oversight

Humanitarian Assistance: Protecting Refugee Women and Girls Remains a Significant Challenge

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-05-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to the Ranking Minority
             Member, Committee on Foreign
             Relations, U.S. Senate


May 2003
             HUMANITARIAN
             ASSISTANCE
             Protecting Refugee
             Women and Girls
             Remains a Significant
             Challenge




GAO-03-663
                                                May 2003


                                                HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE


Highlights of GAO-03-663, a report to the       Protecting Refugee Women and Girls
Ranking Minority Member, Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations                  Remains a Significant Challenge



Women and children refugees, who                UNHCR and international organizations have developed guidelines, best
comprise 80 percent of the                      practices, and other measures to improve protection of refugee women and
estimated 12 million refugees                   girls. However, weaknesses in its staffing process and training limit the
worldwide, are among the world’s
most vulnerable populations. They
                                                effectiveness of these measures. UNHCR lacks a formal strategic workforce
are subject to gender-based                     plan that links the organization’s objectives, resources, and staffing; its staff
violence, including physical harm,              assignment and rotation policies have resulted in extended vacancies at key
rape, and unequal access to                     protection posts; and it provides little practical training for most UNHCR
humanitarian assistance. GAO was                and implementing partner staff on protection concepts and techniques.
asked to (1) assess efforts by the              UNHCR could also make better use of partnering arrangements with
U.N. High Commissioner for                      nongovernmental and international organizations to boost its protection
Refugees (UNHCR) to protect                     capacity.
refugees, especially with regard to
women and girls; (2) determine                  In response to allegations in 2001 of sexual abuse and exploitation of women
what steps U.N. and international               and girl refugees by relief workers and peacekeepers, the U.N. and other
organizations have taken to prevent
sexual exploitation of refugee
                                                international organizations introduced policies and procedures to address
women by humanitarian workers;                  the problem, such as codes of conduct and mechanisms to report and act on
and (3) describe U.S. government                new allegations of abuse of power. While these efforts have raised
efforts to support adequate                     awareness among workers in refugee settings, international organizations
protection for vulnerable                       face continuing sexual exploitation of women by relief workers, and the
populations.                                    issue remains a real and significant problem.

                                                The U.S. government, through the Department of State, supports the
                                                protection of refugees and other vulnerable populations primarily through its
GAO recommends that the                         funding to international organizations. It is also a strong advocate at the
Secretary of State work to reform               United Nations, within international organizations, and at the country level
UNHCR’s staffing system, expand                 to increase protection efforts.
protection training, encourage
protection partnering, and maintain             Burundian Refugees in Tanzania
focus on combating sexual
exploitation of women and girls.
State agreed with our
recommendations. UNHCR
disagreed with fundamentally
reforming its staffing system,
stating that better instruments for
assigning staff and managing
vacancies are sufficient remedies.
We maintain that UNHCR needs a
strategic workforce plan and better
staff assignment and rotation
policies to ensure that certain
vacant duty stations are filled.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-663.

To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact David B.
Gootnick, (202) 512-3149,
gootnickd@gao.gov.
Contents


Letter                                                                                   1
               Results in Brief                                                          2
               Background                                                                4
               Recent Action Raises Awareness, but Refugee Women and Girls
                 Continue to Face Violence                                               7
               Despite Remedial Actions, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of
                 Power Still a Problem                                                 22
               U.S. Government Funds International Organizations’ Protection
                 Activities                                                            26
               Conclusions                                                             28
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                    29
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                      30

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                   34



Appendix II    Catalogue of Refugee Protection Reports                                 36
               Bibliography                                                            40

Appendix III   Comments from Department of State                                       43



Appendix IV    Comments from UNHCR                                                     46



Appendix V     GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                  58
               GAO Contacts                                                            58
               Acknowledgments                                                         58


Tables
               Table 1: UNHCR’s Approved Regular and Supplementary Budgets,
                        Actual Funds Received, and Percentage Difference, 1998-
                        2002                                                           11
               Table 2: Protection Officer Vacancies by Region                         16
               Table 3: State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and
                        Migration Contributions to UNHCR, United Nations




               Page i                                   GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                    Children’s Fund, and the International Committee of the
                    Red Cross, 1998-2002                                                            26


Figures
          Figure 1: Burundian Refugee Women                                                         6
          Figure 2: Registration of New Refugee Arrivals in Tanzania                                8
          Figure 3: Distribution of Protection Officer Posts and Assisted
                   Populations in High-Risk Countries                                               14
          Figure 4: Refugee “Temporary Shelters” in Thailand                                        21
          Figure 5: A Karen Women’s Committee Income-Generating
                   Activity, Mae La, Thailand, 2003                                                 24




          This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the
          United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further
          permission from GAO. It may contain copyrighted graphics, images or other materials.
          Permission from the copyright holder may be necessary should you wish to reproduce
          copyrighted materials separately from GAO’s product.




          Page ii                                             GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   May 23, 2003

                                   The Honorable Joseph Biden
                                   Ranking Minority Member
                                   Committee on Foreign Relations
                                   United States Senate

                                   Dear Senator Biden:

                                   Women and children refugees, who comprise 80 percent of the estimated
                                   12 million refugees worldwide, are among the world’s most vulnerable
                                   populations. Violence against women and girls has historically been, and
                                   continues to be, prevalent among refugees, including those fleeing current
                                   conflicts in Burma, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Liberia.
                                   Gender-based violenceharm perpetuated against a person because of
                                   gender-based power inequitiesis aimed primarily at women and girls. In
                                   refugee settings, this violence can take the form of intimidation, physical
                                   harm, sexual abuse including rape, and unequal access to humanitarian
                                   assistance. Although no systematic data exist about the magnitude of the
                                   problem, reports by numerous international organizations over the past
                                   two decades demonstrate that sexual abuse of refugee women and girls is
                                   pervasive and present in almost all refugee settings. Reports out of West
                                   Africa in 2001 cited sexual abuse and exploitation of refugee women and
                                   girls by relief workers from international and nongovernmental
                                   organizations and by peacekeepers—the very people charged with
                                   protecting refugees. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
                                   is the lead international organization charged with providing protection
                                   and assistance to refugees and other vulnerable populations.

                                   Because of your concerns about the protection of this vulnerable
                                   population and the allegations of relief workers’ and peacekeepers’ abuses
                                   of power, you asked us to (1) assess efforts by UNHCR and its
                                   implementing partners to protect refugee women and girls from gender-
                                   based violence; (2) determine what steps the United Nations and
                                   international organizations have taken to prevent relief workers’ and
                                   peacekeepers’ abuse of women and girls; and (3) describe the steps the
                                   U.S. government takes to protect refugees and other vulnerable persons.

                                   To assess the efforts taken to protect refugee women and girls, we
                                   conducted fieldwork in refugee camps and surrounding areas in the
                                   Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Thailand.
                                   Collectively, these four nations have more than 1 million refugees, face


                                   Page 1                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                   protracted refugee crises in which refugees and other vulnerable
                   populations are under imminent threat of physical and sexual violence,
                   and were recommended as representative case study countries by State
                   and think tank officials. We assessed the adequacy of international
                   mechanisms to identify and provide protection to refugees from the time
                   of their initial flight to their arrival and settlement in refugee camps to
                   repatriation home. In addition to extensive interviews with refugee women
                   and girls, refugee leaders, and camp management, we supplemented our
                   field-level information with meetings with U.S. government, United
                   Nations, Red Cross Movement, peacekeeping, and nongovernmental
                   organization officials at the headquarter, regional, and country levels. In
                   our work with UNHCR, we met with officials from 19 different offices and
                   examined extensive staffing data—including vacancies, duty station
                   categories, and worldwide distribution of staff. To assess U.N. and
                   international organizations’ response to reports of abuse by staff and
                   peacekeepers, we reviewed a series of remedial action plans recently
                   issued by U.N. and other international organizations and assessed how
                   these plans were being implemented in refugee camps. We also obtained
                   independent perspectives from recognized experts within the human
                   rights, think tank, and refugee advocacy communities on U.N. and U.S.
                   efforts to provide refugee protection. (For a more complete description of
                   our scope and methodology, see app. I.)


