Operation: Opération: Zimbabwe



Latest update of camps and office locations 21  Nov  2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.

Key Figures

2016 end-year results
100% of people of concern had access to primaryhealth care
1,700 children were enrolled in primary schools (3% increase)
530 children were enrolled in secondary schools (10% increase)
480 children were enrolled in early childhood education (62% increase)
460 people were submitted for resettlement (102% increase)
2017 planning figures
100% of primary school–aged refugee children will be enrolled in schools 
100% of identified people of concern living with disabilities will receive appropriate support
100% of people of concern identified to be in need of resettlement are resettled 
500 people of concern will receive shelter support
50 Government officials will be trained on statelessness 

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2016 10,064
2015 310,624
2014 9,225


[["Refugees",7426],["Asylum-seekers",952],["Returned refugees",6],["Others of concern",1680]]
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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[7.75699344,7.45939881,6.82514325,5.80670135,6.43412162,10.95797928],"expenditure":[5.48046879,5.3211349,5.11835744,4.82715146,4.95217574,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[5.2627228,5.26126792,6.13458825,5.67679147,6.08461144,10.52588522],"p2":[0.50791654,0.37122646,null,0.12990988,0.34951018,0.43209406],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[1.9863541,1.82690443,0.690555,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[4.02366366,4.64729118,4.77045832,4.7047107,4.75229399,null],"p2":[0.15461312,null,null,0.12244076,0.19988175,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[1.30219201,0.67384372,0.34789912,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Working environment

In 2016, UNHCR continued to support the Government in protecting refugees and asylum-seekers. People of concern had improved access to education and livelihood opportunities in Tongogara refugee camp, which hosted some 10,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In 2016, Zimbabwe received more than 5,000 asylum-seekers from Mozambique as a result of armed conflict in some areas. Some 700 Mozambican asylum-seekers were relocated from border areas to Tongogara refugee camp.
The Government of Zimbabwe is yet to make a formal announcement on the cessation of refugee status for Rwandan refugees.
UNHCR is working with the Government to identify people at risk of statelessness. 

Population trends

  • 10,100 people of concern were assisted.
  • The majority of the refugees and asylum-seekers are from the Great Lakes region.
  • The Government registered 5,500 Mozambican asylum-seekers in areas along the border. Some 700 asylum-seekers were relocated to Tongogara refugee camp. 

Achievements and impact

  • UNHCR signed an MoU with the Registrar General for the production of machine-readable convention travel documents.
  • UNHCR co-sponsored the 40th Plenary Assembly of the Southern African Development Community to advocate for the accession of Member States to the statelessness conventions. 

Unmet needs

  • Insufficient resources limited UNHCR’s response to the influx of asylum-seekers from Mozambique.
  • Interventions to prevent and respond to statelessness remained limited.
  • Health and education infrastructure in Tongogara refugee camp was insufficient to meet the needs of the population. 

Operational context and population trends

By the end of 2014, the country continued to face numerous social difficulties and significant economic challenges, including an over-extended financial sector, high public expenditures, and an underperforming mining, manufacturing and agricultural sector. In mid-March 2015, the Government announced the failure of up to 30% of the national food crops due to flooding and drought.

In 2015, progress to address the question of refugee status for some 2,000 rejected Congolese asylum-seekers from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was achieved.

As of 31 December, 2014
  • Zimbabwe hosted 9,170 people of concern (refugees, asylum-seekers and other people of concern), which represents a slight increase from the end of 2013
  • Around 86% of the people of concern reside in Tongogara refugee camp , while the rest are urban-based
  • 79% originate from the DRC, 9% from Burundi, and 8% from Rwanda
  • The average monthly influx of asylum-seekers remains stable, between 100 and 150 people per month. The ongoing conflict in eastern DRC continues to be the main driver of asylum-seekers into Zimbabwe
  • There are no official statistics on the number of stateless people or people at risk of statelessness in Zimbabwe; however, as of 2010 it was estimated that between 20 to 30 % of the farm workers in Zimbabwe are of foreign descent (approximately 300,000 and 600,000 individuals).

Key priorities in 2016

  • Strengthening the asylum regime and enhancing the capacity of the Government to independently manage refugee status determination (RSD), allowing gradual phase-out for UNHCR
  • Searching for appropriate durable solutions for various refugee groups
  • Improving documentation, including birth registration
  • Reducing protection risks faced by people of concern, specifically refugee children
  • Identifying people in need of international protection through regular border monitoring and visits to detention facilities, in the context of mixed migratory flows through Zimbabwe
  • Remodelling camps into settlement that provide more opportunities for self-reliance
  • Closing major gaps in the provision of adequate housing and infrastructure of schools to fully meet enrolment needs, improve quality of education and reduce drop-out rates
  • Provide regular supplies of domestic fuel, including lighting in public spaces and household, in order to mitigate protection risks.