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Affaires humanitaires

70th Session of the UNHCR Standing Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70th Session of the UNHCR Standing Committee

 

     Statement by the Algerian delegation

                       Item 4.ii

on the draft budgets-programme and funding

            Biennial budget 2018-2019

 

                                                                                                                    Geneva, 21 September 2017
 

Madame Chairperson,

At the outset, my delegation wishes to thank you for your diligent management of our work and both Directors for their informative presentation (of the draft biennial budget-programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for 2018-2019).

My delegation endorses the statement delivered by Togo on behalf of the African Group.

 

Madame Chairperson,

The growing trend of forced and perilous displacements has been a steady feature of the international environment these last years, due to new and outstanding conflicts as well as natural disasters. This is particularly true in Africa where five additional appeals have been launched in 2017, as well as in the MENA region.

Adding to that the existing protracted situations, this situation should require more attention from the UNHCR either in terms of advocacy and budgets.

Sustained efforts of host countries related to the reception and the assistance of refugees and the generous contribution from donors are of a great importance to enable the Organization providing urgent responses in emergencies and to implement its regular programmes in particular in the forgotten crisis.

That’s why my delegation wishes to echo the call of the UNHCR to augment the ratio of un-earmarked contributions and in this regard, it would be valuable to have a discussion on this issue based on the feed-back of interested member States on the report mentioned in the paragraph 17, document CRP 25 on the Grand Bargain.    

 

Madame Chairperson,

Algeria hosts one of the most protracted and forgotten refugee situations worldwide. Sahrawi refugees are hardly affected by the worrying impact of continued underfunding, particularly in terms of chronical diseases and malnutrition which remains far from meeting the international standards.

This impact was presented during a panel organized on the 19th of September by Oxfam, which is one of the important NGOs involved in the distribution of food in the camps. My delegation wishes to commend the UNHCR for its participation in this event and for the valuable information provided therein.  

As a host country, the Government of Algeria as well as an important part of the civil society continue, for more than 40 years, to provide Sahrawi refugees with the necessary assistance and protection in a spirit of solidarity and in conformity to its tradition and legal obligation. Some partners are also showing solidarity with these refugees but a lot still remains to be done to bring back the assistance parameters close or equal to international standards.

The call made to the community of donors by former UN Secretary-General during his visit to the Sahrawi refugee camps in order to alleviate their plight is still valid and still need to be heard. Pending a voluntary return in conformity with the UN Settlement Plan, Sahrawi refugees shall fully enjoy their right to food, to assistance and to protection by the international community.

This plan provides a package for the solution of the conflict in Western Sahara, and includes the registration of Sahrawi refugees. 

Algeria would like to commend the MENA Bureau and the UNHCR’s office in Algiers for their tireless efforts to raise awareness about the humanitarian needs of Sahrawi refugees and encourage them to continue their endeavour, in order to embody the cardinal principle of burden and responsibility-sharing, in particular in the perspective of the next budgetary cycle.

Finally, my delegation would like to pay tribute to the personnel of the UNHCR for their dedication for the refugees cause and ensure them about Algeria’s support to facilitate their action on the ground.

I thank you.

 

Delegation of Algeria

Statement on the CRRF

(Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework)

 

Ms. Chairperson,

I would like to thank you, as well as Mr. Andres for his oral update.

Having followed the debates during the two days meeting, my delegation would like to highlight two almost contradictory stances that have emerged from our meeting:

On the one hand, the great optimism that motivates Mr. Andres in relation to the supposed benefits of the CRRF and of the new approach related to the Global Compact for Refugees. It has the feeling that this approach is seen as certainly providing effective solutions and responses to the plight of refugees as well as their host countries and communities.

It is difficult for us to understand how this can really be the case, unless through an extra effort that could be carried out by host countries and their communities.

On the other hand, the reminder of the sad reality on the ground during the various presentations of these last two days, particularly with regard to the persistent funding gaps and the needs of the refugees which remain far from being satisfied. We have seen this in the case of Syrian refugees where the gap exceeds 50% ; in the case of Afghan refugees with 73% of funding shortages and more severely in Africa where the lack of funding has reached intolerable rates, exceeding 90% in several cases. These gaps have been recorded during the year 2017, which witnessed several African countries joining the approach of the CRRF and the Global Compact for Refugees.

However, we have also heard the statement delivered by the European Union, which is one of our important partners in the humanitarian field. The European Union shared with us the five major lessons learned from its longstanding experience in this field. While it was important to see the responsibility-sharing mentioned in its statement, it was nevertheless remarkable to hear no single word about the durable solutions to refugee crises and the need to address their root causes.

Ms. Chairperson,

In my delegation's view, it is time to reorient our collective action, including the UNHCR, in this direction. This was mentioned by the High Commissioner himself at the beginning of his mandate. My delegation believes that the Global Compact for Refugees is an opportunity not to be missed to head in this direction.

We fully understand the limits of the UNHCR's mandate but there are several possible action areas within its reach. Member States must play an important role in this context. Some donors assume special responsibilities within the UN system that allow them to play a more active role in accordance with the UN Charter and the international law.

My delegation heard Mr. Anders' call for a change of attitude at the level of UNHCR, partners and host countries. My delegation also wishes to recall the need to adhere to the acknowledged and recognized principles governing the international community's action towards refugees and which are well entrenched in the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, mainly based on the principle of burden-sharing.

The UNHCR's mandate cannot be implemented asymmetrically, placing undue heavy burdens on countries opening their doors to refugees. Recognizing the efforts of host countries is of course important, but it is even more important to translate this recognition into reality.

 I thank you.