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:

Subregion: Central Africa and the Great Lakes


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

  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Africa and the Great Lakes

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2015 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"budget":[400.278583747,397.11091767,503.32381366,699.501085209,642.30670313,651.59728688],"expenditure":[177.86138431,186.81027121,236.15435243,274.23980882,null,null]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[253.366748687,239.84552114,307.9703963,505.440937742,458.31266865,497.19911585],"p2":[3.33793253,8.68566536,2.80964228,3.730164264,4.73713069,3.10447697],"p3":[81.6064711,55.78047991,64.77744622,54.587607553,66.33196742,61.80001923],"p4":[61.96743143,92.79925126,127.76632886,135.74237565,112.92493637,89.49367483]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016,2017],"p1":[132.43699158,142.49521679,175.78113489,218.41039125,null,null],"p2":[1.3034486,2.14283547,1.29948582,1.06479773,null,null],"p3":[14.97260691,18.38606284,22.28936622,17.41356558,null,null],"p4":[29.14833722,23.78615611,36.7843655,37.35105426,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2017 [projected]

[["Refugees",1075719],["Asylum-seekers",17227],["IDPs",1900000],["Returned IDPs",940000],["Returned refugees",154776],["Stateless",120000],["Others of concern",234849]]
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Operational Environment and Strategy

Despite being one of the world’s richest regions in terms of natural resources, Central Africa and the Great Lakes subregion continues to be highly unstable. Even though certain countries have been relatively stable, situations within the DRC, Burundi and the Central African Republic have caused significant level of displacement throughout the subregion. In addition to the relatively recent refugee crisis in Burundi that forced close to 325,000 people to flee their country since 2015, the situation in South Sudan has added to an already complex displacement climate, triggering new arrivals to the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

UNHCR will continue to closely monitor the situation in light of upcoming elections in the DRC, as it could lead to subsequent population movements. The elections that were due to take place in November 2016 have been postponed until April 2018, causing friction amongst the majority of opposition parties. Internal displacement has been significant in the eastern part of the country and a half a million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries. By September 2016, 1.7 million people had been internally displaced in the DRC. 

In December 2013, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes as violence spread across the Central African Republic. Currently, over 450,000 Central African refugees are hosted in Cameroon, Chad, the DRC, and the Republic of Congo. Despite a relatively peaceful election in February 2016, the security situation remains volatile and over 384,000 people are still internally displaced inside the Central African Republic. 

Efforts to resolve the long-standing Rwandan refugee situation in the region are made within the framework of the Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Rwandan Refugees. The Strategy, issued in October 2009, includes the promotion of voluntary repatriation; the pursuit of local integration and the continued international protection for those unable to return to Rwanda for protection related reasons. UNHCR’s Representative in Kinshasa, who is also acting as Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Burundi Situation, is tasked with streamlining coordination efforts between the different operations. 

Child protection activities as well as preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) remains a top priority for UNHCR in the region in 2017. Basic needs, such as health care, education for children and livelihood/self-reliance activities, will also remain priorities in 2017. Furthermore, UNHCR will continue to pursue its efforts to secure durable solution for both refugee and IDP populations. 
UNHCR will continue to lead the protection cluster for IDPs (where activated) in conducting protection monitoring, tracking and mapping spontaneous returns in main areas of return across the subregion.

Restricted humanitarian access and logistical constraints constitute major obstacles for UNHCR in the subregion. UNHCR and partners are facing difficulties in reaching the most vulnerable populations, especially in eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the Central African Republic. 

Global attention has largely shifted away from the subregion due to the multiple high-profile emergency operations worldwide. Funding constraints result in reduced operational capacity and limitations in UNHCR’s ability to fulfil its protection responsibilities. 

Response and Implementation

Operations in BurundiCameroonCentral African RepublicCongo (Republic of the), the Democratic Republic of the CongoRwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania are presented in separate chapters. For other countries where UNHCR operates in the subregion, please see below.
As of August 2016, Gabon is hosting some 910 refugees and some 1,990 asylum-seekers, from CAR, Chad, the DRC and other countries. UNHCR is supporting the Government in restructuring the refugee status determination (RSD) procedure, while continuing efforts to secure durable solutions, including voluntary repatriation. Local integration prospects are limited in Gabon, due to the high cost of a residence permit and the lengthy and expensive process of naturalization. UNHCR will continue to monitor the situation following post-electoral violence that broke out in September 2016. 

2017 Budget for Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Burundi 26,645,8017,07504,384,05131,036,927
Cameroon 87,796,0621,148,50405,300,26394,244,829
Central African Republic 24,291,641014,762,56514,030,23253,084,438
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office 133,711,6261,948,89829,873,24665,779,128231,312,899
Republic of the Congo 27,843,95700027,843,957
Rwanda 94,808,44006,732,6940101,541,134
United Republic of Tanzania 102,101,589010,431,5140112,533,103
Total 497,199,1163,104,47761,800,01989,493,675651,597,287

2017 Voluntary Contributions to Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall
Luxembourg 0523,013 523,013
Private donors in Canada 0472 472
Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall subtotal 0523,484 523,484
Republic of Korea 02,000,000 2,000,000
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1,216,5450 1,216,545
Cameroon subtotal 1,216,5452,000,000 3,216,545
Central African Republic
Germany 01,132,503 1,132,503
United States of America 400,0000 400,000
Central African Republic subtotal 400,0001,132,503 1,532,503
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office
Belgium 398,0880 398,088
Private donors in Spain 064,578 64,578
Private donors in the Republic of Korea 9,7200 9,720
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 54,9380 54,938
Private donors in the United States of America 210,2330 210,233
United States of America 3,100,0000 3,100,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office subtotal 3,772,97964,578 3,837,557
African Union 100,0000 100,000
Private donors in Qatar 1,103,4450 1,103,445
Private donors in Switzerland 0379,378 379,378
THE GLOBAL FUND 2,090,8900 2,090,890
Rwanda subtotal 3,294,335379,378 3,673,713
United Republic of Tanzania
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 67,5690 67,569
Private donors in the United States of America 161,1930 161,193
United Republic of Tanzania subtotal 228,7620 228,762
Total 8,912,6214,099,943 13,012,564