The Arab region is home to only five percent of the world’s population, yet it hosts half of the world’s conflicts. It is estimated that 32 million people from across the Arab region lived outside their countries of origin in 2019, accounting for 12 percent of the total international migration stock.The Arab States are also highly dependent on international labour. Inflow of migrants to the Arab region and within the region in 2019 has reached more than 40.2 million (15 percent of total international migration stock). The six GCC countries alone hosted 30 million international migrants in 2019 (75 percent of the total migrants in the region), out of whom 6.3 million migrants come from the Arab Region. Additionally, the Arab region includes several migration corridors mostly used by migrants from Africa to reach Europe.
The context in the Arab region is one of mixed migration, involving asylum seekers and refugees fleeing conflict and persecution, irregular and regular migrants, persons who are trafficked and smuggled and people seeking better lives and opportunities. In 2019, the number of refugees and asylum seekers in the region increased to 9.3 million (33 percent of total refugees globally) and the region still accounts for a significant number of internally displaced people (IDPs), reaching 17.5 million in 2019 as a result of conflicts, violence and disasters.
Forced displacement in the region is posing a serious threat to the overall peace infrastructure on a regional, national and sub-national level, particularly in those countries experiencing protracted conflicts (such as in Libya,Syria and Yemen). Climate change across the region also contributes to both economic and forced migration and it is increasingly becoming a root cause of internal displacement potentially fueling conflict. Forecasts estimate that the number of environmental migrants might increase to 200 million by 2050 around the world.
The intense scale of displacement and number of refugees in countries such as Libya, Syria and Yemen, have generated complex demographic changes, and it needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. One serious issue is that forcibly displaced people are becoming disconnected from their social, economic and local assistance networks. Prolonged displacement is creating a marginalized population without access to peaceful ways of addressing their grievances.
Vulnerable migrants across the region, including female domestic workers, suffer exploitation and potential lack of access to healthcare. In 2019, it is estimated that women comprised 13.3 (33 percent) million of the total migrant population in the region, with 63 percent in the GCC countries. Strict lockdowns and curfews in the region have serious implications for female migrant domestic workers in terms of health and safety, but also of their exposure to gender-based violence at work and in their communities.??
In addition, geopolitical tensions are rising, trade and technological conflicts are fracturing world markets, and with the recent onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals is threatened to be further undermined if not reversed in many parts of the region, while inequalities risk to be exacerbated. These global trends are creating barriers for safe, orderly and regular migration.
With public health crises increasing in the Arab region since the onset of the COVID pandemic, governments find themselves increasingly unable to sufficiently support peoples’ livelihoods and protect their citizens, which could lead to eruption/renewal of unrest across the region. Economic downturn has also led to further reduction of fiscal space caused by low oil prices and the impact of the pandemic. There is a fair concern about the welfare of the huge number of migrant workers and refugees in the region, who are living in overcrowded camps with limited access to medical services, making them vulnerable to discrimination, stigmatization and possible revenge by local communities. A contraction in local labour markets, where they already had limited opportunities, coupled with reduced access to services provided by CSOs, such as legal and medical support are putting refugees and migrant workers at deeper risks of exploitation. It is paramount for the governments of the region to include options in health and socio-economic policy support that would ensure the inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as economic migrants and forcibly displaced people to leave no one behind.
Applying the leave no one behind (LNOB) lens to development in the region requires evaluating human mobility based on three classifications: origin, transit and destination. Although the impact and effects of migration are different for each of those typologies, the responses, though linked, are not similar. There has been a tendency of focusing work on migration on the destination countries/regions, thus not addressing the root causes in the countries of origin and transit. In this vein, it is vital to analyze and identify particular vulnerable groups that are forced to move.
Based on current numbers and trends, linking human mobility with long-term development has never been as timely and urgent as today. UNDP, through the humanitarian, peace and development nexus, has been complementing immediate relief efforts with a perspective of and solutions to sustainable development.
The socio-economic (re)integration of migrant workers and forcibly displaced populations is an important component of any peace and development plan, at local, national and regional levels. UNDP will support social cohesion initiatives in areas hosting migrants, and the displaced ?to guarantee effective integration into local dynamics and to maintain good relations with host communities..
While UNDP will continue promoting a representation mechanism for IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers to enable them to directly take part in any negotiation that concerns them, UNHCR role in supporting those refugees who fear persecution is paramount. Additionally, UNDP will work with UNRWA as refugees and forcibly displaced people under UNHCR’s protection often live in camps together with those under UNRWA’s protection (e.g. Syrians in Lebanon).
UNDP is committed to support Arab States to achieve their objectives and commitments under both the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). Furthermore, UNDP will develop action-oriented research to identify entry points for programmatic interventions, and support capacity development of national and local-level institutions to allow for better integration of migrant workers and forcibly displaced people in national development plans, while also facilitating an enabling environment for the voluntary return and reintegration of displaced people and other migrants.
