964. The refugees who had brought cattle with them were grouped together. Under the UNHCR programme for 1964, a total of $407,000 was committed for assistance to these refugees, including $167,000 for the consolidation of the position of those who had been in the country before April 1964 and $240,000 for the financing of a land settlement programme for the newcomers. Of the $167,000 allocation, $50,000 was used for the consolidation of existing settlement through the establishment of a clinic at Nakivali, the improvement of the water system in Kahung and the introduction of cash crop farming in Oruchinga; $17,000 for the supply of water in the Oruchinga valley and $100,000 for the eradication of the tsetse fly in the Nakivali area. The allocation of $240,000 was used for the land settlement of 6,000 new refugees with 10,000 head of cattle in the Toro district and for the settlement of a further 2,700 who moved to the North Bunyoro area.

94. In view of the considerable number of other refugees who have also generously been admitted to Uganda the Government of that country is facing a heavy burden and the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme included a further allocation of some $140,000 in the framework of the UNHCR programme for 1965 for further assistance towards the settlement of the Rwandese refugees in Uganda.


95. In 1964, the Government of Senegal requested the High Commissioner to provide assistance for some 30,000 refugees from Portuguese Guinea who had arrived in the Casamance area of Senegal. The first groups of refugees to arrive were assisted spontaneously by the local population, but as their numbers continued to increase, reaching 35,000 by the end of 1964, it became necessary for the Government to draw up a plan for their local settlement.

96. Pending the implementation of a programme of agricultural settlement by the Senegalese Government, the High Commissioner made available $60,000 from the Emergency Fund to help meet the cost of inland transportation of food donated by the United States Government and for the provision of essential medicine. An amount of $107,000 was also made available by UNHCR from the 1964 programme towards the settlement of the refugees.

97. The Government of Senegal subsequently submitted to the High Commissioner a plan for the settlement of some 30,000 refugees on the land. The total cost of the plan, as subsequently revised, will amount to $1.5 million, of which some two thirds will be provided by the United States Government in food; $215,000 by the Government of Senegal; $14,500 by other organizations and $278,100 from UNHCR including $111,100 under the UNHCR current programme for 1965.

98. As further refugees continue to arrive, the Government is considering a new plan for the settlement of another 10,000 refugees further inland in 1966.

99. In the autumn of 1964, some 10,000 refugees entered Tanzania from Mozambique. The Tanzanian authorities immediately took measures to cover health, food and other urgent needs of the refugees, and subsequently appealed to the High Commissioner, the World Food Programme and non-governmental organizations for assistance in dealing with the problem. The refugees were transferred by the Tanzanian authorities to Rutamba which is some 80 miles north of the border.

100. The World Food Programme agreed to make an emergency allocation of food during a period of six months at a total cost of $164,500, and several voluntary agencies also provided substantial assistance. Distribution of food started in November 1964. These measures made it possible to deal with the early critical period and to start organizing a settlement at Rutamba where the refugees are being assisted in establishing themselves in agriculture.

101. The Tanzanian Government has since drawn up an agricultural settlement programme which is to be carried out over a three-year period from 1965-1968 at a cost of over $1.8 million. The programme provides for food rations during the installation period and afterwards on a decreasing scale as crops are harvested, the building of permanent accommodation by the refugees, urgent health services, bush clearance and agricultural exploitation including the provision of technical advice, seeds, tools and other essential materials. The area in which the refugees are being settled is covered with primaeval tropical forest which is difficult and costly to remove and a substantial part of the total cost of the programme will be incurred for this purpose. The Government is providing mechanical clearance of one acre per family, and the refugees will be expected to clear gradually further acreage for themselves. The main expenditure during 1965 and 1966 will, however, be the provision of food rations while the land is being prepared for cultivation. It is expected that special contributions might be made by certain Governments or non-governmental organizations towards the cost of education and certain items of medical equipment, which are included in the over-all plan of action. This plan is to be carried out by the Tanzanian Government in co-operation with the Lutheran World Federation-Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service, a voluntary agency which has already had considerable experience in implementing the rural settlement programme for Rwandese refugees in Tanzania.

