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Egyptian MFA, UN in Egypt Launch Response Plans to Support Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the launch of the Egypt Chapter in the Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan 2019 – 2020 in response to the Syria Crisis (3RP) and the Egypt Response Plan for Refugees and Asylum-seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen 2019 (ERP) on 29 May.

The event comes as part of the Government of Egypt’s (GOE) sustained efforts to support refugees and asylum-seekers from all nationalities in Egypt.

The launch event was attended by a number of ambassadors representing donor countries, representatives of appealing UN agencies, representatives of international and regional organizations in Cairo, civil society organizations in addition to representatives from relevant Egyptian governmental institutions.

To support Syrian refugees and members of the host community, 3RP Partners are appealing for a budget of USD 162.1m in 2019 and USD 170.1m in 2020, while the Government of Egypt (GOE) is appealing for USD 151.6m in 2019.

Targeted sectors for interventions include education, protection and health, among others.

“Egypt is committed to continue providing all the basic services to Syrian brothers in Egypt on equal footing as Egyptians in the sectors of health, education, and higher education. These sectors are financially supported by the Government of Egypt and are made available to Syrians despite the economic challenges Egypt is facing and the limited international support,” explained Ambassador Dr. Mohamed El Badry, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Arab Affairs and the Egyptian Permanent Representative to the League of Arab States.

Ambassador AlBadry added that Egyptian government looks forward to international donors assuming more responsibilities in support of the government’s efforts in hosting the Syrian refugees in a manner commensurate with Egypt’s contributions under the principle of international burden sharing and within the framework of the international community’s integrated approach to address the Syrian crisis.

Launched for the second 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 53.7m while the GOE is appealing for USD 110.5m.

Egypt is among the 3RP countries that are recurrently receiving the lowest level of funding. In 2018, only 54 per cent of the total requirements under the 3RP and 22 per cent under the ERP were received.

“Underfunding remains a major challenge for the GOE, UNHCR and appealing agencies in meeting the pressing needs of the refugee population. While UNHCR and its partners are grateful to all state and private sector donors for their contributions thus far which enabled us to manage an uninterrupted humanitarian response to date, additional support is crucial to sustain ongoing programmes for refugees,” explained Mr. Karim Atassi, UNHCR Representative to Egypt and to the League of Arab States.

As of 30 April 2019, Egypt hosts 247,808 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Egypt, marking an increase of 21 per cent compared to April 2017 because of the deteriorating political conditions in a number of countries in the region and the African continent. Vulnerability assessments indicate that eight out of ten refugees in Egypt are unable to meet their basic needs and are forced to resort to negative coping mechanisms as a way of generating revenue, including borrowing money and child labour. Other protection risks faced by refugees are early and forced marriage.