Egypt, UNHCR discuss strengthening cooperation in refugee issues

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has met with Special Adviser to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Hervé de Villeroché, and UNHCR Egypt Representative Hanan Hamdan, during Hervé’s visit to Egypt to follow up on the developments of refugee influx on the Egyptian-Sudanese border. 

The two sides discussed mechanisms for dealing with development partners in this framework, as well as to discuss refugee support programmes and projects within the strategic framework of partnership with the United Nations 2023-2027.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the current position of Egypt hosting hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers, and other nationalities, since the beginning of the crisis in mid-April. Besides, the role played by the UNHCR to register, document and follow up the conditions of refugees in cooperation with the concerned government agencies, and they also discussed efforts exerted in cooperation with development partners in this regard.

Al-Mashat said that Egypt has many development cooperation programmes implemented with United Nations agencies and multilateral and bilateral development partners to provide services and support for refugees and their host communities in fields of education, medicine, or social care services, as well as providing job, employment and housing opportunities, under the umbrella of the United Nations strategic framework and other strategies with development partners.

The minister noted that Egypt hosts millions of refugees, and that the state is keen to provide all rights and services under the leadership of refugees without discrimination, highlighting the need for international reports issued by international institutions concerned with the situation of refugees in Egypt to reflect the decent living they enjoy.

She stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in coordination with the relevant ministries and national authorities, is working to exert many efforts to protect and improve lives of refugees and immigrants and also to combat illegal immigration.

In cooperation with the various United Nations organizations, many programmes are implemented in various governorates that include migrants and refugees, among them the “Prospects” programme concerned with improving the standard of living of refugees in Egypt by providing them with support and host societies, and the inauguration of the joint platform for migrants and refugees in Egypt. 

“Within the framework of the Partnership Week between Egypt and the United Nations, a visit was made to the Community Support Center to improve the standard of living of refugees and displaced persons in Alexandria, which works to enhance social and economic opportunities available to women and children and to provide job opportunities,” the minister elaborated. “Through this center, more than 200,000 refugee women, children and young people have access to opportunities for education, protection and community integration. The strategic framework of partnership for sustainable development with the United Nations for the period 2023-2027 includes basic axes for improving the conditions of refugees and migrants and strengthening human capital within the framework, which is what it reflects the sustainable steps and efforts undertaken by Egypt in this regard.”

For his part, the Special Adviser to UNHCR Hervé de Villeroché thanked Egypt for hosting more than 250,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Sudan as a result of unstable conditions it is going through, explaining that the UNHCR is working through its strong partnership with international financing institutions to strengthen support and protection programmes for refugees and the communities hosting them.

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