Joint Assessment for Syrian Refugees in Egypt, November 2013

Executive Summary

Refugee arrivals in Egypt from the Syrian Arab Republic rose dramatically during the first half of 2013. As of end of October 2013, UNHCR had registered 125,499 Syrian refugees (46,173 cases) in Egypt.
The political situation in Egypt raised concerns for the protection of Syrian refugees and in early July the Government announced that Syrians would need to obtain a visa and security clearance prior to entering the country. The procedure was put in place as a temporary security measure in response to concerns that some Syrians had participated in protests and violence after the removal of former President Mohammed Morsi. Authorities have placed Syrians under greater security and there have been incidents of Syrians being arrested, detained, and deported for not having a valid residency.
The objective of this joint assessment is to assess the situation of Syrian refugees in Egypt and to establish programmatic recommendations for 2014.

Protection recommendations:

  • Conduct a wider profiling exercise to better understand access to basic rights and protection gaps among Syrian refugees in Egypt.

  • Continue advocacy with the Government on access to the territory and asylum, particularly in view of family unity, as well as access to basic rights.

  • Increase awareness on sexual gender based violence (SGBV) in larger urban settings and elsewhere, and strengthen referral mechanisms to services.

  • Expand protective spaces for children and strengthen existing structures for the protection of children.

  • Expand psychosocial services, in particular for survivors of SGBV, children and their families in larger urban settings and elsewhere.

  • Expand counselling on protection issues and access to legal aid.

  • Strengthen coordination among the various sectors and build on inter-linkages.

Livelihoods and food security recommendations:

  • Continue food voucher assistance in Greater Cairo, Damietta and Alexandria, and extend assistance to additional vulnerable and food-insecure households identified through household vulnerability assessments with the assistance of UNHCR’s partners.

  • Conduct a joint rapid needs assessment in Assiut to assess needs including food security of Syrian refugees residing in the area.

  • Conduct a rapid nutrition assessment with health sector partners to determine the current status of nutrition among Syrian refugees.

  • Diversify cash and voucher based interventions to respond to different types and levels of vulnerabilities. This could include the establishment of targeted housing support, one-off payments, monthly and regular payments, and winterization.

  • Support the dialogue between Syrian investors and the Government of Egypt in order to reach a win-win solution to generate income for Syrians without creating any distortions in the Egyptian labour market.

  • Expand self-reliance initiatives to target a larger number of job seekers and include youth and women in training programmes, which will assist in improving food security.

  • Expand the protection pillar of self-reliance programmes in order to improve working conditions of wage employed individuals.

International Organization for Migration:

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