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Executive Summary for August 17th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda reaching 1 million, the IOM’s latest figures on Syrian returnees and Pakistan’s registration drive for Afghans.

Published on Aug. 17, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Number of South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda Reaches 1 Million

Uganda is hosting over 1 million South Sudanese refugees, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCRannounced, calling for international assistance to address the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.

Some 1,800 South Sudanese have crossed the Ugandan border daily for the past 12 months, UNHCR said, noting that over 85 percent of arrivals are women and children.

An additional 1 million refugees have fled to Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, and an estimated 2 million people are internally displaced within South Sudan due to fighting between government and rebel forces, which resumed in July 2016.

The UNHCR warned that only 21 percent of the $674 million it needs this year to provide humanitarian assistance to the South Sudanese refugees has been received.

IOM Says 42,000 Syrian Refugees Returned This Year

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) tracked 42,190 Syrian refugees who went back to Syria from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq in the first seven months of this year.

A further 560,570 internally displaced Syrians returned to their homes between January and July, according the U.N. agency for migration.

The UNHCR, the U.N.’s refugee agency, which also collects data on returnees, said in June that 31,000 refugees had returned during the first six months of the year, and that 440,000 internally displaced people went home.

Asked about the difference in methodologies between the two U.N. agencies, IOM’s Olivia Headon told Refugees Deeply, “IOM collects data inside Syria only, asking people who returned where they returned from.”

In response to a query about why the agencies collect separate data, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic explained, “The two data systems are designed for different purposes and have consequently different levels of detail.

UNHCR is mandated to manage information on refugees … we or governments in the region collect data on every single refugee through continuous registration,” he said, explaining that this allows them to track refugee deregistrations and the point when families stop appearing for assistance. That data is complemented by “intention surveys, border monitoring and sample interviews with returnees at departure points,” he added.

IOM is not collecting data on individual IDPs, but rather pulls information from inside Syria from key informants on general population trends to inform broader humanitarian planning,” Mahecic said by email. “There have been inter-agency discussions recently on how such systems can be strengthened,” he added.

Pakistan Begins Issuing I.D. Cards to 1 Million Unregistered Afghan Refugees

Pakistan began the registration process for around 1 million undocumented Afghan refugees in the country, local media outlets reported.

Afghan refugees will be issued with identification cards at the 21 registration centers set up around Pakistan. Officials estimate the registration process will take six months.

There are currently 1.45 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

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