The Arab Republic of Egypt is a party to two important international treaties on refugees, namely the 1951 Convention with its 1967 Protocol, and the regional legal instrument governing refugee protection in Africa (1969 OAU Convention). Cooperation between the Government of Egypt and UNHCR is governed by the 1954 Memorandum of Understanding, which delegates a set of defined responsibilities to UNHCR including but not limited to: registration, documentation, refugee status determination, resettlement, voluntary repatriation, and support for vulnerable individuals, while the Government retains the role of the issuance of residence permits for refugees. In 2019, the Government of Egypt announced the drafting of a national asylum law with the aim of developing national procedures to regulate the asylum and refugee framework and proceed with the registration process, an effort that has been supported by UNHCR.

Egypt has a long tradition of welcoming and hosting refugees and asylum- seekers and has been actively participating in the ongoing discussions on the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which aims to strengthen the cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries. Egypt has already implemented some of the key principles of the GCR, including the out-of-camp policy and equitable responsibility-sharing. Despite the strain on national resources, Egypt grants access to rights and services, including access to education and healthcare services, to Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers, on par with Egyptian citizens. (…)

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