Highlighted results

More than 240,000 refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and people in host communities gained access to education.

Almost 40,000 refugees, IDPs and people in host communities gained access to employment or support in finding income-generating activities.

20,000 refugees, IDPs and people in host communities gained access to mental health and psychosocial support.

More than 10,000 young people in countries of origin who were provided with information said they would reconsider their plans to migrate.

More than 2,700 stranded migrants received assistance with their voluntary return from North Africa.

Additional sources

Comprehensive Agenda on Migration

Comprehensive Dutch approach to migration issues

Theory of Change

Narrative on the what, why and how of the theme of Improving prospects for refugees and migration cooperation

Central government budget chapter XVII (BHOS) 2019

Budget for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation 2019

Grant framework for migration and development

Grant policy framework for migration and development, published in September 2018

Introduction

The situation of refugees and migrants continues to receive considerable attention, both in the Netherlands and internationally. In countries and regions that host large numbers of refugees, such as the countries around Syria and the Horn of Africa, public services are under severe pressure. Many refugees have insufficient access to employment and basic services like education. Migrants often underestimate the risks of migration routes through countries like Libya. They often fall victim to serious exploitation, extortion, mistreatment and (sexual) abuse.

For this reason, the Netherlands is making efforts to improve prospects for refugees and host communities in the region, prevent irregular migration and risks associated with it, and protect the human rights of refugees and migrants. Special attention is paid to women and young people. These efforts focus on North Africa, West Africa, the Horn of Africa and the region around Syria.

Prospects, a partnership set up by the Netherlands with five international organisations in eight host countries, is a major instrument for investment in refugees’ and host communities’ prospects. The partnership is a new way of working together to find sustainable solutions to long-term refugee crises.

Results 2019

The Netherlands funded efforts to improve prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities in countries around Syria and in the Horn of Africa. Tens of thousands of people gained access to employment and psychosocial care, and more than 200,000 people gained access to education. More than half a million people obtained personal documents, such as birth certificates, which are crucial for access to justice, education, employment and property and for building a future. In addition, more than a million people gained access to basic services, such as waste disposal and police protection.

Activities under migration cooperation helped prevent irregular migration and protect vulnerable migrants. People planning to migrate irregularly were informed of the risks involved. Countries received support in tackling human trafficking and smuggling of migrants more effectively through, for example, training provided to 182 people. With support from the Netherlands, more than 2,700 stranded migrants were able to return home from North Africa. The Netherlands also funded efforts to help 1,800 migrants rebuild their lives after returning to their homes.

Result areas

Prospects for refugees and host communities Migration cooperation

Featured project improving prospects for refugees and migration cooperation

Community Conversations: discussing choices about migration in the community

In Ethiopia the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is facilitating community discussions on the reasons why young people are resorting to irregular migration, the risks that this involves and the legal, safe alternatives that are available. This enables young people to make better informed choices with the support of their communities.

Social and cultural norms often make it difficult for women to participate in these discussions and in decision-making. Their experiences are relevant, however, and their contributions to decisions are crucial in ensuring sustainable outcomes. IOM is therefore working to promote women’s participation, by encouraging discussion of social norms about gender roles. It is also fostering conditions in which women feel it is safe to participate and express their opinion.

Community Conversations: discussing choices about migration in the community

Prospects for refugees and host communities

The 21-year-old Payam from Erbil, Iraq, took part in SPARK's preventing violent extremism programme Boosting Your Beliefs. Here she was approached by Rudaw, one of the largest media networks in Kurdistan in Iraq, where she since works as a journalist.

Improving prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities

The Netherlands supports countries around Syria and in the Horn of Africa in improving the situation of refugees and vulnerable host communities, with special attention for women and young people. Dutch support is aimed at:
Protection and legal status;Access to education and vocational training;Opportunities for work and income.
Our objective is to offer refugees protection and improved prospects close to their country of origin. Last year, around 300,000 people gained access to education, employment psychosocial care and basic services. Other achievements included improved quality of education, links with the labour market and access to services like waste disposal, issue of personal documents and police protection.