102. At its thirteenth session, the Executive Committee approved an allocation of $250,000 in the 1965 programme for this purpose and agreed in principle to the High Commissioner contributing in 1966 a further sum of $162,300 towards the second part of the 1965-1966 phase of the rural settlement programme, subject to the position being reviewed at the Committee's fourteenth session. Substantial contributions are also being made by the World Food Programme and various inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies.

103. Details of the programme undertaken by the High Commissioner pursuant to resolution 1671 (XVI) of the General Assembly to assist over 150,000 refugees from Angola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were given in the High Commissioner's reports to the seventeenth,2 eighteenth3 and nineteenth4 sessions of the General Assembly. That programme was completed in 1962 and limited assistance has since been provided by voluntary agencies on an individual basis to those in need. Four projects financed under the UNHCR current programme for 1963 were still in the course of implementation for these refugees in the course of 1964.

104. Further to a request from the Government of the Central African Republic an allocation of $14,000 was included in the 1964 programme towards a programme for the settlement of some 300 refugees from the Sudan in agriculture in the Eastern part of the Central African Republic. The UNHCR contribution will cover part of the cost for the purchase of food locally, for equipment, medical assistance and primary education. Under the over-all programme the refugees will receive food for a nine-month period, most of which is being provided through bilateral aid. It is hoped that by the end of 1965 the refugees will have become self-supporting.

105. Early in 1964 the High Commissioner received a request from the Government of Uganda for assistance towards the land settlement of over 7,000 refugees from the Sudan in the South Karamoja and Acholi districts. The High Commissioner was accordingly authorized by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme to commit a total of $334,000 towards the settlement programme. An allocation of some $258,000 was also included in the 1965 programme for assistance to these refugees. However, after the programme had been started in July 1964, changes took place in the composition and geographical distribution of the group which have necessitated a revision of the settlement plan. Further more, negotiations are taking place between the Governments and other parties concerned with a view to the voluntary repatriation of the refugees, and the outcome of these negotiations might also affect the plans for settlement. A survey of the situation is at present being made in co-operation with the Government of Uganda.

C. Assistance to European Refugees


106. Further progress was made towards completing the Major Aid Programmes which, it will be recalled, include the programmes and projects adopted from 1955 to 1963 to achieve permanent solutions for the problems of "old" European refugees which have emerged since the First World War. Although the remaining cases are the most difficult to solve, it was possible through the combined efforts of Government authorities, voluntary agencies and UNHCR branch offices and sub-offices, to assist nearly 27,500 of these refugees in some forty countries throughout the world. Assistance was completed for some 12,800 of these refugees, over two thirds of whom (8,560) were firmly settled as a direct result of the UNHCR programmes. In accordance with the priority given to camp clearance, the number of refugees in camps was again reduced from 1,900 to 1,110 for all of whom arrangements are in the course of implementation. By the end of 1964, solutions were being implemented for more than two thirds of the remaining caseload of 21,500 non-settled refugees.

107. In accordance with the basic principle whereby assistance to refugees is the primary responsibility of the host country, considerable contributions, in several cases exceeding largely the value of UNHCR projects, were made from within the countries where projects were put into effect, as illustrated by the fact that over the nine years' period (1955-1964), they amounted to nearly $55 million against UNHCR projects in a value of over $43.6 million, thus representing 55.7 per cent of the total value of assistance projects.

108 The majority of beneficiaries were assisted towards their integration in their country of residence. Over 1,000 were none the less resettled through emigration in other countries, mostly with the help of ICEM, the majority from the Far East and Morocco. The number of those resettled from the Far East via Hong Kong was smaller than in other years, and serious difficulties were encountered here in finding suitable resettlement opportunities for one particular group belonging to the sect of "Old Believers". Thanks to the very co-operative attitude of several countries of immigration which traditionally admit refugees of European origin from the Far East, a solution to this problem is now also in sight. Other more limited numbers of refugees were resettled from countries bordering on the Mediterranean where they were experiencing difficulty in consolidating their position.

109. The refugees resettled through migration under the Major Aid Programmes belong to the physically and socially handicapped, and include more than one-third of non-rehabilitable refugees, who against payment of a limited grant under the programme, have been accepted for placement in institutions where they receive care and maintenance and medical assistance as required. Special efforts continue to be made in respect of the rehabilitable handicapped refugees. With the help of modern techniques, some of these may be to some extent physically rehabilitated and consequently become partly or wholly self-supporting. Their emigration to other countries for permanent settlement is being facilitated by the preparation of special individual dossiers under the plan conceived by an Australian medical officer whose services for this purpose were made available by the Australian Government.

