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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2016 {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"budget":[400.278583747,397.11091767,503.32381366,699.501085209,642.156147158],"expenditure":[177.86138431,186.81027121,236.15435243,274.23980882,292.79051134]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"p1":[253.366748687,239.84552114,307.9703963,505.440937742,458.162112674],"p2":[3.33793253,8.68566536,2.80964228,3.730164264,4.73713069],"p3":[81.6064711,55.78047991,64.77744622,54.587607553,66.33196742],"p4":[61.96743143,92.79925126,127.76632886,135.74237565,112.924936374]} {"categories":[2012,2013,2014,2015,2016],"p1":[132.43699158,142.49521679,175.78113489,218.41039125,250.01217902],"p2":[1.3034486,2.14283547,1.29948582,1.06479773,1.85292683],"p3":[14.97260691,18.38606284,22.28936622,17.41356558,16.66261556],"p4":[29.14833722,23.78615611,36.7843655,37.35105426,24.26278993]}
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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]]
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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

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Burundi Budget
Cameroon Budget
Central African Republic Budget
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office Budget
Republic of the Congo Budget
Rwanda Budget
United Republic of Tanzania Budget
Total Budget

2016 Voluntary Contributions to Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall
Canada 0001,722,846 1,722,846
Denmark 0001,000,000 1,000,000
Ecuador 0002,500 2,500
Finland 0002,265,006 2,265,006
France 566,8930300,000500,000 1,366,893
Holy See 5,000000 5,000
Ireland 0002,173,913 2,173,913
Luxembourg 000989,011 989,011
Private donors in Canada 00015,347 15,347
Private donors in Germany 000419,321 419,321
Private donors in Italy 000236 236
Private donors in Spain 000180 180
Private donors in Switzerland 0001,561 1,561
Republic of Korea 000250,000 250,000
Sweden 0002,380,045 2,380,045
Switzerland 1,016,260000 1,016,260
UNDP 122,851000 122,851
Central Africa and the Great Lakes overall subtotal 1,711,0050300,00011,719,966 13,730,970
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 001,515,0000 1,515,000
European Union 986,842000 986,842
Germany 0003,742,064 3,742,064
Private donors in Germany 000566,893 566,893
Private donors in Italy 00010,870 10,870
Private donors in the United States of America 25,0000018,337 43,337
United States of America 0005,600,000 5,600,000
Burundi subtotal 1,011,84201,515,0009,938,164 12,465,006
Belgium 2,732,240000 2,732,240
Canada 000898,876 898,876
European Union 3,397,508000 3,397,508
France 623,583000 623,583
Italy 333,4360763,0550 1,096,491
Japan 3,204,9440495,0560 3,700,000
Private donors in Italy 160,871000 160,871
Private donors in Spain 0001,118,261 1,118,261
Republic of Korea 332,000000 332,000
UNAIDS 00053,500 53,500
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1,216,545000 1,216,545
United States of America 6,297,5500018,700,000 24,997,550
Cameroon subtotal 18,298,67801,258,11120,770,638 40,327,427
Central African Republic
Belgium 0002,732,240 2,732,240
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 1,373,27101,150,0030 2,523,274
Denmark 050,00050,0000 100,000
France 000340,136 340,136
Germany 0001,132,503 1,132,503
Japan 1,257,710940,3421,801,9480 4,000,000
Private donors in Australia 0006,458 6,458
Private donors in Germany 00278,707112,740 391,446
Private donors in Spain 0001,891 1,891
Private donors in Sweden 00012,081 12,081
Private donors in Switzerland 0001 1
Private donors in the United States of America 000115 115
Spain 00013,115 13,115
Sweden 000612,220 612,220
Switzerland 203,2520304,8780 508,130
United States of America 1,425,000009,900,000 11,325,000
Central African Republic subtotal 4,259,233990,3423,585,53614,863,500 23,698,611
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office
Belgium 1,194,269000 1,194,269
Canada 000749,064 749,064
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 2,938,39701,605,4960 4,543,893
Common Humanitarian Fund Sudan 500,000000 500,000
European Union 1,675,978000 1,675,978
Finland 0001,103,753 1,103,753
France 000866,893 866,893
Germany 0635,324127,0650 762,389
Japan 2,478,4950521,5050 3,000,000
Private donors in Australia 723,777000 723,777
Private donors in Canada 000770 770
Private donors in Germany 0001,672,241 1,672,241
Private donors in Italy 000455 455
Private donors in Spain 5,385002,399,846 2,405,232
Private donors in Switzerland 00065 65
Private donors in the Republic of Korea 128,868000 128,868
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 508,198000 508,198
Private donors in the United States of America 150,00001040,469 190,479
Spain 63,694000 63,694
Sweden 0001,836,660 1,836,660
UNAIDS 00042,800 42,800
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1,500,000000 1,500,000
United States of America 3,400,0000036,300,000 39,700,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office subtotal 15,267,061635,3242,254,07645,013,016 63,169,477
Republic of the Congo
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 000798,710 798,710
Denmark 54,074000 54,074
Private donors in Germany 112,740001,700,680 1,813,420
Private donors in Spain 5,214000 5,214
United States of America 0006,100,000 6,100,000
Republic of the Congo subtotal 172,028008,599,390 8,771,419
Canada 000374,532 374,532
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 2,500,000000 2,500,000
European Union 1,754,386000 1,754,386
Finland 202,878000 202,878
Japan 2,500,000000 2,500,000
Netherlands 1,127,396000 1,127,396
Private donors in Germany 000112,740 112,740
Private donors in Japan 951,892000 951,892
Private donors in Qatar 1,130,153000 1,130,153
Private donors in the United States of America 439,9700089,292 529,262
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 5,263,158000 5,263,158
United States of America 20,198,718008,000,000 28,198,718
Rwanda subtotal 36,068,551008,576,564 44,645,114
United Republic of Tanzania
Canada 0001,498,127 1,498,127
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 4,650,000000 4,650,000
Denmark 000856,164 856,164
European Union 17,957,795000 17,957,795
Germany 0003,804,348 3,804,348
Ireland 1,114,827000 1,114,827
Italy 340,136000 340,136
Japan 2,500,000001,833,013 4,333,013
Norway 1,168,224000 1,168,224
Private donors in Japan 1,684,362168,87500 1,853,237
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 85,656000 85,656
Private donors in the United States of America 619,3430074,489 693,832
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 6,578,947000 6,578,947
United States of America 22,825,000007,600,000 30,425,000
United Republic of Tanzania subtotal 59,524,291168,875015,666,141 75,359,307
Total 136,312,6891,794,5418,912,722135,147,379 282,167,331