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 61 – 72 of 74

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.
 


Strengthening cities for migration and development

15.10.2017 - 30.06.2022

Cities are the main destination for migrants worldwide. They play a crucial role in ensuring migrants’ social and economic inclusion and in leveraging migration as a source of innovation and prosperity. Switzerland aims at strengthening the evidence base on how to manage urban migration to maximize its development effects and at leveraging the voice and experience of cities in shaping effective migration policies. The project will involve Swiss cities and benefit from Swiss research expertise.


Intervention en santé mentale et soutien psychosocial pour les migrants au Niger

15.08.2017 - 28.02.2019

2016 environ 200,000 migrants sont passés par le Niger sur l’axe Niger-Lybie/Algérie. Ces migrants sont souvent exposés à des violations graves des droits de l’homme et des traumas. Seule une petite proportion des migrants bénéficie d’une forme d’assistance couvrant les besoins essentiels (santé, abri, nourriture). Une réponse aux traumatismes subis est quasi inexistante. Par ce co-financement, la Suisse contribue donc au renforcement d’une réponse santé mentale/psychosociale ainsi que d’autres services de protection pour les migrants au Niger pour préserver leur bien-être et le potentiel de développement humain.


Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (FARMS), SIGHT and HALEPP

01.08.2017 - 31.12.2024

With this contribution to the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (FARMS) established by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in 2016, Switzerland will contribute to sustainable livelihoods for approximately 5000 Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The two co-funded projects will also support host communities, in particular poor smallholders breeding small ruminants (Jordan) and smallholders in the dairy sector (Lebanon) to increase their income and food security.


World Bank Global Program on Forced Displacement GPFD

01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020

A record 65.4 million people are displaced due to armed conflict and persecution. Many of them have been displaced for more than a decade, necessitating a development approach to make them more self-reliable. The Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD) has been the agenda-setter on this issue in the World Bank. Through its role as the custodian of expertise, it contributes to foster long-term development solutions for the displaced and to make this a priority issue for the Bank.



SSD IOM: Regional Information and Coordination Mechanisms for South Sudanese Displacement Dynamics

01.02.2017 - 30.08.2018

Continued conflict, food insecurity and a dire economic situation have increased the scale of displacement both within and outside the country to unprecedented levels, with many sheltering in UN POCS or crossing to neighbouring countries. For humanitarians to be able to respond to the needs of these populations, a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends must be developed. IOM’s proposed project will help create a better understanding of the displacement dynamics and trends and enable humanitarians to effectively respond to needs of the populations.


Strengthening of UNHCR Community-Based Protection Project

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding allows UNHCR to improve its protection approaches and activities towards persons of concern, including internally displaced persons through the development of adequate processes and mechanisms guaranteeing quality standards in UNHCR programmes.


Projet Oriental Protection Migrants Maroc

01.01.2017 - 31.03.2018

Morocco is a country of transit and destination for migrants and refugees, 20’000 of which live on the margins of society, despite the 2014 adopted first ever migration strategy, promising the respect of human rights and access to public services. The “Projet Oriental” facilitates access to health care and provides humanitarian support to 5’600 vulnerable migrants per year and coaches public and civil society service providers to care for the specific needs of the migrants.


Educational facilities for the Internally Displaced and street children

10.12.2016 - 31.12.2019

The internally displaced youth living often as street children in the low-income neighbourhoods of the capital city Islamabad and are deprived from basic education and protection services. The Mashal school educates IDP children from all over the country with a majority from KP and FATA, offers them a protective space, advises / counsels them on cultural, social and legal issues and help them to register under the government system by that laying the basis for future livelihood possibilities.

Object 61 – 72 of 74