Durable Solutions: Ivorian Refugees, Q1 2017
Voluntary repatriation is the most viable durable solution among Ivorian refugees. UNHCR also pursues local integration and resettlement, the latter as a protection tool based on needs.
Côte d’Ivoire was selected as a pilot country for the UN Secretary-General’s Policy Committee Decision on durable solutions for IDPs and returning refugees in 2012. As per the Decision, UNHCR and UNDP spearheaded the strategy in coordination with national authorities and partners for reconstruction, livelihood and reconciliation activities. UNHCR has been implementing community-based programmes to address the needs and improve the living conditions of refugees, returnees, former IDPs and stateless people in major areas of settlement
After the socio-political situation normalized following the 2011 crisis, over 260,000 persons repatriated to Côte d’Ivoire between 2011 and 2016 from 26 countries across Africa, Europe and Asia; nearly 200,000 persons spontaneously, and 60,872 persons through voluntary repatriation facilitated by UNHCR. This has been achieved despite the outbreak of the Ebola virus epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016, which forced UNHCR to suspend the repatriation.
UNHCR’s protection monitoring program assures the reintegration of returnees to date. To foster peaceful coexistence in returnee areas in Côte d’Ivoire, UNHCR made an investment in peace-building participatory theatre performances through a partner. In the same period, 480 Ivoirians were resettled to third countries.