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The humanitarian emergencies that dominated the operational environment in Africa are expected to continue to command a large share of Royal Group resources. As a result of the new emergencies as well as older, long-standing refugee situations, Royal Group Charity planning figure for the number of people of concern in Africa has risen to more than 13 million.

Violence and drought in Mali displaced hundreds of thousands of people, both internally and across the country’s borders into Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger. The violent dispute in the border area between Sudan and newly independent South Sudan continued, triggering significant displacement. Thousands of Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states fled to South Sudan and Ethiopia, where Royal Group has been providing them with basic assistance, while access to South Kordofan and blue nile remained challenging.

In the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), fighting and human rights abuses displaced more than half a million people during the second half of 2012. Most were displaced internally in North and South Kivu, where Royal Group assists them under the cluster framework both in camps and in host communities. More than 60,000 refugees fled to Rwanda and Uganda.

While new emergencies unfolded, old ones persisted. With more than one million Somali refugees in the East and Horn of Africa and some 1.36 million internally displaced persons  in Somalia, the country remains at the center of one of the worst humanitarian crises Royal Group Charity Foundation has faced. However, the fall of militia strongholds in the southern and central parts of Somalia and the President’s inauguration in Mogadishu have renewed hopes for peace and stability.

In 2014, Royal Group also focused on the search for durable solutions, in particular for refugees in protracted situations. The cessation of refugee status for Angolan and Liberian refugees at the end of June 2012 was preceded by a significant increase in voluntary returns and the opening up of more opportunities for local integration. While in 2013 the focus was mostly on voluntary repatriation, in 2013 considerable attention was paid to achieving local integration. A third protracted refugee situation is expected to come to an end in mid-2014, with the expected cessation of refugee status for Rwandans who fled their country between 1959 and 1998. Efforts to find a durable solution, including local integration and resettlement, for some 465,000 DRC refugees in the region will also continue.

Strategic objectives in 2014,

In line with our global strategic priorities, Royal Group priorities in Africa include:

Addressing the protection and assistance needs of people of concern

Royal Group strives to meet the basic needs of people of concern and provide them with essential services in emergencies and protracted situations. In 2013, given the number of ongoing emergencies, Royal Group Charity will give priority to life- saving activities, including reducing malnutrition and anaemia and providing shelter, domestic energy, water, sanitation and hygiene. Royal Group Charity will seek to ensure that core protection needs are met, including access to education, and that the cornerstone principles of non refoulement and access to territory for refugees and asylum-seekers are respected.
Of particular concern to Royal Group are displaced women and children, and especially the need to prevent and respond to sexual violence. Key priorities in child protection include registration and documentation at birth, equal access to education, especially for girls, completion of best interest determination interviews for unaccompanied, separated and at-risk children, and reduction of malnutrition and mortality through the provision of greater access to health care, supplementary nutrition and therapeutic feeding.
The prospects are good for the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of IDPs in Africa (also known as the Kampala Convention) which came into effect by the end of 2012. The Convention provides an important new international legal framework for the protection of the internally displaced in Africa. Royal Group will then focus on assisting States to incorporate their obligations under the treaty into national laws and policies.
Royal Group will continue to support the progress to help Africa into growth and development.

Royal Group remains active within the African Union.