Open result area

The 21-year-old Payam from Erbil, Iraq, took part in SPARK's preventing violent extremism programme Boosting Your Beliefs. Here she was approached by Rudaw, one of the largest media networks in Kurdistan in Iraq, where she since works as a journalist.

In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, the Netherlands worked to achieve sustainable solutions for refugees in the Syria region and in the Horn of Africa. We aim to achieve these results by funding national and international NGOs and the five organisations in the Prospects partnership. The results achieved in this reporting period are higher than in the previous period. More people have gained access to education and more have received support in developing income-generating activities. Young people and women are a central focus of all interventions, and where possible attention is paid to offering mental health and psychosocial support and promoting cohesion between refugees and host communities.

In this reporting period the five Prospects partners worked on studies and research projects to set up four-year country programming in eight countries in the Syria region and in the Horn of Africa. The core of the partnership is developing a new way of working between the five partners, and offering refugees protection and improved prospects. Our main focus is close cooperation with governments, especially local governments, so as to safeguard sustainability and avoid the emergence of parallel systems.

To boost the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2018, the first Global Refugee Forum took place in 2019 under the leadership of UNHCR. In line with Dutch policy, the Compact calls for support for the larger host countries. The Netherlands worked actively with WHO and the Red Cross to organise a panel discussion on employment and a focus session on mental health and psychosocial support in crisis response activities.

Results

Indicator

Number of people participating in formal or informal education or training

Progress

On track

240,000 people

This indicator measures the number of people who have started formal or informal education and/or training. The data is divided into men/women and refugee/host community/IDPs. It also shows what type of training/education is provided (e.g. primary and secondary education, catch-up schooling, schooling for drop-outs, customised training, life-skills training and vocational education), and in which countries the results were achieved.

Education and training offer people future prospects and are a major priority in Dutch efforts to improve prospects and provide protection for refugees in their own region. Due to crises, refugee children and adults have no access to education and training, creating the risk of a lost generation. To prevent this from happening, the Netherlands is contributing to educational projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia. Besides aiming to fulfill people’s right to education, many of the projects focus on improving the protection of children and promoting social cohesion between different groups. Thanks to the Dutch contribution, more than 240,000 people gained access to education and training in the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, three times the number of people reached in the previous year. One major reason for this is the impact of a new programme with UNICEF which has recently started in Iraq (see the highlighted project below).

Indicator

Number of people supported in developing income-generating activities

Progress

On track

36,360 people

This indicator measures the number of people supported in developing income-generating activities. The data is divided into men/women and refugee/host community/IDPs. Income-generating activities include access to financing (loans or grants), business support or information on financial training and how to find seasonal work.

Besides education, employment is essential in improving refugees’ prospects and self-reliance. In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, thanks to the Dutch contribution, more than 36,000 people in eight countries in the Horn of Africa and the Syria region received support in developing income-generating activities. This is an enormous increase compared to the 4,000 people reached in the previous reporting period. These results were achieved, for example, through a UNDP programme in South Sudan, which created more than 20,000 seasonal jobs in the agricultural sector. All programmes devote special attention to the obstacles, risks and opportunities that women and young people face in the labour market. Women and young people face specific challenges, and these barriers can be partially or completely removed by providing, for example, additional (language) training, childcare and safe transport.

Indicator

Number of people with access to adequate mental health care and psychosocial support

Progress

On track

20,770 people

This indicator measures the number of people who have gained access to mental health and psychosocial support. The data is divided into men/women and refugee/host community/internally displaced persons (IDPs), and shows in which countries results have been achieved.

As a result of the long-lasting crisis, many refugees and people in host communities in both the Syria region and the Horn of Africa have experienced mental health problems. A lack of services and stability causes tensions between different groups and long-term unemployment can affect relations within families. By funding mental health and psychosocial support, the Netherlands is helping people to deal with their traumas and to face the future with confidence. This is particularly important for refugees who have experienced severe violence and loss.