                   Over the last decade, UNHCR and its implementing partners have boosted
Results in Brief   their efforts to protect refugee women and girls from sexual abuse and
                   violence by creating policies, best practice guidelines, and programs to
                   protect this population. At the field level, gender based violence initiatives
                   are targeting vulnerable persons—such as female-headed households—
                   and providing them with secure shelter and access to services. Despite
                   these gains, shortfalls in UNHCR’s resources and its weak management in
                   staffing and training limit the effectiveness of measures taken. Regarding
                   resources, failure of donors to fulfill funding pledges forced UNHCR to
                   make budget cuts of $73 million—nearly 10 percent of its regular budget—
                   in 2002. These cuts led to a reduction in protection programs aimed at
                   women and girls. Regarding staffing issues, UNHCR does not have a
                   strategic workforce plan—a plan that links the organization’s objectives,
                   resources, and staffing—to maximize the physical protection of refugees.
                   Consequently, the number of protection staff in some high-risk countries is
                   insufficient and impedes protection efforts. Furthermore, UNHCR’s staff
                   assignments and rotations are voluntary and have resulted in extended




                   Page 2                                      GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
vacancies at key protection posts. In Tanzania, for example, UNHCR has 1
junior protection officer responsible for the physical protection needs of
155,000 refugees in 5 camps. Regarding training, we found that most
UNHCR staff and staff within nongovernmental organizations that serve as
their implementing partners in camps have not received practical training
on protection concepts and techniques, such as how to identify and
address sexual violence cases. Finally, we found that UNHCR’s
implementing partners and other international organizations have
protection capabilities that provide significant opportunities for partnering
arrangements to fill gaps in refugee protection.

In response to reports at the end of 2001 alleging sexual abuse and
exploitation of women and girl refugees by relief workers and
peacekeepers, the United Nations conducted an in-depth investigation into
the allegations, and international organizations adopted codes of conduct
and instituted training programs for their employees. During our fieldwork
in numerous refugee camps, we found there was high awareness of the
ethical and professional conduct expected of relief workers and
peacekeepers, and there were established mechanisms to report and act
upon any new allegations of abuse of power. Despite these efforts,
international organizations still face continuing sexual exploitation of
refugees by relief workers. Although the in-depth investigation could not
verify specific charges of abuse, it found other cases and concluded that
sexual exploitation by relief workers was a real problem. During our
fieldwork, we observed officials from UNHCR and nongovernmental
organizations investigating new cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by
workers in Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Based upon extensive interviews
with relief workers and refugee women, our observations, and review of
12 years of reports, refugee women and girls remain extremely vulnerable
to sexual exploitation and abuse of power due to (1) the high level of
poverty among refugees, (2) limited monitoring of camp situations by
international relief workers, and (3) cultural attitudes on the part of some
relief workers and refugee-led camp management. According to relief and
human rights experts, continued high-level management focus on
preventing exploitation is necessary so attention does not wane before it
becomes part of organizations’ institutional culture.

The U.S. government’s role in protecting refugees and other vulnerable
populations has been primarily through its funding of international
organizations. In 2002, the Department of State provided UNHCR and the
International Committee of the Red Cross—the two key international
organizations mandated to provide protection—with $265 million and $124
million, respectively. Furthermore, the Department of State in 2002 funded


Page 3                                      GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
             a number of small grants for projects targeted to address specific
             protection problems in countries. During our fieldwork, we observed
             several of these protection projects—including some covering sexual and
             gender-based violence prevention—that addressed gaps in protection in
             Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The U.S. Agency for International
             Development (USAID), through its Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
             and Office of Transition Initiatives, indirectly contributes to refugee
             protection efforts. Finally, in addition to financial support, the U.S.
             government plays an active role advocating for the protection of refugees
             and vulnerable populations at the United Nations, within international
             organizations, and at the country level.

             This report makes recommendations that the Secretary of State work with
             U.N. member states to address the inadequacies in the UNHCR staffing
             system, expand protection training programs, encourage the development
             of protection partnering arrangements, and maintain international
             organizations’ focus on combating sexual exploitation of refugee women
             and girls.

             In comments on a draft of this report, the Department of State said we
             accurately reflect the reality of current efforts to provide protection to
             refugee women and girls, noting that shortfalls in funding, prioritization,
             and an ineffective staff management system hamper UNHCR’s protection
             efforts. UNHCR disagreed with our recommendation to fundamentally
             reform its staffing system, stating that improvements to instruments for
             assigning staff and managing vacancies, as well as more predictable donor
             support, would be sufficient to address these problems. The problems in
             UNHCR’s staffing system have been long documented and improvements
             aimed at selected aspects of the system have not been effective. In our
             view, therefore, creation of a strategic workforce plan and the
             development of a staff assignment and rotation policy are necessary to
             address the protection needs of refugees in high-risk and difficult duty
             locations. A more detailed discussion of UNHCR’s comments and our
             response is included at the end of this report.


             UNHCR is the lead agency in a network of international organizations
Background   active in the protection and assistance of refugees and other populations
             that are vulnerable in war and conflict settings. Other major participants
             include the Red Cross Movement, the World Food Program, and the
             United Nations Children’s Fund, as well as nongovernmental organizations
             such as the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children.
             Established in 1950 to help resettle European refugees in the aftermath of


             Page 4                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
World War II, UNHCR is guided by the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967
Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, both of which detail refugees’
rights.1 UNHCR’s primary purpose as mandated by the United Nations is to
provide international protection for refugees by ensuring that their basic
human rights are respected. Further, UNHCR is to ensure that individuals
seeking asylum are given access to refugee status determination
procedures, are not refused entry at borders, and are protected from
forced return to a situation of danger. UNHCR’s policies, strategic
objectives, and budget are set by its Executive Committee, which meets
annually to set the organization’s priorities and direction. (Fig. 1 depicts
Burundian refugee women who told us of their protection concerns in the
Kasulu refugee camp in western Tanzania.)




1
 Additional international instruments underpinning the rights and guarantees relevant to
the protection of refugee women and girls include the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women, ratified by the United Nations in 1979; the
Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, adopted by the U.N. General
Assembly in 1993; and the subsequent Global Platform for Action, adopted at the Beijing
Fourth Conference on Women in 1995; U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000); and
Guidelines on International Protection: Gender-related persecution (2002).




Page 5                                              GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                     Figure 1: Burundian Refugee Women




Changing Nature of   Factors inherent in armed conflict situations have changed the context in
Refugee Protection   which UNHCR and other relief organizations provide assistance and
                     protection to refugees and other vulnerable populations. In these types of
                     situations, the nature of refugee and displacement flows has changed from
                     persons fleeing organized conflict between states to an environment of
                     civil war in which armed state and rebel groups purposely target civilian
                     populations. The danger of operating in conflict zones and the personal
                     security risks to relief workers are now major limitations to involvement
                     in protection matters. For example, from 1997 through 2001, 106 relief
                     workers were killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, Angola, Rwanda,
                     and Sudan. Even upon arrival at a refugee or displacement camp, women
                     and girls remain vulnerable to violence from the local community,
                     combatants who use the camp as a rest and relaxation base, and other
                     refugees. In addition, some governments, such as Burma, block
                     international organizations’ access to their vulnerable populations, thus



                     Page 6                                    GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                            hampering protection activities. (See app. II for a listing of U.N. reports
                            that cite sexual violence against women.)

                            In response to the changing nature of the refugee context, humanitarian
                            organizations in 1996 reexamined the legal, practical, and policy issues
                            relevant to protection. Policy documents that emerged from this review
                            defined protection as actions aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights
                            of individuals by (1) preventing abuse; (2) restoring adequate living
                            conditions subsequent to a pattern of abuse; and (3) fostering a social,
                            cultural, institutional, and legal environment conducive to respect for the
                            rights of the individual.2 For the purposes of this report, we focus on the
                            physical dimensions of protecting refugees, especially women and girls.


                            Over the last few years, the international community has boosted
Recent Action Raises        protection of women and girl refugees from sexual abuse and violence
Awareness, but              through international conventions, new standards and guidelines, and
                            increased programs on sexual and gender-based violence. However,
Refugee Women and           UNHCR has faced heavy budget cuts because of shortfalls in contributions
Girls Continue to           from international donors, and these cuts have directly impacted funding
                            for gender-based protection programs. In addition, UNHCR lacks a
Face Violence               strategic workforce plan linking its mission to its staffing system, which
                            has led to insufficient protection staff in some high-risk countries.
                            Furthermore, most UNHCR staff and those of their implementing partners
                            have not been trained in protection concepts and techniques. We also
                            found that UNHCR has opportunities to partner with other international
                            organizations that it could use more effectively to increase protection of
                            refugees.


UNHCR Has Taken Action      Over the last decade, UNHCR and its implementing partners have
to Improve Protection but   advanced the protection needs of refugee women and girls through a
Results Are Mixed           number of mechanisms, including the development of UNHCR Policy on
                            Refugee Women (1990)3 and Sexual Violence Against Refugees:



                            2
                             Workshop on Protection of Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations: Doing
                            Something and Doing It Well, report of the workshop held at the International Committee
                            of the Red Cross, Geneva, Switzerland, January 2001.
                            3
                             UNHCR Policy on Refugee Women recognized that protection needs of men and women
                            differ significantly and emphasized the importance of mainstreaming women’s protection
                            needs into all protection and assistance activities.




                            Page 7                                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Guidelines on Prevention and Response (1995).4 In addition, during our
fieldwork in Sierra Leone and Tanzania, we observed UNHCR protection
activities that identified vulnerable persons upon their initial arrival in
their country of asylum—such as female-headed households and
unaccompanied minors—provided them with secure shelter, and assigned
them social service staff for continued assistance and monitoring. (Fig. 2
depicts a group of new refugee arrivals in Tanzania at a border reception
center being registered by UNHCR staff.)

