Hundreds of refugees wait in line for food, sometimes humiliated by the experience but grateful for the food distributions. Photo: Annie Griffiths/Ripple Effect Images

For many refugees, resettlement consideration through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program begins with a series of assessments at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in a camp, city or settlement in sub-Saharan Africa. UNHCR’s mandate includes the registration and protection of refugees as well as the identification of durable solutions for them. For less than one percent of refugees in the world, their solution is a resettlement referral to the USRAP.

Our Africa Regional Deployment Unit was established to increase and streamline the number of UNHCR referrals to the USRAP. On a quarterly basis, ARDU provides trained staff to UNHCR operations throughout sub-Saharan Africa to assist them in identifying refugees for resettlement consideration, writing resettlement referrals, reviewing and approving referrals for submission into USRAP and determining whether resettlement is in the best interest of refugee children whose parents are missing or deceased.