Central Africa and the Great Lakes
Operational information on the Central Africa and the Great Lakes subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:
Latest update of camps and office locations 21 Nov 2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.
Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Africa and the Great Lakes
People of Concern - 2016[["Refugees",1355163],["Refugee-like situation",26743],["Asylum-seekers",26082],["IDPs",3000098],["Returned IDPs",637813],["Returned refugees",58000],["Stateless",974],["Others of concern",174071]]
Response in 2016
Besides providing lifesaving emergency assistance to newly displaced people in the subregion, efforts were also made to find durable solutions for those under UNHCR’s mandate.
Burundi saw the outflow of more than 120,000 new refugees in 2016 due to continuous instability in the country, which started in April 2015 due to election-related violence. The human rights situation inside the country further deteriorated, while a lack of available land for refugees in neighbouring asylum countries was putting pressure on service delivery. At the end of 2016, close to 365,000 Burundian refugees were hosted in DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
The volatile security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was further exacerbated with the delay of the Presidential elections. The ongoing climate, coupled with new outbreaks of violence in several parts of the country, had negative consequences on the implementation of oriented solution approaches for internally displaced people (IDPs), as well as on the implementation of the Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Rwandan refugees. The DRC continued to host some 2.2 million IDPs and more than 451,000 refugees mainly originated from the Central African Republic (102,000), Rwanda (245,000) and South-Sudan (66,700). Volatile security environments across the country impeded the humanitarian access and made it difficult for UNHCR to carry out its operations. Despite these challenges, the Office supported the voluntary return of some 5,500 Rwandan refugees in 2016.
In the Central African Republic (CAR), the situation remained tense with sporadic violence in western and central parts of the country. While return trends have slowed down in the last quarter of 2016, due to the resumption of fighting in Bambari, Bria and Kaga Bandoro, close to 34,000 Central African refugees spontaneously returned to their places of origin. The signing of the tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of refugees hosted in Cameroon and Chad, initially scheduled for December, was postponed to 2017.
UNHCR and partners stepped up their efforts to find durable solutions for the long-standing Rwanda refugee situation, within the framework of the ‘’Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Rwandan Refugees’’. UNHCR will continue to provide assistance to Rwandans falling under the comprehensive solutions strategy until the end of 2017, while working together with Governments and partners to facilitate voluntary return.
Resettlement was a successful protection tool in seeking durable solutions in the subregion. For instance, more than 8,800 refugees departed from the United Republic of Tanzania to resettlement countries at the end of 2016, most of whom originated from the DRC
While presidential post-electoral related violence in August 2016 caused widespread demonstrations and violence, UNHCR’s operations in the country remained unaffected.
Gabon hosted nearly 3,000 people of concern to UNHCR, including some 910 refugees and almost 1,990 asylum seekers, mainly from Chad and the DRC. The majority of the people of concern are living in urban areas. UNHCR continued to provide basic assistance in the country’s capital, Libreville. Through a local partner, UNHCR also provided free primary health care to all refugees.
The Office worked with the Government of Gabon to restructure the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) procedure and strengthened capacity building of staff of the National Commission for Refugees (CNR) through training and the deployment of three consultants to facilitate the process.
|1,151||Number of personnel (international and national)|
|46||Number of offices|
|5,136,000||Estimated number of people of concern (PoC)|
|USD 475 Mio.||Overall funding requirements (ExCom-approved 2016 budget)|
Operational Environment and Strategy
As of September 2015, the total number of displaced people within the subregion, including refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people IDPs) stood at 5.1 million. Conflicts and generalized insecurity, both within the Central Africa and Great Lakes subregion and in neighbouring countries, such as in Nigeria, continue to fuel displacement.
Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were faced with either renewed or continuing internal conflict in 2015, which led to the displacement of thousands of refugees. Over 190,000 Burundians, fleeing pre- and post-election violence since April 2015, have sought asylum in the neighbouring countries of the DRC, Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania) and Uganda. In the CAR, sporadic violence saw the continued displacement of its people. As of September 2015, there were over 360,000 IDPs in the country and over 470,000 refugees from the CAR in Cameroon, Chad, the DRC and the Congo. Instability and violence in eastern DRC has seen internal displacement as well as an outflow of refugees to the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
These three ongoing situations in the subregion led to the nomination of Regional Refugee Coordinators (RRC) for the CAR and the Great Lakes situations in 2014, and for Burundi in 2015, in order to coordinate the Office’s response to the refugee situations and lead the implementation of Regional Refugee Response Plans (RRRP) in the CAR and Burundi. The political environment in these two countries seems to suggest that the RRC functions and RRRPs will continue in 2016.
UNHCR’s work to protect refugees in the subregion will include efforts to address and prevent sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as well as programmes in child protection. Basic needs, such as health care, education for children and livelihood/self-reliance activities to stimulate local economies, will also remain priorities in 2016. UNHCR will pursue its efforts to search for durable solutions, including the planned return of 20,000 DRC refugees from Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia through integrated regional contingency plans and tripartite agreements.
UNHCR will continue to lead the Protection cluster for IDPs through life-saving activities such as protection monitoring, tracking and mapping spontaneous returns in main return areas in countries such as the CAR and the DRC. IDPs will also be provided with basic assistance and support for their return and reintegration. Social cohesion efforts will be important for smooth reintegration.