Working together with partners like NGO ABAAD – Resource Center for Gender Equality, we have set up awareness-raising campaigns in Lebanon to combat domestic violence and offer victims psychosocial support, often through group sessions. The Netherlands also funded a Warchild project which has offered almost 6,000 children and young people in Lebanon psychosocial support through sports and games. In Uganda, the Refugee Law Project has helped more than 5,000 people gain access to psychosocial support, for example to reduce tensions between different groups.

Building Resilience in the Education System in Iraq

Building Resilience in the Education System in Iraq

Access to good quality education irrespective of origin or socioeconomic circumstances is a priority for the Netherlands. It not only offers a way out of a cycle of poverty and inequality, but also gives children a safe haven for their development.

This programme focuses on restoring schools so that children from 6 to 18 can receive education again. In addition, the Netherlands is working with UNICEF to raise the quality of education by training local teachers.

In the period from April 2018 to March 2019, with help from the Netherlands, more than 100,000 children in Iraq (refugees, displaced persons and children from host communities) returned to school or received assistance to enable them to stay in school. In addition, more than 650 teachers honed their skills, for example in the fields of educational theory and psychosocial support.

Birth certificates for refugees in Ethiopia

Birth certificates for refugees in Ethiopia

South Sudanese refugee can take her daughters to school now that they have birth certificates. © UNHCR/Diana Diaz

Ethiopia is currently hosting approximately 750,000 refugees, many of whom have already been in the country for a long time. Refugees were previously registered with UNHCR and not with the Ethiopian government; as a result, around 70,000 children born in Ethiopia were never issued a birth certificate. Through this programme, UNHCR’s registration system has been linked to the system of the Ethiopian government, so that refugees are now directly registered with the government. A birth certificate is crucial for refugees as it gives them access to education, healthcare and employment in their host country. This gives them the control and freedom of choice they need to build up their own lives.

Prospects’ contribution to the ILO

Read more about ILO activities part of the Prospects partnership

Prospects’ contribution to IFC

Read more about IFC activities part of the Prospects partnership

Migration cooperation

Codou Loum speaks about her experience as an irregular migrant on the radio, to inform listeners about the risks of irregular migration. Credit: Alioune Ndiaye / IOM.

Migration cooperation

Irregular migration leads to much suffering. Migrants often take dangerous routes and run the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Many do not survive, while others are left traumatised. The Netherlands focuses on preventing and controlling irregular migration, in which the protection vulnerable migrants is the main priority. We do that by, for example, providing information about the risks of irregular migration and on alternatives. As a result, 10,125 young people decided to abandon, postpone or reconsider their plans to migrate last year. We also work with countries in Africa to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Lastly, the Netherlands ensures migrants’ safe return to and reintegration in their countries of origin, from the Netherlands and from transit countries in North Africa.

Open result area

Codou Loum speaks about her experience as an irregular migrant on the radio, to inform listeners about the risks of irregular migration. Credit: Alioune Ndiaye / IOM.

Combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Africa

Combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants is primarily the responsibility of countries themselves. The Netherlands provides funds through UN agencies to help countries in North and West Africa to improve their legislation and strengthen their capacity to apprehend and prosecute human traffickers and people smugglers. We also promote cross-border cooperation in this area, and better protection of migrants’ human rights.

Helping migrants in distress in Niger

With Dutch support, IOM provides aid for migrants rescued in the Sahara. In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, the organization provided food, medical and psychosocial support and shelter to more than 2,800 migrants. These migrants may also receive assistance with the return to their countries of origin and rebuilding their lives there.

Awareness-raising on migration choices

Although migrants often realise that they are taking risks in relying on people smugglers when embarking on a journey, they do not always fully appreciate the consequences of their decision. Reliable information helps them understand these consequences better, and assess possible opportunities in their country of origin. They are then able to make better informed choices about migration or a future in their country of origin. This prevents unnecessary suffering and irregular migration.

