UNHCR / REFUGEES MEDITERRANEAN ROUTE APPEAL

27-Jan-2021 00:04:23
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) launched a USD 100 million appeal Wednesday to drive its 2021 strategic plan for refugee protection in African countries en route to the Mediterranean, citing the deaths of no less than 1,064 people in the Central and Western Mediterranean in 2020 alone. UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / REFUGEES MEDITERRANEAN ROUTE APPEAL
TRT: 4:23
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 27 JANUARY 2021, VIRTUAL / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – 18 JUNE 2018, PORT OF TRIPOLI, LIBYA

1. Wide shot, sea

27 JANUARY 2021, VIRTUAL

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Vincent Cochetel, Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Our strategy covers 25 countries that are related to those mixed movements of refugees and migrants. We may not be able to stop dangerous journeys, but we do not believe in their inevitability. It is almost too late for us to intervene when people arrive in Libya or in the Western Sahara. Investment in better services, in protection, must take place along the route, not just in coastal states.”

FILE - 22 AUGUST 2017, MEDITERRANEAN SEA, SOUTH OF ITALY

3. Various shots, refugees on board of Italian Coast Guard ship sailing back to Sicily

27 JANUARY 2021, VIRTUAL

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Vincent Cochetel, Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Cash, livelihoods, access to education, access to vocational training. These are the top priorities. And then we have to work on the legal pathways, even in a time of COVID.”

FILE – 18 JUNE 2018, TRIQ AL SIKKA DETENTION CENTRE, TRIPOLI, LIBYA

4. Various shots, children playing football
5. Med shot, women standing in yard of detention centre
6. Close up, woman sitting in yard of detention centre
7. Wide shot, detention centre exterior
8. Various shots, women inside detention centre

27 JANUARY 2021, VIRTUAL

9. SOUNDBITE (English) Alessandra Morelli, Representative in Niger, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“We have several women that delivered their babies here that are the consequence of a rape. Several. And it’s way too much. We have people who have shown us signs of violence all along their body. So basically, what we do, this is not just a logistical exercise, of evacuating people from a detention center to a free country. It’s really regaining that sense of humanity.”

FILE - 28-29 JULY 2017, AGADEZ, NIGER

10. Wide shot, traffic in Agadez streets
11. Close up, Agadez and desert through window
12. Wide shot, Agadez and desert
13. Wide shot, traffic in Agadez streets
14. Wide of desert in Agadez

27 JANUARY 2021, VIRTUAL

15. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Paul Cavalieri, Representative in Libya, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
“Be they refugees or economic migrants, the overwhelming majority do not intend to cross the Mediterranean. They are in Libya, as a rich oil country, trying to make a living, send back remittances to their families. But they are struggling because of the war that has affected this country, that is just over. And because of the COVID pandemic that has hit very hard on their livelihood opportunities, this being already precarious jobs. So many of these people, asylum seekers and refugees, became extremely, extremely vulnerable. The risk is that some of them resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as prostitution or child labour, early marriage, or that out of despair, they may be tempted or resort to dangerous journeys and irregular movements across the Mediterranean."

FILE - 22 AUGUST 2017, MEDITERRANEAN SEA, SOUTH OF ITALY

16. Various shots, refugees on board of Italian Coast Guard ship sailing back to Sicily
17. Wide shot, sea and Italian coast
STORYLINE
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) launched a USD 100 million appeal Wednesday to drive its 2021 strategic plan for refugee protection in African countries en route to the Mediterranean, citing the deaths of no less than 1,064 people in the Central and Western Mediterranean in 2020 alone.

In its 2021 strategic action plan and related funding appeal, UNHCR said the international community must do more to save lives of refugees taking risky routes towards the Mediterranean. The UN Refugee Agency cited concerns about escalating conflict and displacement in the Sahel, new displacement in the East and Horn of Africa, increased sea arrivals to the Canary Islands and no less than 1,064 deaths recorded in the Central and Western Mediterranean in 2020 alone. Offering safe and viable alternatives to the perilous journeys marred by abuse and deaths is the critical priority.

Violence in the Sahel has now forced an estimated 2.9 million people to flee. With no prospects for peace and stability in the region, further displacement is highly likely. Facing protracted displacement, dire conditions in neighbouring host countries where they sought shelter, the continued economic impact of the COVID pandemic and a lack of viable alternatives, many continue to attempt risky sea journeys to Europe. Risks of trafficking and abuses, such as kidnap for ransom, forced labour, sexual servitude and gender-based violence at the hands of traffickers and gangs, are very likely to continue.
UNHCR’s strategy seeks to increase outreach, identification and assistance to refugees along the route, as well as enhance access to education and livelihoods in countries of asylum. Priority is also given to protection assessments for those in remote locations, and to increased cash-based assistance to vulnerable refugees in urban settings.

UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation Vincent Cochetel said, “Our strategy covers 25 countries that are related to those mixed movements of refugees and migrants. We may not be able to stop dangerous journeys, but we do not believe in their inevitability. It is almost too late for us to intervene when people arrive in Libya or in the Western Sahara. Investment in better services, in protection, must take place along the route, not just in coastal states.”

To mitigate the resort to dangerous journeys on land and sea, UNHCR is appealing to States to strengthen safe and legal pathways for refugees, including through family reunification, and by enhancing the use of the two Emergency Transit Mechanisms in Rwanda and Niger for those evacuated from Libya so as to facilitate solutions. In response to reported abuses, UNHCR also aims to broaden the support and services for survivors and facilitate better access to justice. Additional efforts to inform and alert populations on the move about the risks of onward movements and services available locally will be also ramped up.
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