Figure 2: Registration of New Refugee Arrivals in Tanzania




Throughout 2001, UNHCR sponsored a dialogue with refugee women that
focused on their unique protection vulnerabilities and concerns. As a
result, in 2002 the High Commissioner established five commitments to



4
 Sexual Violence Against Refugees: Guidelines on Prevention and Response outlined
practical steps and provided basic advice on preventing and responding to sexual violence,
including the associated key legal, medical, and psychosocial issues.




Page 8                                              GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                             improve protection of and assistance to refugee women and establish a
                             link among gender equality, the advancement of women, and the
                             protection of refugees. Based on our fieldwork and discussions with
                             UNHCR and relief officials, we found that UNHCR has had mixed results
                             in its efforts to implement the commitments and has not established
                             mechanisms for their monitoring.

High Commissioner’s          The High Commissioner’s five commitments to refugee women cover the
Commitments to Refugee       following areas:
Women
                         •   Sexual and gender-based violence programs. UNHCR committed to
                             develop comprehensive country-level strategies to address sexual and
                             gender-based violence. The sexual and gender-based violence programs
                             UNHCR has set up in recent years have increased awareness in both men
                             and women. In our fieldwork, we observed sexual and gender-based
                             violence programs in various camps. In Sierra Leone and Thailand, refugee
                             women were attending gender awareness workshops and were active in
                             monitoring their camps for incidents of sexual violence and assisting
                             victims. In Tanzania, women participated in a firewood collection project
                             designed to protect women and girls when they are outside of camps
                             collecting firewood and very vulnerable to sexual assault. We also
                             observed prevention and response strategies in place. In Tanzania, Sierra
                             Leone, and Thailand, for example, refugee women told us that the camp
                             gender-based violence centers and programs raised their awareness of the
                             problem, informed them of their rights, and provided a practical means to
                             get help.

                         •   Food distribution. In response to women’s difficulties in obtaining their
                             rations when distribution is controlled by male-dominated camp
                             committees or made directly to male heads of households without
                             women’s participation, UNHCR pledged to ensure that refugee women
                             participate directly and indirectly in the management and distribution of
                             food and nonfood items. At the sites we visited, we observed that women
                             were generally represented in food distribution programs. In Tanzania, at
                             least 50 percent of the food distribution was handled by women, although
                             participation levels remain under target in Sierra Leone and Thailand.

                         •   Camp management. To ensure that women’s concerns are heard and
                             acted upon, the High Commissioner committed that 50 percent of refugee
                             camp management representatives would be women. Our fieldwork
                             showed that women’s involvement in camp leadership positions varied,
                             partly due to cultural barriers in traditionally patriarchal societies. In
                             Sierra Leone and Tanzania, camp officials and refugee women told us that
                             women were very active, representing nearly 50 percent of the camp



                             Page 9                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                                leadership positions. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
                                Thailand, however, we learned that women are finding it more difficult to
                                overcome cultural barriers to their participation in camp committees.

                            •   Registration of women. UNHCR committed to individually register all
                                refugee women and provide them with relevant documentation to ensure
                                their security, freedom of movement, and access to essential services in
                                order to alleviate their dependence on men. During our fieldwork, we
                                found that UNHCR is generally not individually registering women. Based
                                upon our observations in Sierra Leone and Tanzania and on UNHCR’s own
                                reports, UNHCR is continuing its practice of designating males as head of
                                households.

                            •    Sanitary material. The lack of sanitary materials has negative health,
                                social, economic, and psychological implications for women. As a result,
                                the High Commissioner committed to making the provision of sanitary
                                materials standard practice in all UNHCR assistance programs. The
                                organization is finding this commitment difficult to fulfill, due to a lack of
                                funds and commitment to the issue by some staff and implementing
                                partners. A 2000-2001 UNHCR survey found that the provision of sanitary
                                materials was inconsistent in terms of quantity, quality, method, and
                                frequency of distribution. In May 2002, a State Department team also noted
                                that the distribution of sanitary supplies covers only 40 percent of the
                                relevant population in central Africa. In Sierra Leone and Tanzania, we
                                learned that in some camps, a lack of funds allowed for the procurement
                                and distribution of sanitary materials only to school-age girls.


Budget Shortfalls Inhibit       UNHCR’s protection efforts are constrained by recurring budgetary
Protection Efforts              shortfalls. UNHCR’s Executive Committee, comprised of 61 member
                                states, approves and supervises UNHCR’s annual work plan and approves
                                its budget. The approved budget is based on pledges of support from the
                                executive committee members themselves and other donor governments.
                                However, in recent years donor governments have failed to meet their
                                funding commitments.5 In 2002, UNHCR had to cut $73 million from its
                                regular budget—nearly 10 percentbecause of unfulfilled donor




                                5
                                 Unlike other U.N. system organizations, UNHCR’s budget is not based on assessed
                                contributions from member states, but is voluntary. The U.S. government annually
                                contributes 25 percent of UNHCR’s approved budget.




                                Page 10                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                                         contributions. Since 1998 UNHCR has had to operate with an average 11
                                         percent shortfall in its regular budget. (Table 1 shows UNHCR’s regular
                                         and supplementary budgets and actual funds available.)

Table 1: UNHCR’s Approved Regular and Supplementary Budgets, Actual Funds Received, and Percentage Difference, 1998-
2002

 Dollars in millions
                               Regular          Funds           Percentage         Supplementary               Funds           Percentage
                                                                                                a
 Year                           budget        available          difference              budget              available          difference
 1998                              460              384                -17%                  609                   662                +9%
 1999b                             437              385                  -12                 815                   782                  -4
 2000                              854              780                   -9                 102                    77                 -25
 2001                              791              730                   -8                 108                   146                 +36
 2002                              802              729                   -9                 228                   218                  -4
Source: UNHCR.
                                         a
                                          UNHCR’s supplementary budget consists of budgets authorized by the High Commissioner on an ad
                                         hoc basis for new situations that arise after the meeting of the Executive Committee. These budgets
                                         are exclusively funded from earmarked contributions and cannot be transferred to cover shortfalls in
                                         the regular budget.
                                         b
                                          Due to the introduction of a new budget structure in 2000, subsequent regular and supplementary
                                         budget numbers are not directly comparable with those in 1998 and 1999.


                                         According to UNHCR program documents, budget shortfalls have forced
                                         the organization to reduce the scope of refugee operations and cut some
                                         protection activities altogether. For example,

                                   •     the Refugee Women’s Unit cut field missions that were to support refugee
                                         women’s registration and documentation, as well as food distribution and
                                         camp management;

                                   •     newly arrived Liberian refugee women were forced to reside in
                                         overcrowded communal shelters;

                                   •     refugee registration programs in Iran were suspended; and

                                   •     the number of protection officers monitoring the movements of refugees
                                         across international borders in Pakistan was cut.


Flawed Staffing System                   UNHCR lacks a strategic workforce plan that links the organization’s
Undermines UNHCR’s                       mission with its allocation of staff in the field. The organization’s staff
Protection Mandate                       assignment system and rotation policy leave numerous vacancies in key
                                         posts. Stopgap staffing mechanisms UNHCR uses to address emergency



                                         Page 11                                                  GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                          situations are intended only to address short-term emergencies and can
                          lead to additional problems. Thus the number of protection staff is
                          insufficient in many high-risk refugee situations and the organization is
                          struggling to meet this population’s protection needs.

UNHCR Lacks a Workforce   At the end of 2002, UNHCR had 1,301 professional staff, including 402 (31
Strategy                  percent) in headquarters and 899 (69 percent) serving in the field. The
                          professional staff carries out UNHCR’s core mandate of protecting
                          refugees and the organization’s 11 strategic objectives, such as improving
                          the physical protection of refugees and monitoring their safety and well-
                          being. Of these professional staff, UNHCR’s 320 protection officers have
                          primary responsibility to protect refugees and other people of concern to
                          the agency, although UNHCR’s field officers and community service
                          officers (who are responsible for general management and assistance
                          functions) also have protection duties, such as observing and reporting on
                          potential problems.

                          However, according to the Deputy High Commissioner and the Director of
                          UNHCR’s Human Resources, the current process for managing human
                          resources does not fully link the organization’s objectives, budgetary
                          resources, and staffing. Currently, UNHCR’s process for allocating staff
                          positions is largely based on available resources and broad operational
                          plans rather than the protection requirements of refugees, according to
                          UNHCR human resource officials. For example, in 2002, UNHCR’s Africa
                          bureau and the Department for International Protection conducted an
                          assessment of the protection staffing requirements in Africa and
                          determined that 117 additional protection positions were needed. Due to
                          funding constraints, however, only 21 additional positions were created.
                          According to numerous relief and human rights officials, including some in
                          UNHCR, current UNHCR staffing levels in Africa are insufficient relative
                          to the protection caseload there.

