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 49 – 60 of 71

Egyptian Red Crescent: Providing primary health care services to migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo

01.12.2018 - 31.10.2022

Access to public primary health care for migrants and Egyptians is a serious challenge. By the means of two “Mobile Clinics”, the project will answer to immediate medical needs of migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo. Advocacy on protection and health issues among decision makers will contribute to filling the gaps in service delivery. Thanks to its experience and ongoing engagement in health and protection in Egypt, Switzerland is well placed to provide early recovery and self-resilience interventions.


Fair Recruitment and Labour Conditions of Migrant Workers

01.10.2018 - 30.06.2022

Many of the 105 million people working outside their countries of origin have fallen victim of exploitative practices by unethical recruiters and employers. This project aims to prevent abuses and exploitation of migrant workers. It responds to a demand by the private sector in the global North for ethical standards throughout their supply chains. The Swiss private sector will benefit from stricter standards of recruitment and decent work, while Swiss consumers will profit from consumer goods increasingly produced under fair and ethical standards.


Building Regional and National capacities for improved Migration Governance in the IGAD Region

01.10.2018 - 30.06.2023

The Horn of Africa is of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. Swiss support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Member States will contribute to improve their capacities to manage migration. Migrants and refugees will be better protected in the region and the contribution of migration to development of the Horn of Africa will be supported, hence stability promoted. The Swiss expertise and engagement at the policy level will contribute to foster a dialogue on migration between Switzerland and the Horn of Africa.


Blue Peace Financing: transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.10.2018 - 30.06.2023

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, additional private capital deployed towards sustainable development are needed. Blue Peace advocates for investments to be re-directed to two levels: transboundary entities and to municipalities. This will have a transformative impact. As a door opener, Switzerland through its partnership with UNCDF contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments leading to sustainable development and peace.


Somalia - Support to the Durable Solutions Initiative (DSI)

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021

In Somalia, more than 2.6 mio people are internally displaced. Switzerland contributes to the provision of durable solutions for these people in the region by enhancing the awareness and the capacity of all relevant humanitarian, development and state-building actors under the leadership of the Somali Government. By addressing the underlying causes of protracted displacement, the affected people are offered the perspective of integration and self-reliance rather than migration.


Migrant Rights and Decent Work (MiriDew)

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2022

Remittances sent home by over 3 million Nepali migrant workers have significantly reduced poverty. Nevertheless, the rights of migrants are regularly violated. The proposed project will enhance the Government of Nepal’s understanding of overseas labour market conditions and strengthen mechanisms to better protect the rights of Nepali workers at home and abroad through better consular support and a strong presence in the international policy dialogue.


Strengthened and Informative Migration Systems (SIMS)

16.08.2018 - 14.12.2023

Labour migration remains a key driver for development in Bangladesh. The present project strengthens the socio-economic development of the country by providing better life perspectives for migrant workers. It enables migrant workers and their families to take informed decisions towards a productive and safe migration experience with reduced social costs. This supports implementation of the parliamentary mandate to better link Swiss migration policy with international cooperation.


Safer Migration (SaMI III) project

16.07.2018 - 15.07.2024

Labour migration is positively affecting Nepal’s socio-economic development with remittances significantly reducing poverty. Nevertheless, the rights of migrants are often violated. The Safer Migration project will empower migrants and their families and strengthen government protection mechanisms. The project will benefit about 600’000 men and women in three states of Nepal and enable about 60 local governments to run foreign employment services.


IBC-Improving protection, social cohesion and skills development services for Syrian and host communities in Kilis

01.04.2018 - 31.07.2019

There are almost 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, residing in different provinces across the country, mainly in non-camp settings. Their vulnerabilities are growing and tensions between them and host communities are on the rise. The national NGO IBC, active in humanitarian relief and emergency aid, aims with the proposed project to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees, while focusing on strengthening social cohesion between host communities and refugees.


Entrepreneuriats Stratégiques Pour des Opportunités d’Investissements Renforcés (ESPOIR)

01.03.2018 - 31.03.2024

Ce programme contribue à l’émergence des microentreprises privées béninoises de jeunes et des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (PME) agroalimentaires pour assurer une croissance économique durable, une augmentation d’emplois et de revenus, et une alimentation nutritive (sécurité alimentaire). Il porte l’espoir de toute une génération d’entrepreneurs, et permet de répondre en partie au défi démographique par la création d’emplois.


Youth for Change

15.12.2017 - 28.02.2023

SDC supports efforts to mobilize and empower young people in BiH to become agents of change. Young people will develop their competences and mobilize their peers in youth-led community projects. Successful and motivated young people will be further supported to become social entrepreneurs and create decent jobs. They will serve as role models for other youth and lay the groundwork for new social and economic values in their local communities.


Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (IFAD)

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2023

Switzerland is committed at the highest political level to help countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region coping with the refugee crisis. By co-financing two projects funded by IFAD (the International Fund for Agricultural Development) in Jordan and Lebanon, SDC will contribute to create sustainable livelihoods for thousands of Syrian refugees, and will also support host communities to increase their income and food security by improving the quality of their small ruminants and cattle, as well as their value in the market.
 

Object 49 – 60 of 71