Call for Expression of Interest: Refugees and Asylum Seekers

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 13 February, 2015
Opportunity type: 

The purpose of this Call for Expression of Interest is to identify and – on the basis of responses received – select a prospective or existing partner to provide social assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Limpopo Province on behalf of UNHCR Regional Office (RO) Pretoria, South Africa. The partner will handle the day-to-day activities related to the management and implementation of the project.
UNHCR RO Pretoria will highly value a commitment on behalf of the partner (e.g. human resources, complementary knowledge/skills, financial/in-kind support). More specifically, UNHCR is looking for a partner that could communicate with various stakeholders and provide the following services: home-based care services to chronically HIV refugees /asylum seekers, monitoring and support for SGBV cases, psycho-social assistance to mentally disabled persons of concern and protecting unaccompanied minors and separated children (UASC) and other vulnerable persons, as well as food, shelter/accommodation and material assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers in Limpopo Province.
Interested organisations are requested to submit a Concept Note including relevant Annexes by 13 February 2015 to the e-mail address:   

Call for Expression of Interest
Refugees and Asylum seekers from Zimbabwe, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and
other countries
Project title and Identification: Project Location:
Social Assistance to Refugees and Asylum seekers in Limpopo
Province, South Africa
Limpopo Province, South Africa

Brief Background of the Project:   

Short description of the operational context:

  1. At present, there is a large-scale mixed flow of asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors or separated children alongside other migrants seeking economic and social opportunities in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The border entry point, Beit Bridge, remains the principal crossing point within this context of mixed migratory flows.
  2. The Refugee Reception Office (DHA) in Musina processes the claims of individuals seeking international protection. Asylum seekers and refugees whose claims are lodged at the Refugee Reception Office are required to renew their documentation and refugee identification in Musina.
  3. Asylum seekers and refugees residing in the Limpopo Province originate from Zimbabwe, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and South East Asian countries, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  4. Increasingly, asylum seekers are resorting to irregular entry points into the Limpopo Province where their safety and security may be at risk.
  5. The main responsibility for UNHCR, in line with the statutory responsibilities, is to monitor the implementation of the refugee convention, to which South Africa is party, and promote durable solutions for refugees. The UNHCR Field Office in Musina discharges its responsibilities under the supervision of the

Regional Office. In line with the Regional Office’s mandate, the UNHCR Field Office has the following two central objectives:

  • Provide technical support and capacity building to the Governmental agencies operating within the Limpopo Province on refugee matters.
  • Deliver protection and assistance to vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees whom are located throughout the Limpopo Province. The Field Office collaborates with Government authorities, international organizations as well as non-governmental organizations in rendering legal and social assistance to refugees and asylum seekers.

6.  Main Protection Risks:

  • Asylum seekers and unaccompanied or separated children increasingly resorting to irregular entry into the Limpopo Region are subject to abuse, arbitrary arrest and detention.
  • Individuals detained for immigration related purposes are held in SAPS cells in various locations within the Limpopo province, in which asylum seekers and others in need of international protection are mixed with failed asylum seekers pending deportation and undocumented foreigners seeking economic and social opportunities in South Africa.
  • Fearing arrest and deportation due to rejections, asylum seekers fail to return to Musina to collect the decisions rendered on their asylum applications. In addition, concerns of interpretation for non-English speaking applicants, such as individuals originating from the DRC, continue to be raised with the Field Office.
  • The Limpopo province hosts a large number of unaccompanied children, principally originating from SADC countries. These children are mainly concentrated in the municipal areas of Musina, Makhado, Thulamela, Greater Tzaneen and Polokwane. However, a study commissioned by UNHCR and completed in July 2013 on the link between child protection and HIV risk indicates that farms within the Limpopo province provide the first stop for unaccompanied children upon arrival to South Africa, where they are at risk of exploitation and abuse. The selected NGO will be required to liaise with the relevant Government, NGO and international agencies to refer such children, who may fall outside the mandate of UNHCR, for further processing and assistance.
  • Xenophobia and crime against foreigners are seen throughout the country and are also of particular concern in the Limpopo province, principally in Polokwane and Lebowakgomo. Although the Limpopo region is not witness to xenophobic based violence and threats found in other areas of South Africa, xenophobic discrimination against refugees and interference with the legal framework promoting local integration and self-sufficiency takes place. This affects refugees, principally originating from Somalia and Ethiopia, owning businesses in the local communities.
  • The provision of humanitarian assistance has been a priority for the UNHCR Field Office in Musina since the outset. Moving from the ensuring an adequate humanitarian response to the victims of the Zimbabwean crisis, the Field Office focuses on the provision of assistance to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in the Limpopo Province.
  • The lack of specialized structures to support victims of SGBV and other persons suffering from trauma, is among the main protection concerns in the Limpopo Province, and is linked to other protection issues. HIV/reproductive health services and infrastructures are often not suited to HIV/reproductive health services and infrastructures are often not suited to the needs of children and young people, at times posing protection risk. One of the main challenges is the high number of lost to follow up patients.