                          Related to the lack of a strategic staffing process, UNHCR does not
                          conduct a global risk assessment of the threat level to refugees to help
                          determine the number and distribution of all posts that could best protect
                          refugees. Though determining minimum protection standards and optimal
                          distribution of posts is outside the scope of this review, our analysis of
                          high-risk countries found that UNHCR’s distribution of protection posts is




                          Page 12                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
not consistent with the risk level and the caseload of the refugee setting.6
Specifically, high-risk countries in Africa have 55 percent of the protection
posts but nearly 80 percent of the assisted refugee population. Conversely,
high-risk countries in Europe have 22 percent of the protection posts but
only 4 percent of UNHCR’s assisted refugee population. Furthermore,
nearly 60 percent of the protection posts in low-risk countries are in
Europe and serve less than 30 percent of the population at this risk level.
While protection officers in low-risk countries in Europe play an important
role in influencing governments regarding asylum law, the bulk of their
work focuses on legal issues as opposed to the more immediate need of
physical protection. Figure 3 shows high-risk countries and the
distribution of protection officer posts and refugees within each region.




6
 UNHCR does not formally designate risk levels for refugees. The World Bank has
developed a database for measuring risk and governance; it includes 160 countries and is
based on information from sources such as Standard and Poors and the World Economic
Forum. We used political stability/violence measurements from this database to identify
countries of high risk (Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay, and Pablo Zoido-Lobaton,
"Governance Matters II: Updated Indicators for 2000-01”), World Bank Policy Research
Department Working Paper (Washington, D.C.: 2002).




Page 13                                             GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Figure 3: Distribution of Protection Officer Posts and Assisted Populations in High-Risk Countries




                                         Page 14                                          GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Page 15   GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Vacancies Pose Protracted                Protection experts acknowledge that a visible field presence of staff is one
Protection Problems                      of the most effective means of preventing harm to refugees and other
                                         vulnerable persons. However, since the mid-1990s, UNHCR has identified
                                         staff vacancies, particularly in duty stations that already function with
                                         minimal staff, as negatively affecting its ability to fulfill its mandate.
                                         UNHCR staffing data in late 2002 indicated that 20 percent of its 320
                                         protection positions were vacant. Table 2 shows protection vacancies as
                                         of October 2002.


Table 2: Protection Officer Vacancies by Region


                                   Vacancies in         Vacancies in                                                    Percentage of
                                    nondifficult        difficult duty                               Total protection      protection
 Bureau                            duty stations              stations       Total vacancies                positions      vacancies
 Africa                                       10                    21                    31                      103            30%
 Central Asia, Southwest Asia,
 Near and Middle East                             4                   9                      13                   49               27
 Asia and Pacific                                 5                   1                       6                   30               20
 Americas                                         2                   0                       2                   15               13
 Europe                                           6                   3                       9                   83               11
 Department of International
 Protection (headquarters)                     3                     0                        3                  17                18
 Total                                        30                    34                       64                 320a               20
Source: UNHCR.
                                         a
                                         Total posts include an additional 23 positions at headquarters.


                                         The Africa region had almost half of all protection vacancies, including all
                                         the protection vacancies UNHCR is chronically unable to fill. We observed
                                         vacancies in key protection situations during our fieldwork. For example,
                                         in Tanzania’s Kibondo camps, two protection officer posts were vacant,
                                         leaving only one junior protection officer to cover 155,000 refugees. We
                                         also observed that vacancies led to significant protection problems for
                                         refugee women and girls in and around the African Great Lakes region
                                         (Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Rwanda)
                                         and West Africa (Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast). The lack
                                         of sufficient staff resulted in long delays in resolving individual protection
                                         cases, which in turn discouraged reporting of additional sexual violence
                                         cases. For example, in Tanzania, UNHCR protection staff told us that some
                                         sexual assault cases were not pursued or were dropped altogether due to
                                         lack of staff and other resources to devote to them. As a result, victims of
                                         sexual violence often remained at risk while the perpetrator remained at
                                         large. Numerous relief officials in the field with whom we spoke voiced



                                         Page 16                                                   GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                                frustration over UNHCR’s inability to follow up on protection cases that
                                were referred to them.

Staff Assignment and Rotation   In general, UNHCR employs a voluntary staff assignment and rotation
Policies Are Ineffective        policy: UNHCR does not direct staff where to serve, and staff members are
                                responsible for finding and applying for their next post before their tour
                                ends. While the High Commissioner emphasized in a 2001 letter to staff
                                that it is incumbent upon UNHCR staff to be in the field, near refugees, to
                                provide effective protection, many hardship posts are vacant or
                                understaffed. One problem is that UNHCR does not have a centralized way
                                to track and ensure that staff members apply for their next position,7
                                resulting in both post vacancies and staff being without assignment. As of
                                January 2003, according to UNHCR staffing data, 109 staff were in-
                                between assignments—staying either at their home of record or at their
                                old assignmentwith an average of 4 months lapsing before staff took a
                                new position.8

                                Furthermore, UNHCR’s regulations do not require staff members to rotate
                                among duty station categories (i.e., from a nonhardship to a hardship duty
                                station), although there is an expectation that they will do so. According to
                                some UNHCR staff with whom we spoke, there is a sentiment among staff
                                that being posted in a remote location (also referred to as the ‘‘deep field’’)
                                negatively affects a person’s promotion potential, as they would be
                                “forgotten” by those making decisions in Geneva. In addition, the
                                percentage of staff over the age of 40 has increased from 54 percent in
                                1990 to 70 percent in 2000, and UNHCR officials acknowledge that a larger
                                percentage of this aging workforce is reluctant or unwilling to serve in
                                difficult duty stations because of personal reasons. UNHCR’s work
                                requires many staff to live in remote, isolated locations that are not
                                conducive to family life, and with more than half the duty stations
                                designated as nonfamily, it is difficult to find enough staff willing to be
                                separated from their families. According to UNHCR human resource
                                officials, a further consequence of the organization’s limited rotation
                                policy is that high-risk, hardship duty stations are more likely to attract



                                7
                                 The onus is on the individual staff member to apply for his or her next post; UNHCR has
                                no mechanism to ensure that staff apply in time for a seamless transition from one post to
                                another.
                                8
                                 During the comment period on the draft report, UNHCR clarified that 80 percent of staff in
                                between assignments are deployed on temporary missions or assignments, or continue at
                                their post until their successor arrives.




                                Page 17                                             GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                                less experienced junior staff without dependents than more experienced
                                senior staff with dependents.

Stopgap Staffing Mechanisms     UNHCR relies on short-term staffing deployments during emergency
Address Emergency               refugee operations to fill vacancies or augment country teams.
Situations but Have Drawbacks   Deployments generally last for 2 months but can extend up to 6 months.
                                According to UNHCR and relief officials, while emergency deployments do
                                help fill an immediate protection gap, the system has several drawbacks.
                                Among them are the high operational and financial costs involved in
                                relocating staff. Emergency deployments require intensive staff training
                                and orientation and incur substantial transportation and relocation
                                expenses. The emergency deployment mechanism can also leave a
                                vacancy in the deploying staff’s original duty station. In Tanzania, for
                                example, we observed that a senior protection officer responsible for
                                more than 100,000 refugees was away from his/her post for more than 6
                                months while on emergency deployment in Afghanistan. During Sierra
                                Leone’s recent civil war, UNHCR had 77 emergency staff deployments on
                                2-month missions over a 19-month period. According to the Country
                                Representative, so many staff rotated in and out that he barely learned
                                their names. Relief officials active during the Sierra Leone emergency told
                                us that by the time the new UNHCR staff understood the local protection
                                context it was time for them to rotate back out, which limited their
                                effectiveness. According to another senior UNHCR field official, the
                                protection workload during Sierra Leone’s civil war would not have
                                constituted an emergency if an adequate number of staff had been
                                assigned initially.

                                To help fill empty field positions, UNHCR also relies on U.N. volunteers
                                and project staff—workers contracted for a limited time by a specific
                                project. In 2002, there were 106 U.N. volunteers serving in protection
                                functions. However, according to UNHCR officials, while U.N. volunteers
                                are a valuable source of staff support, they are often relatively
                                inexperienced. Furthermore, according to UNHCR officials, because
                                project staff are not regular UNHCR employees and are governed by
                                restrictive employment regulations, they cannot work beyond an 8-hour
                                day or on weekends. As a result, according to these officials, project staff
                                are often unavailable during critical emergency periods. In Tanzania, for
                                example, many of the Burundian refugees arrive during the night or over
                                weekends, when crossing the border is considered safer. Because only
                                UNHCR staff are available to assist during these surge periods, the
                                workforce is even further strained.