The main challenges for UNHCR operations in the subregion relate essentially to the lack of security and logistical constraints. Continued conflict and violence in the CAR and eastern DRC, as well as recent events in Burundi, are pushing internal and external displacement, sometimes to remote and inaccessible areas. Restrictions on humanitarian access and space will affect UNHCR’s capacity to respond to those requiring assistance.
The gap in funding is proving to be another challenge for UNHCR to be able to carry out its protection responsibilities and to provide basic assistance for refugees.
Response and Implementation
Operations in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Cameroon, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania are presented in separate country chapters. For other countries where UNHCR operates in the subregion, please see below.
Close to 1,900 refugees, mainly from Chad and the DRC, have been living in Gabon for the last 15 years. In 2016, UNHCR will continue to reinforce the capacity of local authorities to undertake refugee status determination and to explore durable solutions, including voluntary repatriation.
In addition to refugees in protracted situations, there are 250 refugees from the CAR for whom UNHCR will promote access to documentation, and free and full access to basic services.
For the 47 refugees from Angola, Liberia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone who remain under UNHCR’s care, the Office will continue to advocate for sustainable solutions, local integration and self-reliance.
Local integration prospects are limited in Gabon, as the authorities continue to anticipate voluntary return.
2016 Budget and Expenditure in Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD
|Central African Republic||Budget|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office||Budget|
|Republic of the Congo||Budget|
|United Republic of Tanzania||Budget|
2016 Voluntary Contributions to Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Pillar 1
|Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||0||15,347||15,347|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||0||419,321||419,321|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||0||236||236|
|Private donors in Spain||0||0||0||180||180|
|Private donors in Switzerland||0||0||0||1,561||1,561|
|Republic of Korea||0||0||0||250,000||250,000|
|Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall subtotal||1,711,005||0||300,000||11,719,966||13,730,970|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||0||0||1,515,000||0||1,515,000|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||0||566,893||566,893|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||0||10,870||10,870|
|Private donors in the United States of America||25,000||0||0||18,337||43,337|
|United States of America||0||0||0||5,600,000||5,600,000|
|Private donors in Italy||160,871||0||0||0||160,871|
|Private donors in Spain||0||0||0||1,118,261||1,118,261|
|Republic of Korea||332,000||0||0||0||332,000|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||1,216,545||0||0||0||1,216,545|
|United States of America||6,297,550||0||0||18,700,000||24,997,550|
|Central African Republic|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||1,373,271||0||1,150,003||0||2,523,274|
|Private donors in Australia||0||0||0||6,458||6,458|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||278,707||112,740||391,446|
|Private donors in Spain||0||0||0||1,891||1,891|
|Private donors in Sweden||0||0||0||12,081||12,081|
|Private donors in Switzerland||0||0||0||1||1|
|Private donors in the United States of America||0||0||0||115||115|
|United States of America||1,425,000||0||0||9,900,000||11,325,000|
|Central African Republic subtotal||4,259,233||990,342||3,585,536||14,863,500||23,698,611|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||2,938,397||0||1,605,496||0||4,543,893|
|Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan||500,000||0||0||0||500,000|
|Private donors in Australia||723,777||0||0||0||723,777|
|Private donors in Canada||0||0||0||770||770|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||0||1,672,241||1,672,241|
|Private donors in Italy||0||0||0||455||455|
|Private donors in Spain||5,385||0||0||2,399,846||2,405,232|
|Private donors in Switzerland||0||0||0||65||65|
|Private donors in the Republic of Korea||128,868||0||0||0||128,868|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||508,198||0||0||0||508,198|
|Private donors in the United States of America||150,000||0||10||40,469||190,479|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||1,500,000||0||0||0||1,500,000|
|United States of America||3,400,000||0||0||36,300,000||39,700,000|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office subtotal||15,267,061||635,324||2,254,076||45,013,016||63,169,477|
|Republic of the Congo|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||0||0||0||798,710||798,710|
|Private donors in Germany||112,740||0||0||1,700,680||1,813,420|
|Private donors in Spain||5,214||0||0||0||5,214|
|United States of America||0||0||0||6,100,000||6,100,000|
|Republic of the Congo subtotal||172,028||0||0||8,599,390||8,771,419|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||2,500,000||0||0||0||2,500,000|
|Private donors in Germany||0||0||0||112,740||112,740|
|Private donors in Japan||951,892||0||0||0||951,892|
|Private donors in Qatar||1,130,153||0||0||0||1,130,153|
|Private donors in the United States of America||439,970||0||0||89,292||529,262|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||5,263,158||0||0||0||5,263,158|
|United States of America||20,198,718||0||0||8,000,000||28,198,718|
|United Republic of Tanzania|
|Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)||4,650,000||0||0||0||4,650,000|
|Private donors in Japan||1,684,362||168,875||0||0||1,853,237|
|Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||85,656||0||0||0||85,656|
|Private donors in the United States of America||619,343||0||0||74,489||693,832|
|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||6,578,947||0||0||0||6,578,947|
|United States of America||22,825,000||0||0||7,600,000||30,425,000|
|United Republic of Tanzania subtotal||59,524,291||168,875||0||15,666,141||75,359,307|