110. With regard to the local integration of refugees, a large number of beneficiaries, i.e. over one-third were assisted through the provision of housing mainly in Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany and Greece. Of the total number of 11,290 dwelling units provided for under Major Aid Programmes from 1955 until 1964, over 9,800 were completed by the end of 1964. On that date, a further 639 were under construction, whereas construction of over 840, mostly in Greece, still has to be started. As in previous years considerable savings could be made in the programme through the reallocation to new applicants of dwellings vacated by former beneficiaries under the programme.

111. Another important part of the Major Aid Programmes which benefited nearly 4,000 refugees, mostly physically and socially handicapped, provided solutions in the form of "establishment assistance" which includes a variety of economic measures designed to bring about their firm settlement; it includes for instance the provision of tools and equipment for establishment in agriculture or in crafts and trades.

112. A further important element in the programme continues to be the settlement of non-rehabilitable refugees. In addition to those who had to be settled in institutions in other countries, over 1,000 were settled in an institution in their country of residence where they receive permanent care or are given such other complementary assistance without which they would be unable to survive.

113. Mention should also be made of the rehabilitation of the handicapped which benefited 430 refugees in 1964 and of vocational training which benefited over 500 refugees. As heretofore, these forms of assistance were given always with a view to enabling the refugees concerned to fend for themselves and become useful members of the community.

114. As in previous years, counsellors and social workers whose services were financed under the programme, continued to play an essential role in directing the refugees towards the most appropriate solution to their problems.

115. With regard to the rate of implementation of the programme, every effort continues to be made to proceed as rapidly as possible. In Austria, and possibly also in Italy and Turkey, completion is envisaged by the end of 1965. In Greece, delays are expected on account of the above-mentioned delays incurred in the building of housing. In Morocco and the Middle East, the solution of the problems of "old" refugees will depend upon further resettlement opportunities being made available. In France and Germany where the size of the problem of the "old" refugees proved much larger than had been anticipated, the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its thirteenth session adopted two allocations of $250,000 each to be financed from savings in previous projects in the Major Aid Programmes, mainly for establishment assistance to the refugees who, in both countries, are benefiting from much more substantial governmental assistance towards their firm settlement. These are the last important projects adopted in the framework of the Major Aid Programmes which represent the conclusion of twenty years of relentless concerted efforts by the international community towards the solution of the problems of refugees resulting from the Second and in some cases even the First World War.


116. As in the case of the current programme of complementary assistance for 1963, the 1964 programme was intended to assist countries of asylum rapidly to deal with the problems of newly recognized refugees whose number in 1964 was of the order of 10,000 as in previous years, and also with newly emerging needs of other refugees. The majority of the newcomers were able-bodied and experienced little difficulty in being resettled in another country or establishing themselves in the host country with the help of the latter. A small number of handicapped among them, however, were in great need of a limited amount of assistance complementary to that being given to them by the host countries as were also those refugees whose newly emerging needs had to be met before they again became too heavy a burden for the host country.

117. The High Commissioner continued to promote the admission of refugees by countries of immigration in close co-operation with ICEM. With the total number of 27,967 refugees transported by ICEM to overseas countries in 1964, 9,836 came from countries where resettlement is given special attention by UNHCR. The majority of these refugees were able to migrate without cost to UNHCR. Taking into account the necessity for immigration countries to alleviate the burden on the countries of first asylum, the Governments of traditional countries of immigration overseas and in Europe continued to include refugees in their immigration quota and also to admit a certain proportion of more or less severely handicapped refugees thus making it possible to prevent any serious accumulation of refugees in countries of first asylum.

118. Over 700 handicapped European refugees were thus resettled under programmes sponsored, financed or co-financed by UNHCR.

119. Over 3,800 persons needed assistance towards their integration in their country of residence, in several countries in Europe and Latin America as indicated in annex III to the present report. The majority were located in Austria, Greece and Latin America. A substantial number also needed assistance in France, Germany, Italy and Yugoslavia. A number of the refugees concerned needed international assistance in order to solve newly emerging problems in those areas where very large numbers of refugees have already been settled, a small proportion of whom can no longer fend for themselves owing to ill health, old age or other serious physical handicaps.

