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close this bookMeeting the Humanitarian Challenge - UNV's Work Between Conflict and Development (United Nations Volunteers, 44 p.)
close this folderUNV humanitarian action in the field: Effort and impact
View the documentThe link to development: UNDP's strategic role
View the documentSupporting field coordination of response to complex emergencies
View the documentIdentifying the neediest and their survival strategies
View the documentRe-focusing and fine-tuning relief efforts
View the documentDelivery of urgent relief supplies to emergency victims
View the documentShelter and services for refugees and displacees
View the documentRepatriation/return of refugees and displacees
View the documentMonitoring and promoting respect for human rights, and enabling protection
View the documentConfidence- and capacity-building at community level
View the documentPreventing conflict and mending bridges between communities
View the documentFocusing on the special needs of women and vulnerable groups
View the documentEducation as therapy and for employment
View the documentRestoring food self-sufficiency
View the documentRebuilding primary health care and preventing epidemics
View the documentDeveloping new opportunities for sustainable recovery

Repatriation/return of refugees and displacees

Attending to the needs of refugees and displacees while uprooted forms an important part of the humanitarian support provided by UNV specialists, but most refugees and displacees yearn to return to their homes of origin. UNVs are also involved in arranging voluntary resettlement or repatriation, or in helping refugees on the road to recovery and self-reliance, as within the PRODERE programme in Central America. They work to ensure conditions are appropriate for repatriation, to arrange the logistics of transport home and to facilitate the return and reintegration in place of origin.

Activities with UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have included the return of Mozambicans internally displaced as well as from surrounding countries. UNV specialists have also assisted in the repatriation of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan, and of Cambodians from neighbouring countries in South-East Asia.

In June 1994, UNV and IOM agreed on a global memorandum of understanding for UNV support to IOM projects, to assist wherever forced population movements occur.

A new programme is currently under way in Asmara, where UNV specialists are supporting PROFERI, the programme for the voluntary repatriation of 430,000 Eritrean refugees from Sudan. Many of the UNV specialists for this programme are Eritrean professionals who have been recruited from countries of exile - their first opportunity to come home and help rebuild their newly-independent nation.

Everything ready for repatriating Guatemalan refugees from Mexico. (Photo: UNV/Gilles Reboux)