Our partners

  1. International Finance Corporation
  2. UNHCR
  3. UNICEF
  4. The World Bank
Made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
  1. Web page of the project (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands)
  2. ILO's development cooperation programmes with the Netherlands

Get in touch

ILO DWT for North Africa and ILO Country Offices for Egypt and Eritera
Visit their website

Amir Obeid Faheem
Chief Technical Advisor for PROSPECTS
faheem@ilo.org

Egypt

The long Egyptian history of being both a transit and destination country

The strategic geographical location of the country makes Egypt a fundamental player in the geo-political dynamics, development paradigm, conflict settings and humanitarian crises of the region. Egypt has a long history of being both a transit and destination country for forcibly displaced persons and children on the move. On behalf of the Government of Egypt, UNHCR registers and documents refugees and asylum-seekers to facilitate their access to protection, education, health facilities and other services.

As of January 2020, 256,632 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR (46 per cent female; 54 per cent male). Children account for 38 per cent of the refugee population. Syrian refugees constitute 52 per cent of the refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR, while other main countries of origin are Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq. The vast majority (90 per cent) of refugees and asylum-seekers live in the urban areas of Greater Cairo, Alexandria and Damietta alongside socio-economically vulnerable local communities.

A considerable number of people from different countries of origin live in Egypt, but are not necessarily registered with UNHCR. The Government estimates that around five million “refugees and migrants” live in Egypt. Forcibly displaced persons in Egypt have access to public health care services and Syrian, Sudanese, South Sudanese and Yemeni students have access to education in public schools.

Forcibly displaced persons and children on the move face a number of challenges. Assistance provided by national and international organisations is often conditioned and limited due to shrinking resources and increasing needs. The Government of Egypt allows all those in the country to access a variety of public services. However, some (such as education and health) are conditioned to documentation, which some forcibly displaced persons and children on the move have challenges in obtaining.