120. The type of assistance given to the refugees followed the pattern shown in annex III. Housing, establishment assistance or a combination of both were required for a considerable number of cases. While there was an increased need for housing, a good number of dwellings became available at no cost to the programme since housing units provided to refugees under earlier programmes could, when vacated by the original occupants, be reoccupied by new refugee tenants. This procedure also applied to the establishment of non-rehabilitable refugees in institutions and in "housing with care."

121. The counselling of refugees which is essential to direct them to the most appropriate solutions to their problem and often makes it possible for them to be settled without cost to the programme, has raised a problem in that it cannot easily be provided from within the existing social services of countries where projects are put into effect. This problem, which may become acute once the Major Aid Programmes are completed and the counsellors engaged under that programme are no longer available, will be considered by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its next session.

122. While the above-mentioned measures of assistance made it possible to take care of vital needs during the period under review, new cases are continually coming to light and a similar provision to deal with the problems of needy European refugees has therefore been included in the 1965 programme.

D. Assistance to other groups of refugees


123. The Chinese refugees in Hong Kong continued to benefit from assistance provided for them by the Hong Kong authorities. From trust funds received for operations outside the programme, the High Commissioner was able to channel some $77,000 as a contribution towards the financing of a rehabilitation centre for these refugees and of various other measures for their establishment.


124. At the end of 1964 the number of Chinese refugees in Macao, which had been growing at a rate of 200 to 300 persons a month, amounted to approximately 75,000; this number includes a high proportion of physically handicapped persons. In many cases, therefore, the assistance by the local authorities and voluntary agencies to the refugees had to be limited to relief measures. Under the 1964 programme an amount of nearly $100,000 was made available by UNHCR towards the firm establishment of these refugees, some 350 of whom were settled by the end of 1964. Under one project, fifty-five fully equipped fishing boats were made available to fifty-five families who were in this way enabled to become self-supporting. Under a second project, which is still in the course of implementation, a social rehabilitation centre on the island of Taipeh is being extended with a view to providing rehabilitation for some 500 additional cases.

125. A further allocation of some $116,000 has been included in the UNHCR current programme for 1965 for similar projects.


126. During the year the influx of Cuban refugees continued into Latin America, Spain and the United States.

127. The number of those in Latin America is between 20,000 and 30,000. In the course of 1964, over 650 of these refugees were assisted with some financial support from UNHCR, while in transit, pending their resettlement in another country. A number of others received limited UNHCR assistance with a view to their permanent settlement in their country of asylum.

128. The number of Cuban refugees in Spain is between 10,000 and 15,000. The continuing influx is only partly offset by their resettlement in other countries, mainly the United States. The High Commissioner continues to explore resettlement opportunities and possibilities of work for them in other countries. The High Commissioner was also called upon to participate in the work of assistance for these refugees in Spain. The $159,000 allocation included in the 1964 programme for this purpose enabled UNHCR, in particular, to provide counselling for the refugees, to contribute to the cost of annuities for the needy and aged among them; to assist a number of them in establishing themselves in trades and professions so as to become self-supporting, and to provide temporary shelter for the refugees upon their arrival in Spain.

129. UNHCR assistance covers only part of the help which is being given to these refugees in Spain through a network of governmental and voluntary welfare services and agencies, including the Auxilio Social, Caritas, and municipal welfare services. Pending the drawing up of a more comprehensive plan for the solution of the problems of these refugees, an allocation of $146,000 has been included in the UNHCR current programme for 1965 towards assistance to Cuban refugees in Spain.

130. In the United States, care necessary for these refugees is provided by the Government assisted by various voluntary agencies. By 31 December 1964, over 223,000 Cuban refugees had entered the United States and the Government of that country had included $42,589,000 in their budget to assist the more needy groups among these refugees in 1965. UNHCR has provided marginal assistance to facilitate the resettlement of a small number of hardship cases who wished to be resettled in other countries mainly for the purpose of family reunion.


131. As stated in last year's report, there were an estimated 11,000 Tibetan refugees in Nepal at the beginning of 1964. Since that time, it became known that some 4,000 of them had moved into India and in April 1965 their number in Nepal was considered not to exceed 7,000 to 8,000. Assistance to some of these refugees was provided through a joint effort of the Government, the Nepalese Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Swiss Red Cross, and the Swiss (Governmental) Association for Technical Assistance.

