Refugees and internally displaced persons – humanitarian aid and protection of civilians

The SDC provides support for refugees and internally displaced persons. It deploys experts to the field and provides NGOs and international humanitarian agencies with funding. It also works with local authorities.

SDC focus

A major part of the SDC's humanitarian aid programmes involves providing guidance and support for refugees and internally displaced persons.

Three quarters of all refugees are concentrated in developing countries, which do not have the means to support large numbers of them or offer them effective protection. Those arriving by sea – known as boat people – can neither continue their journey nor return home. Their illegal status exposes them to threats of physical violence, theft, rape and human trafficking.

Unlike refugees, internally displaced persons have not crossed any international border, but rather have been forced to flee within their own country. As a result, they find themselves under the responsibility of the government and local authorities concerned, which are not always able or willing to exercise their responsibilities in this regard.  In such cases the international community provides them with protection in the form of direct aid, or by creating an appropriate legal framework.

Background

The SDC's immediate response to migratory movements triggered by a crisis takes the form of emergency assistance and reconstruction. But the complex, global phenomenon of migration requires many other kinds of response.

Deployment of experts

Humanitarian aid can come in a number of forms, including the deployment of experts to protect victims of armed conflict, support for local authorities and even the distribution of cash to host families taking in refugees, so that they can provide them with better living conditions.

The SDC makes experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) available to the UNHCR. The UNHCR benefited from the services of SHA specialists in a variety of sectors, including water and sanitation, law and the construction of shelters. In 2016, 24 SHA experts carried out missions for the UNHCR in 14 countries in Africa, Asia, South America and the Middle East.

The SDC's involvement is thus based on an interdepartmental approach, «Protection in the region». The aim of this approach is to provide prompt and effective protection for refugees in their region of origin and to help the countries of first refuge to guarantee the protection they require. The SDC’s commitment in the Horn of Africa and in the Middle East – two contexts with a significant number of displaced populations – reflects this approach.

Rebuilding beyond the crisis

A growing phenomenon

Instability in many parts of the world causes hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homeland. The UNHCR estimates that almost 61.4 million people – refugees, stateless persons, persons displaced internally by conflicts or wishing to return home – will require its protection and assistance in 2016.

Involvement in Syria

Switzerland has been providing humanitarian aid and protection for population groups affected by the Syrian crisis since 2011. The SDC provides them with assistance through direct operations carried out by the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) and through substantial financial contributions to the multilateral aid efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross, UN agencies and NGOs on the ground.

Switzerland's commitment in Syria

Middle East

Current projects

Object 37 – 48 of 75

Decent Work for Migrant Workers from South Asia (DWSA)

01.08.2019 - 31.07.2023

Labour migration to the Middle East is an important factor in the economic development strategy of many South Asian countries. Due to its known expertise and experience in the areas of decent work and fair recruitment, Switzerland is well placed to contribute to migrants’ access to decent work, thus maximizing the productive potential of migration and addressing irregular and unsafe migration. In the interest of Switzerland, this programme contributes to the prosperity in the region.  


Understanding and Managing internal migration in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar city suburban distrct view

01.08.2019 - 31.07.2023

This project aims to contribute to improved management of internal migration in Mongolia - the main driving force behind rapid urbanization which poses increasing development challenges to the capital city Ulaanbaatar and rural areas of origin. Consistent integration of the migration perspective into planning and implementation of policies and actions will mitigate negative consequences of unmanaged migration and thus contribute to poverty reduction. Switzerland will add value to the project through its long-standing expertise in the migration field.


Decent Work for Migrants in the Middle East

15.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

This program contributes to decent work opportunities for migrants and refugees in the Middle East which is one of the largest migrant hosting regions globally due to economic demands and displacement from conflict. It complements the focus on Asian migrants with migrants from Africa and seek closer partnership with the private sector. Due to its relevant expertise and experience in decent work and fair recruitment, Switzerland is well placed to contribute to an improved protection and an enhanced wellbeing of migrant workers and self-reliance for refugees, to maximize the productive potential of migration, and to counter irregular and unsafe migration.