Return and reintegration from transit countries

Through IOM, the Netherlands supports the voluntary return and reintegration of stranded migrants in North Africa. These migrants often live in inhumane conditions, for example in the detention centres in Libya. IOM offers them a safe return home and support in rebuilding their lives. In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, 2,716 stranded migrants from North Africa returned to their countries of origin, while more than 1,809 migrants received support with reintegration.

Results

Indicator

Number of migrants who received emergency assistance

Progress

On track

2,873

Large numbers of migrants end up stranded in the desert in the north of Niger. IOM rescues these people and provides them with aid and protection. In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, with Dutch support, IOM provided over 2,800 migrants with assistance. This aid can include water, food and medical and psychosocial assistance.

Indicator

Number of government officials and stakeholders trained to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute human trafficking and smuggling of migrants

Progress

On track

182

To combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, the Netherlands funds training of government officials and stakeholders. The training focuses on different parts of the process, from prevention to prosecution. In the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019, 182 officials and others in various countries in North and West Africa were trained with Dutch support.

Examples of projects supported by the Netherlands include training immigration services in recognising human trafficking and training public prosecutors and judges in prosecuting and trying human traffickers. However, the approach is broader. The Netherlands also supports training for financial services in North Africa in investigating the money flows generated by human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. The aim is to undermine the revenue model for human traffickers and people smugglers.

Indicator

Number of potential migrants in target communities abandoning, postponing or seriously reconsidering their plans to migrate irregularly to Europe as a result of Dutch efforts

Progress

On track

We measured the effects of an awareness-raising campaign by the organization Seefar in Nigeria, Gambia and Iraq (Kurdish Region). The core of the campaign consisted of discussions between young people with plans to migrate and a confidential adviser. The indicator shows how many young people say that they will abandon, postpone or reconsider their plans after the discussion. This figure already far exceeds the objective.

We want to know if our awareness-raising campaigns are having an impact. If someone from the target group says that they changed their attitude towards migration, this can be an effect of the campaign (though other factors may also play a role). The effect is measured by asking the potential migrant questions before and after their meeting with the confidential adviser.

The surveys show that, after the meeting, 10,125 people said they would reconsider their plans. All of these people had stated before the conversation that they wished to migrate.

Not all people stick to their attitude after the conversation. Seefar therefore conducted another survey several months later. This time they asked the young people only if they had abandoned their plans to migrate as a result of the campaign. The results were 1,962 (to Europe) and 2,974 (all destinations).

It is not easy to determine whether a decision to change migration plans can be attributed to a campaign. This was assessed for the first time with the Dutch-funded Migrants as Messengers campaign (see the section on progress in results under Migration cooperation).

Indicator

Migrants assisted with voluntary return from North Africa

Progress

On track

2,716

This indicator shows how many migrants the Netherlands has supported in returning voluntarily to their countries of origin from transit countries outside Europe.

Indicator

Number of migrants who have received assistance with reintegration in their countries of origin with Dutch support

Progress

On track

1,809

This indicator shows how many migrants have received assistance in rebuilding their lives in their countries of origin. This assistance can include help in finding a job, training or arranging childcare.

Progress in result area Migration cooperation

Good results were achieved in the period from mid-2018 to mid-2019. Thousands of migrants were helped to return voluntarily from North Africa to their countries of origin and rebuild their lives. Information improved the knowledge of 43,000 people on the risks of irregular migration, including the risk of falling victim to human trafficking, causing more than 10,000 people to change or reconsider their decisions. This prevented suffering and helped achieve safe, responsible migration (SDG 10.7).

As of yet, too little research has been carried out into the effects of awareness-raising campaigns. To learn more about this, IOM conducted a scientific evaluation of the Dutch-funded campaign Migrants as Messengers in West Africa. The evaluation assessed the impact of a film presenting the stories of migrants who had experience with irregular migration on young people with plans to migrate. The film was followed by a discussion. The evaluation concluded that these young people:

felt better informed of the risks (19% more than the control group) and were in fact more aware of the actual risks (25% more than the control group);

said less often that they planned to undertake irregular migration in the coming two years (20% less than the control group).