Duties and Responsibilities
SCOPE OF WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED WORK
The overall objective of the assignment is to develop a full-fledged regional project for the Arab States to allow UNDP expand its human mobility portfolio in the region and identify programmatic entry points that are of interest to several UNDP country offices fostering regional exchange and efficiency, as well as activities requiring regional partnerships, including on cross-cutting and cross-border issues that benefit from a coordinated approach. The human mobility initiative in the Arab Region should be in line with the global UNDP approach on human mobility and sustainable development implemented and coordinated by the Crisis Bureau.
Additionally, the project aims at streamlining the fragmented efforts on migration and forced displacement of UNDP in the Arab region. Four focus areas have been established that should form the pillars of the regional project, including:
The regional project on migration and displacement will support and further efforts at the country and regional levels to prevent and respond to the drivers and consequences of migration and displacement. This will include support to the Arab States to achieve their objectives and commitments under The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
Under the regional project, UNDP will develop action-oriented research that identifies entry points for programmatic interventions, support a regional platform for the integration of migrants and forcibly displaced people, and facilitate an enabling environment for return and reintegration, fostering social cohesion, strengthening the social fabric and ensuring peaceful co-existence by addressing the needs of host communities and displaced populations in an equal, timely and efficient manner. Efforts will aim at promoting representation mechanisms for people on the move that allow them to actively and directly engage in negotiations and decision-making that concern them, and develop local and national mechanisms that support migrant workers, IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers, as well as their communities of origin, transit and destination, to address their grievances in a peaceful way and ensure the provision of justice services.
This will be possible by enhancing regional initiatives and developing a framework to mainstream the needs of migrant workers and forcibly displaced people in national development plans; and enhance existing national and regional networks and partnerships to improve cross-border cooperation and efficiency and effectiveness of coordinating human mobility related work.
The project should also take into consideration and build on existing research to identify root causes and impact of economic migration and forced displacement on development, conflict and peace dynamics, while looking into further studies needed, especially in the different sub-regions (Horn of Africa, Maghreb/North Africa, Levant, Gulf) to inform decision making in a very diverse region. Where possible the views of people on the move themselves, especially women, should be taken into account.
Duties and responsibilities:
Work closely with the country office, RBAS desk, governance and peacebuilding team, the inclusive growth team and livelihoods and economic recovery team at the Regional Hub to develop a substantial project document, utilizing UNDP templates, while building on UNDP’s “Regional Approach to Migration and Displacement in the Arab States”;
Conduct an extensive desk review of relevant documents, academic studies, policies and recommendations on migration and forced displacement in the region;
Identify entry points for expanding the work on human mobility for UNDP in the Arab region, including but not limited to (i) networks, tools and platforms; (ii) knowledge products for policy, programming and advocacy purposes, allowing UNDP to position itself as a thought leader in the Arab region (iii) national and regional-level initiatives; (iv) opportunities for advocacy whilst at the same time ensuring that any recommendations take into account the different needs of different types of migrants, men, women, young and older;
Coordinate consultations and technical meetings with country offices, RBAS desk and relevant stakeholders, including regional institutions (e.g. LAS, GCC, etc.) the UN Network on Migration in the Arab region, and regional UN Agencies (such as IOM, ILO, ESCWA, UNICEF and the World Bank), civil society groups, and other potential project partners to assist project definition;
Build on the work done by the region’s Issue Based Coalition on Migration (IBC/M) and consult with its members. The IBC/M facilitate effective, timely and coordinated efforts to promote a better understanding of current and emerging issues on migration in the Arab region, foster dialogue and collaboration between different relevant stakeholders to ensure a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to migration governance;
Gather and analyze data in an age and gender disaggregated manner to be incorporated into baselines and indicators for the proposed project activities. Identify the project baseline in terms of current policies, stakeholders, and a preliminary gender sensitive needs assessment as relevant to migration and displacement in the Arab region;
Ensure all potential project partners are engaged and their inputs reflected in the project document;
Engage representatives of people on the move and their communities to inform the project’s initiatives and strategy;
Help identify funding opportunities and mechanisms;
Identify and articulate areas of comparative advantage for UNDP in the Arab region in the areas of economic migration and forced displacement vis-à-vis other key stakeholders at national and regional levels;
Ensure that cross-cutting issues, including gender, youth, partnerships, data and innovation are duly incorporated in the project document and that reference is made to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the pillars and thematic areas of the project.
DURATION OF THE WORK
The expected duration of the assignment is expected to be 60 working days for over period of Four (4) calendar months from contract signature date.
Home based Assignment.
TRAVEL PLAN (OPTIONAL)
If any unforeseen travel outside the consultant home-based city is requested by UNDP and not required by?the Terms of References (ToR), such travel shall be covered by UNDP in line with applicable rules and regulations and upon prior written agreement. In such cases, the consultant shall receive living allowances not exceeding the United Nations (UN) Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) rate for such other location(s).
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