                                Page 18                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Lack of Training Continues   Although protection officers have primary responsibility for the protection
to Hinder Protection         of refugees, UNHCR states that all staff serve in a protection role.
                             However, a long-standing impediment is insufficient training for
                             nonprotection staff on protection issues, especially regarding women and
                             girls. In our examination of UNHCR protection reports and evaluations
                             between 1990 and 2002, we found about half cited the need for training to
                             increase the organization’s capacity to protect women and children.
                             However, during our fieldwork, we had extensive discussions with
                             UNHCR officials and their implementing partners’ staff and found that few
                             of them had received any training on protection issues. For example, in a
                             meeting with UNHCR’s field office team in Kibondo, Tanzania, only 4 of 43
                             staff told us they had received training on protection issues. Similarly, in
                             discussions with staff from UNHCR implementing partners, who are in the
                             camps and in daily contact with the refugees, only a few had any
                             protection-related training or were familiar with UNHCR’s guidelines on
                             the protection of refugee women or children. In our discussions, we were
                             further told that protection training was needed in such areas as how to
                             identify and address sexual violence cases and how to work with refugee
                             camp leaders and the local community to solve protection concerns.

                             During the course of our review, we found that numerous protection
                             training courses and modules have been developed and made available to
                             UNHCR nonprotection staff and to implementing partners, such as
                             Protecting Refugees: A Field Guide for NGOs (1999) and Human Rights
                             and Refugee Protection (1995). However, according to several senior
                             UNHCR officials, the organization has not committed the necessary time
                             or resources to this training. These officials added that if UNHCR
                             continues to assert that all field-based staff serve as protection officers,
                             then it is incumbent that they be properly trained in protection issues.
                             Furthermore, according to UNHCR implementing partners in Tanzania and
                             Sierra Leone, there is a very high turnover rate among nongovernmental
                             organization staff in the field and therefore a continuous need for training.


UNHCR Has Opportunities      While UNHCR has collaborated with international organizations such as
to Increase Partnering to    the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, and
Fill Protection Gaps         Save the Children in delivering humanitarian assistance, we observed that
                             there are also opportunities to work with these types of organizations to
                             help protect refugees. According to U.S. government and relief officials
                             with whom we spoke, including other organizations in protection activities
                             is necessary because of the increased scope and complexity of refugee
                             situations worldwide and certain governments’ restrictions on UNHCR’s
                             access to refugees and vulnerable populations.


                             Page 19                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
    According to officials of international and nongovernmental organizations,
    these groups have some capacity and resources to assist and augment
    UNHCR’s protection efforts, though such collaboration has been rare thus
    far. Based on our observations during fieldwork and discussions with
    these officials, their organizations could provide personnel and other
    resources to

•   assist in registering refugee women;

•   provide legal case management of victims of rape and sexual violence;

•   find durable solutions for refugees, such as identifying individuals for third
    country resettlement;

•   increase the number of international staff to monitor camps and
    surrounding areas for protection problems; and

•   ensure systematic reporting of incidents.

    In addition, UNHCR security personnel, who assess security and situation
    risks for staff in the field, said they could apply their expertise to refugees
    and other vulnerable populations and thus supplement the work of
    protection officers.

    During the course of our evaluation, we noted two partnerships already in
    existence that could serve as useful models on which to expand. For
    example, the International Rescue Committee’s Protection SURGE
    Capacity Project, started in 2001, placed 36 temporary protection staff in
    nonemergency refugee situations. In Sierra Leone, we met with a SURGE
    protection officer who was the only international staff available to receive
    and relocate more than 10,000 fleeing Liberian refugees from the border
    after unexpected fighting in Liberia erupted. Also, the Red Cross
    Movement and nongovernmental organizations have recently collaborated
    with UNHCR in designing a protection-training workshop, called “Reach
    Out,” for mid-level non-UNHCR staff.9 Figure 4 depicts the entrance of two
    refugee camps in Thailand. A nonsignatory to the 1951 Refugee
    Convention, Thailand denies formal refugee status to fleeing Burmese who
    are instead afforded only “temporary shelter” along its border. UNHCR,



    9
     Both the Protection SURGE Capacity Project and the Reach Out protection training
    initiative were funded by State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.




    Page 20                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
which has only been accorded observer status by the Thai government,
relies significantly on nongovernmental organizations to monitor the
protection situation in the camps.

Figure 4: Refugee “Temporary Shelters” in Thailand




Another group that UNHCR may have greater opportunity to work with is
U.N. peacekeeping forces, often the only international entity with some
capability to protect refugees and other vulnerable groups in situations of
armed conflict. We found that UNHCR and peacekeeping forces have
worked together in some instances when force commanders judged that


Page 21                                       GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                         mission mandates, resources, and capabilities permitted this collaboration.
                         For example, a successful partnership occurred in 2001 when U.N.
                         peacekeepers assisted in separating armed combatants from a refugee
                         camp in northwestern Congo. According to U.N. and relief officials with
                         whom we spoke, two key protection areas in which UNHCR and
                         peacekeepers have opportunities to work together are:

                     •   ensuring access to vulnerable populations for humanitarian assistance and
                         protection; and

                     •   separating civilians from armed combatants in refugee camps and
                         settlements.

                         While UNHCR officials in general viewed partnering as a positive
                         development, they expressed concern that partnering could dilute the
                         agency’s unique protection mandate by delegating its tasks to external
                         parties. This concern has grown as European donors have channeled
                         increasing proportions of their refugee funding to their bilateral aid
                         agencies and national nongovernmental organizations that operate
                         independently of UNHCR leadership. These officials noted that some
                         nongovernmental organizations hold political views that may complicate
                         UNHCR’s relationship with the refugees’ country of origin and country of
                         asylum. However, according to relief experts, partnerships can be
                         structured so UNHCR continues to be the main interlocutor with
                         governments and maintains primary responsibility for overall protection
                         while international organizations help fulfill discrete protection tasks.

                         Following allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by relief workers
Despite Remedial         and U.N. peacekeepers in refugee settings in West Africa in 2001, the
Actions, Sexual          United Nations and international organizations undertook a number of
                         remedial and preventive measures at both the global and country level. At
Exploitation and         the global level, the U.N.’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)
Abuse of Power Still a   conducted a detailed investigation into the allegations presented in the
                         February 2002 report by UNHCR and Save the Children-UK10 and
Problem                  concluded that the charges could not be verified. However, during the
                         course of the investigation, OIOS discovered other specific cases of abuse
                         and concluded that sexual exploitation of refugees is a real problem. To



                         10
                          UNHCR and Save the Children-UK, Sexual Violence & Exploitation: The Experience of
                         Refugee Children in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone (Geneva: United Nations, Feb.
                         2002).




                         Page 22                                          GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
    address the problem, the U.N.’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee11
    established a task force in 2002 and implemented a plan of action for U.N.
    agencies and nongovernmental organization to follow. The plan focused
    on (1) outlining preventive actions to help agencies create an environment
    in humanitarian crises free of sexual exploitation, (2) providing basic
    health and psychosocial care to survivors of abuse, and (3) developing
    management and coordination mechanisms to ensure accountability of
    humanitarian agencies.

    We examined several international organizations’ remedial actions and
    found that they had made a concerted effort to address the issue of sexual
    exploitation by their staff. For example, after reviewing documents and
    discussing the issue with field staff from UNHCR, the International
    Committee of the Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, and the
    International Rescue Committee, we found that organizations had

•   sent clear statements to staff of their ethical responsibilities toward
    refugees, the need for accountability, and “zero tolerance” of exploitive
    behavior;

•   developed or revised codes of conduct to guide the behavior and attitudes
    of staff;

•   provided awareness and training workshops for international and national
    staff; and

•   polled country staff globally on the potential for situations of sexual
    exploitation and conducted investigations of high-risk environments.

    Our extensive interviews with relief workers, peacekeepers, and refugees
    in the field also indicated a very high awareness concerning the issue of
    abuse of power, the ethical and professional conduct expected of relief
    workers and peacekeepers, and the rights and entitlements of refugees.



    11
      The U.N. Inter-Agency Task Force is composed of the following members: Office for the
    Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, U.N. Development Program, U.N. High
    Commissioner for Refugees, U.N. Children’s Fund, World Food Program, Food and
    Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, and the U.N. Family Planning Agency.
    In addition, there is a standing invitation to the International Organization on Migration,
    International Committee of the Red Cross, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, the
    Representative of the Secretary General on Internally Displaced Persons, the World Bank,
    the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, InterAction, and the Steering Committee
    for Humanitarian Response.




    Page 23                                             GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
We also observed that UNHCR had mechanisms in place in the camps for
refugees to confidentially report abuses of power and had trained refugee
women leaders to monitor for exploitive situations. In Thailand’s Mae La
refugee camp, for example, we met members of the women’s committee
who had received UNHCR sexual and gender-based violence training,
served as the camp’s ‘‘eyes and ears,’’ and were actively engaged in
managing cases of exploitation and domestic and sexual violence. Figure 5
shows a woman from the Karen tribe engaged in an income-generation
project that supports women’s programs in the camp. Income generation
and empowerment programs make women less vulnerable to exploitation.