There are also challenges. The situation in various focus regions, like West Africa, is becoming more unstable. This makes the conditions we are working in more difficult. In addition, sustainable improvement take time. Tackling human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, for example, often requires changes to legislation and in police and justice procedures, combating corruption and creating new forms of partnership. This can be a long process in countries where protection of human rights and good governance cannot be taken for granted.

Progress has been made in the fight against human trafficking. Effective legislation is a basic precondition for combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants. With Dutch support, West African countries are working on improving their legislation. This involves identifying shortcomings in existing legislation and drafting new legislation. In 2018, for example, Côte d'Ivoire adopted a special statute against human trafficking with support from the Netherlands. Côte d'Ivoire is the second country in the region with such specialised legislation. Another positive result made possible by the Netherlands is the secondment of Nigerian prosecutors to Italy and Spain. This strengthened and expedited the exchange of information, leading to 28 new cases of human trafficking being opened.

STRENGTH: combating human trafficking in Egypt

Irregular migrants run a greater risk of falling victim to human trafficking. The Netherlands ensures that migrants are informed of these risks so that they can protect themselves against them. The video above explains what human trafficking is and what forms this exploitation can take. The video is part of a campaign to combat human trafficking in Egypt.

Migrants Rescue and Assistance in Agadez Region (MIRAA): aid for stranded migrants in Niger

Irregular migration is often hazardous. Many migrants end up stranded in the desert in the north of Niger and would die without help. Supported by the Netherlands, IOM gives these migrants life-saving assistance and protection. In the video Rachid explains what the MIRAA project does.

IOM Niger on Twitter

Follow IOM Niger on Twitter

Together against human trafficking programme

Read more about our work on human trafficking

Migration data

Migration data from IOM

Source: IOM.

Background information theme improving prospects for refugees and migration cooperation

Background

According to UNHCR, approximately 5.5 million Syrian people have fled to neighbouring countries since the start of the crisis. This is the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Additionally, there are currently around 3.7 million refugees in the Horn of Africa. The Netherlands is focusing on the situation of refugees in the countries around Syria and in the Horn of Africa. Our main focus is on contributing to efforts that improve prospects for refugees and vulnerable host communities in these regions.

In regions around Europe, many people are suffering from a lack of prospects, for both economic and security reasons. Some opt for irregular migration, usually in their own region but in some cases to Europe. These migrants are often vulnerable. They suffer from hunger and thirst and fall victim to violence, exploitation and abuse. The Netherlands is working to prevent irregular migration through awareness-raising campaigns, assisting governments in tackling human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, providing aid to migrants in need and supporting them in returning to the their homes and rebuilding their lives.

Glimpse into the future

In the coming year, the Netherlands will continue to work closely with multilateral organisations, NGOs and knowledge institutions to achieve its objectives. The policy priorities in regions of origin continue to be protection, education and employment. The largest programme, the Prospects partnership, focuses on a development-oriented approach to long-term refugee crises, with the aim of improving the prospects of refugees and vulnerable host communities. Our focus in the coming year will be learning from results and experiences, together with our partners. Ongoing and new programmes will be continually monitored and evaluated and where necessary modified.

The current priorities within migration cooperation – awareness-raising, protection, combating human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, and return and reintegration – will continue to apply in the coming year. Gender equality will receive extra attention within the programmes. In keeping our focus on results, the Netherlands will aim for larger, multiyear programmes and better monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Additional sources

You can find exactly how the budget was allocated in 2019 and which projects were funded on our budget website.

  1. Visit the website
    Programme budget Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
  2. Select financial year 2019
Theme page on migration on government.nl

Page on current policy on migration

Theme page on development cooperation on government.nl

Page on current policy on development cooperation

Facebook page

Follow this theme on Facebook

Results overview

Download PDF document with all results

Launch of Prospects partnership

Information on the Prospects partnership

Expenditure by channel

Metric

The budget in this figure is for the year 2019 and does not completely correspond with the results on this page, which have been collected between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019. More information on this can be found on the 'About the results report' page.