132. In October 1964, the High Commissioner appointed a representative in Kathmandu. At the request of the Government of Nepal, a study of the problem was made by UNHCR with a view to considering the measures required to assist the refugees in becoming self-supporting. In the course of 1964, UNHCR made available an amount of over $20,000 to assist the Swiss Red Cross to meet the most urgent problems of some 1,300 of these refugees in the centres of Janakphur and Trisuli.

133. Many of the refugees in Nepal live in remote areas and are difficult to locate, but at the beginning of 1965, over 2,000 were receiving assistance in five settlements in various parts of the country which are being run under the auspices of SATA and the Nepalese Red Cross. A more comprehensive programme has now been drawn up in consultation with the Nepalese Government and the organizations already assisting these refugees, with a view to helping them to become self-supporting, and thus bring to an end the prolonged distribution of relief. An allocation of $143,750 has accordingly been included in the UNHCR current programme for 1965 to assist approximately 1,000 of these refugees in becoming self-supporting. The main projects to be financed from this allocation provide for the establishment at Pokhara Lake of an organized settlement with a multipurpose social and crafts centre, and for the consolidation of the settlement in Kathmandu. The Government of Nepal has generously agreed to provide the land necessary to enable the refugees to achieve permanent settlement. The result of these projects will enable the High Commissioner to determine whether a more comprehensive plan might be submitted within the framework of his 1966 programme.

134. There are some 40,000 Tibetan refugees in India receiving assistance from the Indian Government through the Central Relief Committee and from various voluntary agencies. In 1964 UNHCR contributed over $100,000 from the proceeds of the record "All-Star Festival" to provide, through the Central Relief Committee and the Indian Red Cross, medical care, agricultural machinery, seeds and livestock for the refugees. A further contribution of $57,000 from the sale of the record in India itself was made in 1965.



135. The special financial target of $6,945,000 which had been set for the 1963 programme has not yet been fully reached. A further special contribution towards this programme in an amount of $58,000 has recently been made by the Danish Government. However some $350,000 are still required in order to ensure full implementation of this programme which, it will be recalled, is to be carried out over a period of several years. Every effort is being made in order to secure the amount still lacking.


136. The $3,050,080 financial target of the UNHCR current programme for 1964 has been reached (see annex VI). A total of fifty-two Governments contributed to this programme as against thirty-five to the 1963 programme. This widening support is accounted for to a large extent by the encouraging response from Governments in Africa, Asia and the Americas to the High Commissioner's appeal for financial contributions. Contributions to the programme from non-governmental sources amounted to approximately $220,000.


137. As in the previous year the High Commissioner was able to obtain considerable financial support earmarked by the donors for the financing of certain very essential projects not included in the programme. Over $1,255,0005 were channelled through UNHCR in the course of 1964 for such projects. This amount included $168,000 contributed by Governments, over $670,000 from non-governmental sources and $417,000 from the proceeds of the sale of the record "All-Star Festival". This record, which was put on sale by UNHCR in almost sixty countries had yielded proceeds amounting to $1,442,000 by the end of 1964. In the autumn of 1964, a second long-playing record, entitled "International Piano Festival", was likewise put on sale.


138. As of 30 April 1965, forty-four Governments had announced contributions in a total amount of $2,549,962 towards the $3.5 million financial target of the UNHCR current programme for 1965, as shown in detail in annex VII to the present report. Among these are seven Governments who announced a contribution to UNHCR for the first time in 1965. Several other regular contributors to the UNHCR programmes are still due to announce their contribution to the 1965 programme, so that it is hoped that there may be a further increase in the number of Governments lending financial support to the work of UNHCR, as recommended by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its thirteenth session.


139. As previously, the Emergency Fund proved invaluable in enabling the High Commissioner to take rapid action in the case of emergencies. In the course of 1964, a total amount of $225,525 was drawn from the Fund, mainly for the purpose of providing emergency relief to refugees in Africa. The Fund was replenished to its ceiling of $500,000 from the reimbursement of loans to refugees in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 1166. (XII).


