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Applications to UNHCR RSD systems declined in 2008

July 10, 2009



UNHCR reported receiving 70,727 individual refugee status determination applications in 2008, the third straight year of decline but still more than UNHCR received five years ago.

In 2008, UNHCR was the second largest decision-maker in RSD worldwide, with South Africa receiving 207,206 applications, or 25 percent of all individual asylum claims worldwide. With more than half of its asylum claims coming from Zimbabwe, South Africa dwarfed all other RSD systems.

UNHCR’s RSD operations represented 8.5 percent of all RSD applications worldwide, or 11.4 percent of applications filed outside South Africa.

The Big 15

UNHCR reported RSD statistics for 54 of its field offices for 2008, but its RSD operations are concentrated in a relatively small number of offices in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The fifteen largest UNHCR RSD offices accounted for 92 percent of all of the agency’s RSD applications in 2008, and only 11 received more than 1000 applications.

UNHCR’s office in Malaysia received 17,039 applications, more than the asylum system of Switzerland, while UNHCR’s office in Burundi received just one application.

UNHCR’s Largest RSD Operations

(by number of applications, 2008)

1 Malaysia 17,039
2 Turkey 12,981
3 Kenya 8,093
4 Libya 4,947
5 Cameroon 4,053
6 Yemen 3,338
7 India 3,305
8 Egypt 2,271
9 Somalia 2,164
10 Kuwait 2,071
11 Pakistan 1,449
12 Iran 893
13 Syria 880
14 Morocco 835
15 Thailand 766
16 Hong Kong 735
17 Kyrgyzstan 456
18 Jordan 455
19 Sierra Leone 432
20 Sri Lanka 425
21 Indonesia 385
22 Lebanon 292
23 Sudan 290
24 Iraq 285
25 Kazakhstan 256
26 Cambodia 250
27 Azerbaijan 197
28 Djibouti 193
29 UAE 128
30 Bangladesh 104
31 Saudi Arabia 95
32 Eritrea 77
33 Algeria 75
34 Ukraine 73
35 Tunisia 67
36 Bahrain 64
37 Trinidan & Tobago 63
38 China 48
39 Nepal 39
40 Belarus 21
41 Cyprus 19
42 Qatar 19
43 DRC 17
44 Singapore 17
45 Afghanistan 15
46 Rwanda 13
47 Oman 12
48 Cuba 10
49 Mongolia 5
50 Tajikistan 5
51 Vanuato 4
52 Burundi 1
53 Saint Lucia
54 Turkmenistan
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