The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the launch of the Egypt Chapter in the Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan 2020 – 2021 in response to the Syria Crisis (3RP) and the Egypt Response Plan for Refugees and Asylum-seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen 2020 – 2021 (ERP) on 5 October.
To support Syrian refugees and members of the host community, 3RP Partners are appealing for a budget of USD 159.1m in 2020 and USD 172m in 2021. Launched for the third consecutive year, the ERP targets refugees and asylum-seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen as well as host community members. This year’s partners are appealing for USD 89.6m in 2020 and USD 99.6m in 2021.
Targeted sectors for interventions include education, protection, health, basic needs, cash assistance, livelihoods, and food security.
“More resources are needed to support the public services and foster community resilience. Support is also needed to improve the education of refugee children in public schools, in addition to providing secondary and tertiary healthcare for refugees,” said Ambassador Ihab Fawzi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs and International Security.
Meeting the pressing needs of the refugee population over the past few years has been a major challenge for the Government of Egypt, UNHCR and appealing agencies due to recurrent underfunding. Consequently, the outbreak of COVID-19 has only heightened these challenges, with refugees at the forefront.
Richard Dictus, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt highlighted, “the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself. It caused a severe socio-economic shock with millions at risk of falling into extreme poverty. Refugees and asylum seekers are among the most vulnerable populations, hit particularly hard by the pandemic.” He added, “The United Nations in Egypt has been working closely with the Government of Egypt since the outbreak of COVID-19 to alleviate the socio-economic impacts of COVID 19 striving towards an approach that leaves no one behind.”
Egypt is among the 3RP countries receiving one of the lowest levels of funding. In 2019, only 43.3 percent of the total requirements under the 3RP and 42.6 percent under the ERP were received. As of 31 August 2020, Egypt hosts 258,855 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Egypt.
Mr. Karim Atassi, UNHCR Representative to Egypt and to the League of Arab States expressed his sincere appreciation to the generous donors “who are funding UNHCR operation and allowing us to support persons in need of international protection hosted in Egypt.” Mr. Atassi added “I call on donors to support the Government of Egypt for hosting refugees. To my knowledge, Egypt is not directly receiving today any financial support from the international community for supporting refugees. This is very unfortunate and does not reflect the principle of international solidarity encompassed in the Global Compact on Refugees among host states and donor countries.”
The event comes as part of the Government of Egypt’s sustained efforts to support refugees and asylum-seekers from all nationalities in Egypt. It was attended by representatives from donor countries, appealing UN agencies, international and national NGOs, and media.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UN Information Centre in Cairo.