According to UNHCR estimates, statelessness affects millions of people worldwide, at least 700,000 of which are in West and Central Africa. There are many factors contributing to the risk of statelessness in the region, which suggest that the population at risk is very large.
Mixed movements refer to complex population flows: people using the same routes and modes of transportation to travel, but moving for different reasons, and with different needs. In these flows, refugees move alongside people fleeing financial hardship. West and Central Africa is a place of complex mixed movements, inside the region or from the region to other parts of the world, such as Europe through the Central Mediterranean route.
Today, there are 22,000 Ivorian refugees hosted in West Africa. Since 2011, UNHCR has facilitated the voluntary return in safety and dignity of over 70,000 Ivorian refugees and and continues to do so.
With ongoing crises in the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali and Nigeria, as well as increased insecurity in Burkina Faso, more than 7 million people are internally displaced across the region. In this challenging context, UNHCR will assume its tri-cluster leadership role, provide direct assistance to IDPs, ensure that protection is placed at the centre of the multi-stakeholder humanitarian response and that solutions are pursued in coordination with all partners, including key development actors. “The West and Central Africa region faces multiple humanitarian and development challenges. This has not stopped its governments and people from showing solidarity with nearly 5 million refugees and internally displaced people. To be sustainable, this solidarity needs to be supported by adequate funding.” Regional Bureau Director: Millicent Mutuli.