The Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) Accountability Report 2021 provides an overview of the work undertaken by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) to ensure the AGD approach is mainstreamed across operations and field-level practices. It does so in the context of combined ongoing global challenges, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing effects of climate change and natural disasters, and protracted and emerging conflicts. In 2021, these factors continued to create uniquely complex and uncertain conditions for the people served by UNHCR, as well as for the organization’s capacity to respond to the diverse needs and situations that they generated.
Forcibly displaced and stateless persons are among the hardest hit by these global challenges, which have put unprecedented pressure on them. The continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 has further aggravated economic insecurity and further hampered access to health and protection services. Fear of infection, restricted mobility, isolation measures, stigma, discrimination, loss of livelihoods and uncertainty about the future have increased vulnerability to protection risks for all, and particularly for women, children and those living with disabilities.
This report draws on the analysis of available quantitative and qualitative data on the areas of engagement in line with the core actions in the 2018 UNHCR Policy on Age, Gender and Diversity (hereafter the 2018 AGD Policy). The report also includes six spotlights on particular groups among the populations that UNHCR works with and for. Consultations with key UNHCR staff were also held to further inform and guide the selection of relevant practices. Using examples and significant practices from 2021, the report intends to illustrate the commitment and accountability of UNHCR towards the 2018 AGD Policy, the organization’s ever-adaptive capacity to implement AGD-sensitive interventions, and the evolving and wide-encompassing nature of the AGD approach.