Figure 5: A Karen Women’s Committee Income-Generating Activity, Mae La,
Thailand, 2003




A woman weaving cloth to be sold in the camp; proceeds are used to provide members with income
and to support women’s programming in the camp.


Despite these efforts by international organizations, abuse of refugees
continues to be a problem. During our fieldwork in Tanzania and Sierra



Page 24                                                GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Leone refugee camps, we met with UNHCR and nongovernmental
organization officials who were actively investigating several new cases of
sexual exploitation by relief workers. In the Tanzania situation, eight
nongovernmental organization relief workers and four Tanzanian police
officers employed under a U.S. government-funded project were fired for
sexual exploitation of refugee girls or failure to report the exploitation.12 In
addition, senior UNHCR officials in Nepal were dismissed for tolerating an
environment of exploitation among Bhutanese refugees by refugee men
and Nepalese government officials employed under UNHCR-funded
projects.

Moreover, based on our fieldwork, analysis of UNHCR staffing, and review
of UNHCR’s most recent reports on refugees (2000-2002), the conditions in
refugee camps create an ongoing environment in which women and girls
are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse of power. First, camps are
sites of extreme poverty, and women are often reduced to exchanging sex
for otherwise unavailable food and nonfood items such as clothing, shelter
materials, and cooking items. According to refugee women with whom we
spoke, adolescent girls seeking such items as clothes and jewelry are
particularly susceptible to transactional sex relationships. Second, there is
limited monitoring of camps because few UNHCR professional staff are
present, leaving actual day-to-day management of camps to locally hired
staff or the refugees themselves. Finally, some relief workers and refugee-
led camp management staff hold cultural attitudes that are accepting of
sexually exploitative arrangements and thus perpetuate the problem.

Although the issue of sexual exploitation of refugee women and girls by
relief staff has recently caught the attention of the public and international
organizations due to the publicity of the West African case, the problem is
long-standing and likely to continue, according to relief and human rights
experts. In our examination of UNHCR and nongovernmental
organizations’ reports on refugee protection, we found numerous
references to refugee women being exploited while in camps and
recommendations for corrective actions (see app. II). However, it is only
recently that action has been taken. Given this situation, relief and human
rights experts, including senior UNHCR officials, emphasized the need for
a continuing high-level focus on preventing exploitation by international
organizations in such forums as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and



12
  All State Department funded nongovernmental organizations are required to incorporate
the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s six core principles into their codes of conduct.




Page 25                                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                            UNHCR’s Executive Committee. They noted that international relief
                            organizations are moving on to new emergencies and priorities and feared
                            that the current attention to preventing sexual exploitation will wane
                            before it becomes a part of organizations’ institutional culture.


                            The U.S. government addresses the protection needs of refugees and other
U.S. Government             vulnerable populations primarily by providing funding to international
Funds International         organizations mandated to provide protection. In 2002, the Department of
                            State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provided UNHCR
Organizations’              $265 million in budget support—nearly 28 percent of the organization’s
Protection Activities       funding. Table 3 shows the amount of funds State contributed to
                            international organizations mandated to provide protection.

                            Table 3: State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
                            Contributions to UNHCR, United Nations Children’s Fund, and the International
                            Committee of the Red Cross, 1998-2002

                             Dollars in millions
                             Year                                           UNHCR             UNICEF                    ICRC
                             1998                                             $268                $1                     $101
                             1999                                              293                14                      127
                             2000                                              261                18                      124
                             2001                                              243                 8                      122
                             2002                                              265                11                      124
                            Source: Department of State.

                            Note: The U.S. government’s total contribution to UNICEF in 2002 was $110 million, which includes
                            emergency and regular budget support.


                            The Department of State also provides grants to nongovernmental
                            organizations to implement targeted protection activities to augment
                            international organizations’ protection efforts. In 2002, State provided
                            $11.4 million to fund 35 discrete protection-related projects. During our
                            fieldwork we observed several of these small grant projects (ranging from
                            under $100,000 to $2 million) and found that they focused on protection
                            gaps. For example,

                        •    In Tanzania, a $1 million grant strengthened the government’s capacity to
                            maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of the camps in its
                            territory. The funding enabled deployment of nearly 280 Tanzanian police
                            to the border camps to maintain law and order and prevent and investigate
                            crimes, including incidents of sexual and gender-based violence.




                            Page 26                                                  GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                         •    In Sierra Leone, a $630,000 sexual and gender-based violence prevention
                             and response program provided shelter for female-headed households,
                             income-generation and leadership training for women and girls, gender
                             sensitization training for host communities, and psychosocial counseling,
                             medical care, and rehabilitation support to victims of sexual assault.

                             USAID is not directly involved in refugee protection programming;
                             however, a number of its humanitarian and development assistance
                             activities indirectly contribute to protection of refugees and other
                             vulnerable persons. USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
                             provides non food humanitarian assistance, such as shelter, water
                             sanitation, and food security, to persons caught up in crisis situations. The
                             Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance has also provided funding to
                             transport civilians facing imminent threat of physical attack from insecure
                             areas. USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives also indirectly contributes to
                             protection by assisting countries in their transition from post-conflict
                             situations to democracy. In countries such as Macedonia and Angola,
                             project staff have worked with government leaders and populations to
                             strengthen awareness of and respect for human rights, advocated for a
                             stronger role for women in peace and reconciliation issues, and assisted
                             ex-child soldiers in their reintegration into society.


U.S. Government Also         Apart from providing funding, the Department of State historically has
Advocates Strong             played an active role advocating within the international community for
International Response       increased attention and programmatic response to the plight of refugees
                             and other vulnerable populations. According to relief experts and
                             European government aid representatives, State’s Bureau of Population,
                             Refugees, and Migration is unique among donors in the number of staff
                             resources devoted to managing refugee and humanitarian programs. In
                             addition to approximately 80 Washington-based staff, the bureau has 5
                             refugee officers serving in liaison roles with international organizations in
                             Geneva and Brussels, and another 19 overseas-based officers monitoring
                             refugee situations. According to U.N. and relief officials with whom we
                             spoke, the U.S. government is active in assessing humanitarian needs in
                             the field and promoting an international response to them. A 2002
                             Overseas Development Institute report characterized U.S. government




                             Page 27                                      GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                  staff as playing the role of pushing and prodding UNHCR and its
                  operational partners in their programmatic responses.13

                  We reviewed U.S. government policy positions and statements concerning
                  protection of refugees and other vulnerable persons since 1998 and found
                  that the U.S. government has consistently pushed for a strong international
                  response. For example, in early 2000, the U.S. Representative to the United
                  Nations strongly criticized the international community for its failure to
                  address the needs of internally displaced persons. More recently the U.S.
                  government has argued for renewed support to UNHCR from the
                  European Commission and its member states, whose recent cuts in
                  funding contributed to UNHCR’s budget crisis. As a member of UNHCR’s
                  governing body (known as the Executive Committee), the U.S.
                  government has consistently called for increased and better response to
                  refugee protection needs. Over the last several annual meetings, the U.S.
                  government has

              •   encouraged UNHCR to ensure that protection is prioritized as its core
                  function;

              •   pressed for continuous focus on the prevention of sexual exploitation;

              •   criticized staffing decisions by UNHCR management to cut posts in Africa;
                  and

              •   called for an operations plan for the protection of women that would
                  identify benchmarks to measure progress, create a monitoring plan, and
                  establish a timetable for implementation of specific protection-related
                  actions.


                  While international organizations have taken a number of steps in recent
Conclusions       years to improve the protection situation of refugee women and girls, this
                  population remains extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. Among the
                  factors undermining the international community’s efforts are the
                  difficulty of protecting refugees caught up in conflict zones and recurring
                  budgetary shortfalls caused by donors not fulfilling funding pledges.
                  However, UNHCR’s weak management of its workforce planning and


                  13
                   Overseas Development Institute, The ‘bilateralization’ of humanitarian response: trends
                  in the financial, contractual and managerial environment of official humanitarian aid
                  (London, U.K.: Oct. 2002).




                  Page 28                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                      staffing system also significantly hinders protection of women and girls. A
                      strategic workforce process that emphasizes a performance- and goal-
                      oriented approach to human resource management could link the
                      organization’s mission and goals to its workforce staffing. There are
                      insufficient numbers of protection staff in many high-risk countries, and
                      UNHCR’s assignment policy has resulted in extended vacancies at key
                      protection posts. Furthermore, international relief workers who
                      implement assistance programs and have daily contact with refugees have
                      not received protection-related training, and many were unfamiliar with
                      UNHCR’s guidelines on the protection of women and children. Despite
                      this, UNHCR’s implementing partners and other international
                      organizations have significant resources and capabilities that provide
                      opportunities for partnering arrangements to fill protection gaps. In
                      response to allegations reported at the end of 2001 of sexual abuse and
                      exploitation of refugee women and girls by relief workers and
                      peacekeepers, the United Nations and international organizations adopted
                      codes of conduct stressing zero tolerance for such behavior and
                      implemented training programs on gender-based violence for all national
                      and international staff. In the four countries we visited, we found that
                      relief workers and peacekeepers were acutely aware of the professional
                      conduct expected of them, and refugees had access to mechanisms to
                      report any new problems of sexual exploitation. Nonetheless, during our
                      fieldwork we observed several new allegations of sexual misconduct by
                      relief workers. High-level management must continue to focus on the issue
                      of exploitation because extreme poverty in camps, limited monitoring by
                      relief workers, and cultural attitudes of some camp staff continue to put
                      women and girl refugees at risk.