140. The question of the financing of UNHCR assistance programmes was considered by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme at its tenth and twelfth sessions. The difficulties which the Office of the High Commissioner will be facing in financing its future activities derive from two main causes. On the one hand, the need to finance current activities in the early part of the year prior to receipt of governmental contributions, a need which had previously been covered by funds in hand under the Major Aid Programmes. On the other hand, from the fact that, unlike the Major Aid Programmes, the implementation of which was spread over several years, the funds for current programmes - by reason of the nature of the refugee problems which are dealt with under this programme - tend to be fully engaged within the year to which they relate.

141. In order to enable the High Commissioner to ensure the continuity of his work and to meet financial commitments under his current programme, he requires financial resources independent of the Emergency Fund, which is intended by General Assembly resolution 1166 (XII) for emergency problems. The Executive Committee accordingly noted the High Commissioner's intention to set aside: the income from repaid loans which is not needed to replenish the Emergency Fund; the interest on invested funds which would otherwise be treated as income under his financial rules; and all savings from the current programme for complementary assistance accrued on or after 1 January 1965. In order not to allow the work of UNHCR to be held up on account of inadequate working capital, the Committee also decided to authorize the High Commissioner to use up to one half of conditional governmental pledges as a basis for financial commitments for the implementation of projects approved under his current programme, it being understood that, at the end of each year, all pending project commitments must be fully covered.


142. The public information activities of UNHCR were characterized by close co-operation with other members of the United Nations family, inter-governmental organizations, and voluntary agencies working for refugees. As heretofore the main objective of UNHCR is to stimulate the awareness of the problems of refugees and better understanding for the mechanism of international co-operation in favour of refugees. Thus for example, reports on the use of contributions received from private groups were prepared in order to sustain the interest of the donors in the work of assistance for refugees. UNHCR and its operational partners frequently carried their joint action into the field of public relations, through common undertakings including exchanges of material and joint projects for films and other information media.

143. The growing concern of UNHCR for the problems of refugees in Africa and Asia afforded an opportunity to stimulate broader interest in the work of refugees and to enlist more support for it throughout the world. One of the striking features of the work of the assistance in Africa, the airlift of Rwandese refugees from the Congo to Tanzania, was filmed in co-operation with the Governments and local authorities, for use in a one-hour documentary that will be shown on television on an international scale.

144. The main information media used by UNHCR included press releases and the monthly newsletter "UNHCR Reports", which is printed in English and French. Pamphlets already published in 1963 were brought out in various other languages as well. In addition, there was a steady demand for photographs, mostly for exhibits or for publications issued by voluntary agencies.

145. The main single feature of UNHCR's Public Information and Programme Support activities was the release of the second long-playing record "International Piano Festival" in October 1964. The first record "All-Star Festival", issued in February 1963, had brought together thirteen popular singers and by the end of 1964 had yielded total net proceeds of some $1.4 million. Following the same pattern in the classical field, "International Piano Festival" presents a one-hour benefit concert by six eminent pianists: Claudio Arrau, Wilhelm Backhaus, Alexander Brailowsky, Robert Casadesus, Byron Janis and Wilhelm Kempff. At the end of the year, 100,000 copies had been bought in Europe and Japan - sales are now also starting in other continents. As with "All-Star Festival" a number of countries waived customs duties or taxes on the importation or sale of the record, thus substantially increasing UNHCR's proceeds. As part of the promotional campaign, UNHCR produced a television film and supplied photographs and other publicity materials. United Nations information centres and TAB Resident Representatives in many parts of the world responded enthusiastically to UNHCR's request for their co-operation in promoting the sale of the record and often helped to achieve outstanding results. Private groups, particularly in Scandinavia, also co-operated most effectively on this project. Apart from their fund-raising value, UNHCR's phonograph records have proved successful in bringing information on the work of UNHCR to the attention of many people who would otherwise be unaware of the problems of refugees.

(Note: Financial and statistical data tables not included in this online version. See your nearest UN Depository Library.)

1 Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Supplement No.11 (A/5811/Rev.1).

2 Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventeenth Session, Supplement No. 11 (A/5211/Rev.1)

3 Ibid., Eighteenth Session, Supplement No. 11 (A/5511/Rev.1)

4 Ibid., Nineteenth Session, Supplement No. 11 (A/5811/Rev.1)

5 This amount forms part of the total of over $1,365,000 committed in 1964 for such projects.