Below is an estimated breakdown of demographic data of the population by age and gender as at end 2014

Name of Population Planning Group: Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Age Group Male Female Total
in numbers in % in numbers in % in numbers in %
0-4 500 2% 500 4% 1,000 3%
5-11 530 2% 520 4% 1,050 3%
12-17 620 3% 570 4% 1,190 3%
18-59             22,500 93% 12,500 89% 35,000 92%
60 and >            
Total: 24,150 100% 14,090 100% 38,240 100%

Goal/Objective, Expected Outcome and Main Activities:

Objectives: Population has optimal access to reproductive health and HIV services; Health status of the population improved; Risk of SGBV is reduced and quality of response improved; Services for persons with specific needs strengthened; Population has sufficient basic and domestic items;

  1. Access to reproductive health / HIV services provided;
  2. Home-based care to HIV positive and terminally ill persons of concern delivered;
  3. Psycho-social support to victim of torture and violence provided;
  4. Health promotion activities and capacity building workshops relating to the prevention and awareness activities of HIV conducted;
  5. Risk of SGBV reduced through advocacy and capacity building workshops/campaigns/seminars;
  6. Refugee women protected and free from sexual and gender based violence through counselling and referral mechanisms established;
  7. Construction of ablution facilities at the shelter for women and girls and placement of security guards at the shelter;
  8. Provision of food, shelter / accommodation, non-food items and sanitary material to vulnerable persons. Objective: Protection of children strengthened
  9. Risk of HIV reduced for unaccompanied and separated children (UASC);
  10. UASC have access to health care services which included referrals and diagnostics services; 3. Children living on the streets are rehabilitated;
  11. The use of the Best Interest Determination (BID) as a mandatory protection tool for children. This activity will include conducting of Best Interest Assessments (BIAs) to determine UASC are of concern to UNHCR;
  12. Family tracing and re-unification.

To achieve the above objectives and outcomes, the following activities are proposed for implementation:

  • Enforcement of mechanisms of identification of persons with special needs as early as possible in their arrival into South Africa (if possible, at the borderlines and thereafter at the reception structures). Community outreach activities: capacity building with the local refugee leaders, traditional chiefs, governmental agencies on the reception of vulnerable persons.
  • Psycho-social support for persons with special needs and individuals with mental health problems.
  • Establish a system for referral of persons with special needs amongst all the actors. Counselling for cases of psycho-social problems. Distribution of donations and hygiene kits for women.
  • Psycho-social assistance during the asylum procedure: assistance to single women during the refugee status determination procedure such as the interviews, identification of persons with special needs in detention.
  • Assistance to vulnerable persons during transit within South Africa: follow up on rape cases and other SGBV cases are under medication, social assistance for vulnerable persons. Referrals to legal partners, if necessary, for further follow-up action.
  • In collaboration with UNHCR FO Musina, coordination of activities of assistance to vulnerable persons of concern to UNHCR. Coordination between basic social services within Limpopo, develop and disseminate SOPs on response to SGBV for persons of concern, which brings in all the partners, refugee community and other actors.
  • Referral to social assistance partners that provide that provide income-generating activities and promote
  • self-reliance.
  • Analysis and proposition of a response for victims of trauma and violence.

Intended Population of Concern: 

Asylum seekers and refugees residing in the Limpopo Province originating from Zimbabwe, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi, and South East Asian countries, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. (The most vulnerable will be assisted after a refugee claim assessment had been done).

Project Period: 

15 March 2015 – 31 December 2015

Submission Deadline: 13 February 2015

Date Decision Results to be Communicated to Applicants: 27 February 2015

Selection Criteria: 

Concept notes from the national NGOs with required expertise are particularly encouraged. 

Criteria Description: 

Sector expertise and experience: 
The required specific skills, sector specialists, knowledge and human resources available with the organization in the project area, similar projects in the country. Innovative interventions that include collaboration with private sector and through existing government mechanisms will be prioritized.

Project management: 
Ability to deliver project objectives, accountability mechanisms and sound financial management and coordination with agencies working under the same sector. 

Local experience and presence: 

  • Ongoing programs in the area of operation
  • Demonstrate evidence of local presence and knowledge including assessment of the area of intervention.
  • Demonstrate collaboration with national NGOs and local CBOs for future sustainability.
  • Working relationship, collaboration with relevant government authorities.

Contribution of resources:

Evidenced and documented contribution of resources to the Project in cash or in-kind (e.g. human resources, supplies and/or equipment) that are presently available (or potentially mobilized by the partner) in order to supplement UNHCR resources. 

Cost effectiveness: 

Level of administrative costs should not exceed 20% imposed on the Project in relation to project deliverables.
Experience working with UNHCR: 

Global and/or local partnerships including knowledge of UNHCR policies, practices and programme, including an understanding of and ability to work within UNHCR’s funding limitations and associated inherent risks.


  • Partners with presence in the Limpopo Province will be favorably considered.

Other information (optional)
Issuing UNHCR Office: UNHCR RO Pretoria, South Africa 
Contact Address: 351 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria 
Full name and title, Head of Office: Clementine Nkweta-Salami, Regional Representative 
Name of UNHCR Office: UNHCR RO Pretoria, South Africa


Concept note, refer to
Cover Note, refer to
FAQ, refer to

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