Yearbook of the United Nations, 2007. Part 3, Economic and social questions. Chapter 12, Refugees and displaced persons
In 2007, although the total number of persons of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dropped to 31.7 million, from 32.9 million in 2006, the refugee population worldwide increased for the second consecutive year, owing to conflicts in the Horn of Africa and in Iraq. Of the total, some 13.7 million were internally displaced persons (IDPs), followed by nearly 11.4 million refugees, 3 million stateless persons and 740,000 asylum-seekers. An estimated 2.8 million refugees and IDPs returned to their place of origin, most of them with assistance from UNHCR. Africa hosted a quarter (2.4 million) of the global refugee population and half of the world's 24.5 million IDPs. The United States accepted more than half of the refugees resettled globally under UNHCR auspices, or some 31,800 individuals. During the year, UNHCR achieved success in finding durable solutions in some regions, yet was hampered by constraints in other areas. Positive developments included the conclusion of repatriation operations in Angola and Liberia; the return home of 730,640 refugees, mainly to Afghanistan (373,856); and the return of an estimated 2.1 million IDPs protected/ assisted by UNHCR to their places of origin, including 1 million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and 579,000 to Uganda. Despite those gains, the Office faced significant challenges in its operations, such as conditions in Iraq not conducive to organizing returns and the plight of 2.4 million people displaced inside the country, as well as an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Iraqi refugees in host countries; humanitarian crises in Africa that were exacerbated by renewed conflict and insecurity in Chad, the DRC, Somalia and Darfur (Sudan), and resulted in further displacement or heightened risk and violence against women and girls; the worsening security environment in Afghanistan; and the impact of the global rise in food prices on refugees and IDPs who depended on humanitarian assistance. The issue of “mixed migration” flows—situations in which people with different objectives moved alongside each other—remained a concern, particularly in Asia, as Governments focused attention on security aspects of migration. Moreover, for the first time in 20 years, UNHCR resettlement submissions exceeded the places made available by States, raising concern that there were significantly more people in need of resettlement than there were places available. In addition to its core assistance and protection activities, UNHCR committed itself to further analysis and dialogue on emerging concerns, such as issues affecting States' efforts to manage migration, as well as the causes of displacement (extreme deprivation, environmental degradation and climate change, conflict and persecution), which were becoming increasingly complex. In April, the High Commissioner for Refugees held an international conference on addressing the humanitarian needs of refugees and IDPs in Iraq and neighbouring countries, which agreed on the need to find solutions for the vulnerable and galvanized international support for refugee-hosting countries. In order to facilitate discussions between UNHCR, States and other stakeholders on issues related to protection, the High Commissioner also held, in December, the first of a planned series of annual dialogues on protection challenges, which addressed the issue of protection for people caught up in mixed migration movements. In October, the UNHCR Executive Committee adopted a conclusion on children at risk, which included guidelines and standards for strengthening the protection of children at risk. The financial situation of UNHCR improved in 2007. Due to administrative and budgetary measures, an upward trend in global staff costs was reversed, enabling UNHCR to allocate $15 million in cost savings to needs in the areas of malnutrition, malaria, reproductive health, and sexual and gender-based violence in several operations. During the year, UNHCR continued to assess its mission and implement structural and management reform.
Yearbook of the United Nations, 2007. v. 61; Vol. 61
This item appears in the following Collection(s)