Stakeholders call for broader partnerships and better coordination to tackle long-lasting refugee crises

Stakeholders call for broader partnerships and better coordination to tackle long-lasting refugee crises

7.1 million people, 70% of the world’s refugees live in protracted refugee situations, where they are displaced for five years or more, with little chance of any durable solution being found in the near future.

public seminar organised this week by ECRE, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), and the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) examined the role of Europe in offering solutions to protracted refugee situations. Anna Terrón, Former Secretary of State for Immigration in Spain, opened the seminar, which brought together European Union officials from DG ECHO and the European External Action Service (EEAS) and representatives from UNHCR along with major humanitarian NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Danish Refugee Council andRefugees International.

There was a general consensus among speakers that partnership and coordination between different actors, including local governments, and humanitarian and development actors were essential to tackle situations of long lasting displacement.

Participants agreed that in protracted refugee situations, solutions need to go beyond the traditional aid packages that aim at keeping people alive. New tools requiring sufficient resources, long-term investment and commitment from the different actors need to be found to increase refugees’ self-reliance and to enhance the role of refugees as development actors.

This seminar was organised under the Domaid project, which aims to promote dialogue and advocacy between European NGOs involved in migration and refugee protection-related projects in third countries and the EU institutions. As a result of various dialogues over the year, and the messages from the public seminar, ECRE will produce a policy paper in the coming months on EU policy and practice in development cooperation in the area of migration and asylum.