Refugee Emergency Response in Europe Supplementary Appeal (January - December 2016)
Throughout 2015, increasing numbers of people risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety and protection in Europe. By early January 2016, more than 1 million refugees and migrants had crossed the Mediterranean, including more than 850,000 who arrived in Greece from Turkey. From January to July 2016 some 260,000 people had arrived in Southern Europe. The majority originate from countries affected by conflict, with 48 per cent of those who arrived in Greece originating from the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), 25 per cent from Afghanistan, and 15 per cent from Iraq.
In addition to the movements into Greece, refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants continue to arrive by sea in Italy from North Africa where, by the end of July 2016, people arriving were for the most part from Nigeria (17%), Eritrea (13%), Gambia (8%), Cote d’Ivoire (7%), Guinea (7%), Sudan (7%),
Somalia (6%), Mali (6%) and Senegal (6%). The number of people arriving from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan is still below one per cent, respectively.
Political developments from mid-February 2016 led to a substantial change in the situation. In particular, the progressive establishment of tighter border restrictions established initially between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece, followed by further restrictions along what is known as the ‘Western Balkans route’, led to its effective closure on 8 March 2016. In addition, the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016, building on the Joint EU-Turkey Action Plan (November 2015), set out measures to control irregular movements from Turkey to Greece and contributed to a substantial reduction of sea arrivals in Greece. With the formal closure of borders along the Western Balkans route, there has been an increase in refugees and asylum-seekers remaining in Greece; as of 2 August, 9,508 people remain on the islands and an estimated 40,272 people remain on the mainland.
This Supplementary Appeal presents UNHCR’s revised strategy and financial requirements for its response to the situation in Europe in 2016. It incorporates UNHCR’s component of the inter-agency regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan 2016 for Europe (RMRP)2 . It also incorporates
UNHCR’s strategy and activities related to onward movements in North Africa, and integrates a component related to targeted activities in South-West Asia. This appeal further provides for planned interventions in, respectively, countries of origin and first asylum in West and East Africa, and in the Horn. It supersedes the Supplementary Appeal for the Special Mediterranean Initiative and the Winterization Plan.3 Through this Supplementary Appeal, UNHCR is appealing for USD 408.4 million, including USD 374.7 million in additional requirements.
Responding primarily to the movement of mainly Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees to Europe via Turkey, this Appeal also complements efforts such as the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan 2016-2017 in Response to the Syria Crisis (the 3RP), the Syria Humanitarian Response Plan, as well as the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) in South-West Asia, the High Commissioner’s Global Initiative on Somali Refugees, and other relevant UNHCR and inter-agency humanitarian appeals.