Enhance employability of migrants in Urban Cairo

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

Food-processing and the food service sector is ranked as Egypt’s second largest manufacturing industry This project supports the employability of vulnerable Egyptians and migrants, especially women, in the food sector.


IOM : Displacement tracking in Burundi

01.03.2019 - 31.12.2019

Avec environ 147'000 personnes déplacées internes et plus de 367'000 réfugiés dans les pays voisins, les effets de la crise politique au Burundi issue des élections contestées de 2015 et des conditions climatiques défavorables sont importants. Ce projet permet de fournir des informations fiables sur les mouvements de populations internes au Burundi et les besoins des personnes déplacées. La continuité de ce projet reste d’une importance capitale dans le contexte actuel.


Housing solutions for displaced persons

Apartment building in Serbia

01.03.2019 - 31.12.2022

As a consequence of the war in the 1990s, over three million people were displaced both within and beyond the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Twenty-five years after the Dayton Accords, the Western Balkans are still host to almost half a million vulnerable persons displaced by conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) aims to provide durable housing solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons in need.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Western Balkans
Migration
Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)

01.03.2019 - 31.12.2022


CHF  1’555’000



Afghanistan: IOM Undocumented Afghan Returnees

15.02.2019 - 31.12.2022

In 2016, over a million Afghans who previously sought refuge in Pakistan and Iran returned to Afghanistan. Since the beginning of 2018, 700,056 undocumented Afghans have returned from both countries, due to diverse push factors including deteriorating protection space. The projecting for the year 2019 of undocumented Afghan returnees will be approx. 49,000 from Pakistan and 570,000 from Iran. The vast majority of them have lived outside of Afghanistan for decades, and are in dire need for humanitarian assistance, which they will receive through this project.


Moldova - Making the Most of Migration

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

One third of Moldovans already live abroad and the Government acknowledges that migration can bring many opportunities, if addressed and managed properly. SDC`s previous interventions resulted in a unique mobilization of migrants committed to contribute to the development of their home communities. Switzerland will further support Moldova in building a favorable environment for migrants to invest in their home country, as well as to provide good quality return and reintegration services.


Return and Reintegration of Migrant Workers in Bangladesh

01.01.2019 - 31.08.2022

The project’s over-arching goal is to make reintegration economically and socially sustainable for returnee migrants, so that they do not feel obliged to re-migrate. The project will raise awareness of the obstacles returnee men and women migrants are facing. The collaboration with European partners will allow to influence the discourse on dignified and development-oriented migration and return in Bangladesh


Stay, Deliver and Protect (SDP)

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

Afghanistan continues to face a protracted humanitarian crisis. Armed conflict results in large-scale population displacements and a high number of civilian casualties. Insecurity causes significant challenges to humanitarian access and responses, especially where they are needed most. "Stay, Deliver and Protect" aims to facilitate humanitarian access and to promote protection of education, protection of civilians, psychosocial support and humanitarian coordination in conflict-affected communities.


EAMRP - East African Migration Routes Project

01.01.2019 - 31.01.2024

With a regional migration program, Switzerland contributes to better protection, provide livelihood perspectives and promote adequate policies for children and youth along the migration route in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Different States and non-States actors are strengthened to better respond to migrant children and youth’ s needs, address their risks to exploitation, abuse and violence. This programme builds on the strategic link between international cooperation and migration policy in a priority region.


Application of Migration Policy for Decent Work of Migrant Workers

01.01.2019 - 31.07.2022

Men and women who opt for migrating abroad for employment will benefit from better protection through pre-departure orientation, the application of international standard contracts and access to social security/welfare. The project will improve migration governance in Bangladesh by strengthening the rather weak policy and legislative framework and by building the capacity of the government to expand and improve services for migrant workers.

Object 37 – 48 of 75