                      To strengthen the international response to the protection needs of
Recommendations for   refugees, especially women and girls, we recommend that the Secretary of
Executive Action      State work with member states to fundamentally reform UNHCR’s staffing
                      system so that it can more effectively fulfill its core protection mandate.
                      Measures to accomplish this could include:

                  •   creating a strategic workforce plan that systematically determines priority
                      staff positions worldwide, based on the relative protection needs of
                      refugees and realistic assumptions of available resources; and

                  •   developing a staff assignment and rotation system that ensures difficult
                      and chronically vacant duty stations are filled with employees with the
                      requisite skills and experience, especially in Africa.




                      Page 29                                    GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                         We also recommend that the Secretary of State work with other U.N.
                         member states to

                     •   expand training opportunities so that international and nongovernmental
                         staff in positions of contact with refugee populations are fully versed in
                         protection policies and practical protection techniques;

                     •   encourage the development of protection partnering arrangements
                         between and among U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations to
                         better utilize and leverage program and staff resources currently operating
                         with vulnerable populations; and

                     •   ensure continued focus on efforts to prevent sexual exploitation of
                         refugee women and girls by making the issue of exploitation an annual
                         agenda item at refugee policy forums, including the U.N.’s Inter-Agency
                         Standing Committee and UNHCR’s Executive Committee meetings.


                         State and UNHCR provided written comments on a draft of this report and
Agency Comments          we revised the report where it was necessary. (See app. III and IV for a
and Our Evaluation       reprint of State’s and UNHCR’s comments.) State endorsed the intent
                         behind the report to improve the protection of refugee women and girls
                         and said it would exercise its best efforts to implement the report’s
                         recommendations. State noted that a strategic workforce plan is key to
                         developing a stronger, more flexible workforce that meets UNHCR’s
                         strategic needs. State also said it is essential that nongovernmental
                         organizations receive training on protection issues as they are on the front
                         lines and serve as protection “eyes and ears.” In this regard, State plans to
                         promote a more disciplined application of training in fiscal years 2004 and
                         2005.

                         UNHCR disagreed with our recommendation to fundamentally reform its
                         staffing system, stating that it already has processes for allocating staff
                         resources and that we did not take into account UNHCR’s full range of
                         responsibilities. UNHCR believes that improved instruments and capacity
                         for placing staff and managing vacancies, along with more predictable
                         donor support for established priorities, are sufficient elements for
                         success. UNHCR did not indicate its position with regard to our three
                         other recommendationsexpanding protection training programs,
                         developing protection partnering arrangements, and maintaining
                         international organizations’ focus on combating sexual exploitation of
                         refugee women and girls. It did, however, describe activities in which it is




                         Page 30                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
engaged pertaining to each recommendation. Where appropriate we
provided some of this information in the report.

Regarding our recommendation on staffing, we do not dispute UNHCR’s
assertion that its mandate is not limited to the physical protection of
refugees and that it has many responsibilities, including status
determination and finding durable solutions for refugees. Our report
demonstrates the inadequacies of physical protection for refugees and the
lack of an overall strategic workforce plan that incorporates risk to
refugees. We used the World Bank’s database for measuring risk because it
is an authoritative source of political stability and violence measurements
across 160 countries in the absence of any such analysis by UNHCR. The
problems associated with UNHCR’s staffing system have long been
documented in Executive Committee and public and internal UNHCR
reports, including The State of UNHCR’s Staff (December 2000) and In
the Service of Refugees: A Review of UNHCR’s Policy and Practice on
Rotations (October 2001), and provide ample evidence of a staffing system
failing to place the necessary number of people, with the requisite skills,
where they are needed most. UNHCR may disagree with our use of the
term ‘‘fundamental’’ when describing the reforms, but we have observed
that half-steps or partial measures will not solve its staffing problems.
According to the reports mentioned above, previous attempts at improving
separate aspects of the staffing system have not achieved the desired
results. At a minimum, UNHCR needs to create a strategic workforce plan
that links the organization’s objectives, resources, and staffing and
systematically incorporates the physical protection of refugees. It also
needs to devise a staff assignment and rotation system that fills vacant
posts in high-risk countries, especially in Africa.

Regarding our recommendation to expand training opportunities, UNHCR
stated that the report does not adequately reflect UNHCR’s existing
protection training programs and activities and provided detailed
information on its training activities, including the Protection Learning
Program. During the course of our evaluation, we reviewed a large number
of protection training courses, modules, and materials and spoke with staff
who participated in the various training programs, including the
Protection Learning Program. By all accounts the protection training
programs and materials are very useful in transmitting protection concepts
and practical techniques to staff. (However, we were told that the 4 month
and 10 month Protection Learning Programs are too time intensive for
field staff.) Nevertheless, when meeting with UNHCR and
nongovernmental organization staff at the camp level in each of our four
case study countries, we found that a large majority of staff had received


Page 31                                    GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
no training on protection matters. This and our overall analysis of
international organizations’ training led to our recommendation to expand
protection training.

UNHCR stated that our report does not reflect the extensive partnering
arrangements in which it has engaged for decades and that it would
welcome more extensive involvement with other agencies on the provision
of services. It provided an outline of partnering arrangements between
UNHCR and other U.N. agencies. When we examined UNHCR’s list of
arrangements and recent developments, we noted that they mainly involve
high-level meetings to coordinate assistance activities. Our
recommendation, however, is aimed at increasing the role of international
and nongovernmental organizations in the protection of refugees.
International organizations’ daily interaction with refugee populations and
their organizational capacity could be better utilized and leveraged to
enhance refugee protection.

Regarding our recommendation on maintaining international
organizations’ focus on combating sexual exploitation, UNHCR made no
comment on the substance of the recommendation but provided additional
information on activities it has taken over the last 20 months. However,
under Part B of its response, UNHCR stated that our summary of the
U.N.’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) report was not an
accurate reflection of the investigation’s conclusion. UNHCR referred to
the report’s conclusion at paragraph 42 as a more accurate representation
of the report and noted further that no allegations against any U.N. staff
member could be substantiated. Our statement characterizing the OIOS
report was taken from the fifth paragraph of the Executive Summarythe
first substantive discussion of the report’s findings, which states that
“although the stories reported by the consultants could not be verified, the
problem of sexual exploitation of refugees is real.” We further note that 12
of the 17 recommendations in the OIOS report are directed to UNHCR. We
are concerned that the principal message UNHCR has drawn from the
OIOS report is that UNHCR staff are exonerated from wrongdoing. Our
perspective, however, is that although U.N. staff members were
exonerated from wrongdoing, the problem of sexual exploitation of
refugees is significant.

UNHCR also provided a number of technical comments, which we
incorporated as appropriate.




Page 32                                    GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
We are sending copies of this report to interested congressional
committees, the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency
for International Development, the U.N. Secretary General, and the U.N.
High Commissioner for Refugees. We will also make copies available to
other parties upon request. In addition, this report will be made available
at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please
contact me at (202) 512-3149 or at gootnickd@gao.gov. Other GAO
contacts and staff acknowledgments are listed in appendix V.

Sincerely yours,




David Gootnick
Director, International Affairs and Trade




Page 33                                     GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology


             To assess the gaps and weaknesses in the current international system of
             protection of refugees and vulnerable persons, as well as the actions the
             U.N. and international organizations have taken in response to recent
             reports of relief workers’ and peacekeepers’ sexual exploitation of refugee
             women and girls, we interviewed officials and analyzed policy, program,
             and budgetary documents from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
             (UNHCR), the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the U.N.
             Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the U.N. High
             Commissioner for Human Rights, and the U.N. Children’s Fund. In our
             work with UNHCR, we met with officials from 19 different offices and
             examined extensive staffing dataincluding vacancies, duty station
             categories, and worldwide distribution of staff—and reviewed UNHCR
             staffing policies. We also met with officials and reviewed reports
             pertaining to humanitarian and refugee issues from numerous
             nongovernmental organizations and think tanks, including the
             International Rescue Committee, the United States Committee for
             Refugees, Refugees International, and InterAction.

             To assess the steps the U.S. government takes to protect refugees and
             other vulnerable persons, we interviewed officials and analyzed policy,
             program, and budgetary documents from the Department of State’s Bureau
             of Population, Refugees, and Migration; the Bureau for International
             Organizations; and the U.S. Missions to the United Nations in New York
             City and Geneva, Switzerland. When examining State’s small grants
             program, we included only those projects that directly dealt with
             protection matters, such as conflict prevention and reconciliation,
             psychosocial assistance, sexual and gender-based violence prevention, and
             transportation of vulnerable populations. We also met with officials and
             analyzed program documents from the U.S. Agency for International
             Development’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs,
             including the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Office of
             Transition Initiatives; and the Bureau for Global Programs.

             We also performed fieldwork in our case study countries of the
             Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Thailand
             to assess the protection mechanisms in place for refugees and other
             vulnerable persons in refugee camps and their surrounding areas within
             those countries. These four nations face protracted refugee crises in which
             refugees and other vulnerable populations are under imminent threat of
             physical and sexual violence by warring parties, local communities, and
             other refugees, and were recommended as representative case study
             countries by State and think tank officials. In these countries, we observed
             first-hand the protection programs and activities conducted by U.N.


             Page 34                                    GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




organizations, peacekeeping units, the Red Cross Movement,
nongovernmental organizations, and the U.S. government. We also
conducted numerous interviews with refugee-led camp management
groups and individual women and girls to discuss the protection situation
in the camps, as well as the mechanisms in place to report and address
incidents of sexual and gender violence and exploitation.

Finally, we conducted an analysis of 22 UNHCR and nongovernmental
organizations’ evaluations and reports issued since 1990 to document the
reported gaps in and recommendations to strengthen the international
community’s system of refugee protection. We also conducted a detailed
analysis of the mandates and capabilities of the 13 current peacekeeping
missions managed by the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

We performed our review from August 2002 through May 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 35                                   GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
              Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
              Reports



Reports

              We examined 22 reports published since 1990 by UNHCR and
              nongovernmental organizations that addressed problems related to
              refugee protection. We focused on whether the report cited physical
              violence, sexual abuse, or exploitation of refugee women and girls. Each
              column heading denotes the year that the report was published. We then
              identified eight discrete protection concerns that were commonly
              discussed in the reports and listed them in the left column. Finally, we
              analyzed the reports to determine whether a protection gap was identified
              or a recommendation was made to address the specific protection
              concern.




              Page 36                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Reports




[This page is intentionally left blank]




Page 37                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Reports




Page 38                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Reports




Page 39                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
               Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
               Reports




               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Note on Refugee
Bibliography   Women and International Protection, Department of International
               Protection, EC/SCP/59, August 28, 1990. [Scope: UNHCR]

               Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Program, Forty-first
               session, UNHCR Policy on Refugee Women, A/AC.96/754, August 20,
               1990. [Scope: UNHCR]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refugee and Displaced
               Women and Children, Economic and Social Council Resolutions,
               E/RES/1991/23, May 30, 1991. [Scope: The International Community]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Guidelines on the
               Protection of Refugee Women, July 1991. [Scope: UNHCR]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Progress Report on
               Implementation of the UNHCR Guidelines on the Protection of Refugee
               Women, Department of International Protection, EC/SCP/74, July 22,
               1992. [Scope: UNHCR]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, The Personal Security
               of Refugees, Department of International Protection,
               EC/1993/SCP/CRP.3, May 5, 1993. [Scope: UNHCR]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refugee Protection
               and Sexual Violence, Executive Committee Conclusions, No. 73 (XLIV) –
               1993, October 8, 1993. [Scope: The United Nations]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Report of the Working
               Group on Refugee Women and Children, Department of International
               Protection, EC/SCP/85, June 29, 1994. [Scope: UNHCR]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, A Review of UNHCR’s
               Women Victims of Violence Project in Kenya, Inspection and Evaluation
               Service, March, 1996, and UNCHR’s Women Victims of Violence Project
               in Kenya: An Evaluation Summary, Department of Administrative and
               Financial Matters, EC/1995/SC.2/CRP.22, June 8, 1995. [Scope: UNHCR
               and Partner NGOs]

               United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Refugee Camp
               Security in the Great Lakes Region, Inspection and Evaluation Service,
               EVAL/01/97, April 1997. [Scope: UNHCR and Partner NGOs]



               Page 40                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Reports




United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Progress Report on
Refugee Women and UNHCR’s Framework for Implementation of the
Beijing Platform for Action, Standing Committee, EC/47/SC/CRP.45,
August 15, 1997. [Scope: UNHCR]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, A Survey of
Compliance With UNHCR’s Policies on Refugee Women, Children, and
the Environment, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Section, EPAS/99/01,
March 1999. [Scope: UNHCR]

Machel, Graça, The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children: A Critical
Review of Progress Made and Obstacles Encountered in Increasing
Protection for War-Affected Children. This paper is a product of the
International Conference on War-Affected Children, Winnipeg, Canada,
September 2000. [Scope: The International Community]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, A Beneficiary-Based
Evaluation of UNHCR’s Program in Guinea, West Africa, Evaluation
and Policy Analysis Unit, EPAU/2001/02, January 2001. [UNHCR and
Partner NGOs]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Evaluation of the
Dadaab Firewood Project, Kenya, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit,
EPAU/2001/08, June 2001. [Scope: UNHCR and Partner NGOs]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Meeting the Rights
and Protection Needs of Refugee Children: An Independent Evaluation of
the Impact of UNHCR’s Activities, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit,
EPAU/2002/02-ES, May 2002. [Scope: UNHCR]

Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, UNHCR Policy
on Refugee Women and Guidelines on Their Protection: An Assessment
of Ten Years of Implementation, May 2002. [Scope: UNHCR, NGO
Partners]

American Council for Voluntary International Action (InterAction),
Report of the InterAction Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual
Exploitation of Displaced Children, June 2002. [Scope: The
International Community]

United Nations General Assembly, Executive Committee of the High
Commissioner’s Program, Fifty-third Session, Agenda For Protection,



Page 41                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix II: Catalogue of Refugee Protection
Reports




Addendum, A/AC.96/965/Add.1, June 26, 2002. [The International
Community]

Report of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Force on Protection
From Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises, June
2002. [Scope: UN Agencies and Partner NGOs]

United Nations General Assembly, Fifty-seventh Session, Agenda Item
122, Report of the Secretary-General on the Activities of the Office of
Internal Oversight Services, Investigation Into Sexual Exploitation of
Refugees by Aid Workers in West Africa, A/57/465, October 11, 2002.
[Scope: UNHCR and Partner NGOs]

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Implementation of the
Five Commitments to Refugee Women, 2002. [Scope: UNHCR, Host
States, NGO Partners]




Page 42                                        GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
             Appendix III: Comments from Department of State
Appendix III: Comments from Department of
State




             Page 43                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix III: Comments from Department of State




Page 44                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix III: Comments from Department of State




Page 45                                           GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
            Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




            Page 46                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 47                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 48                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 49                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 50                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 51                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 52                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 53                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 54                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 55                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 56                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
Appendix IV: Comments from UNHCR




Page 57                            GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                            Appendix V: GAO Contacts and
Appendix V: GAO Contacts and Staff
                            Staff Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  David B. Gootnick (202) 512-3149
GAO Contacts      Tetsuo Miyabara (202) 512-8974


                  In addition to those named above, Janey Cohen, Jonathan Weiss, Christina
Acknowledgments   Werth, Richard Seldin, and Patrick Dickriede made key contributions to
                  this report.




 (320141)
 (32014           Page 58                                   GAO-03-663 Humanitarian Assistance
                         The General Accounting Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of
GAO’s Mission            Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities
                         and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal
                         government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds;
                         evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses,
                         recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed
                         oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government
                         is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


                         The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no cost is
Obtaining Copies of      through the Internet. GAO’s Web site (www.gao.gov) contains abstracts and full-
GAO Reports and          text files of current reports and testimony and an expanding archive of older
                         products. The Web site features a search engine to help you locate documents
Testimony                using key words and phrases. You can print these documents in their entirety,
                         including charts and other graphics.
                         Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and
                         correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as “Today’s Reports,” on its Web site
                         daily. The list contains links to the full-text document files. To have GAO e-mail
                         this list to you every afternoon, go to www.gao.gov and select “Subscribe to daily
                         E-mail alert for newly released products” under the GAO Reports heading.


Order by Mail or Phone   The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 each. A
                         check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent of Documents.
                         GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a
                         single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders should be sent to:
                         U.S. General Accounting Office
                         441 G Street NW, Room LM
                         Washington, D.C. 20548
                         To order by Phone:     Voice:    (202) 512-6000
                                                TDD:      (202) 512-2537
                                                Fax:      (202) 512-6061


                         Contact:
To Report Fraud,
                         Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm
Waste, and Abuse in      E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
Federal Programs         Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470


                         Jeff Nelligan, Managing Director, NelliganJ@gao.gov (202) 512-4800
Public Affairs           U.S. General Accounting Office, 441 G Street NW, Room 7149
                         Washington, D.C. 20548