Southern Africa

Operational information on the Southern Africa subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:

| Angola | Botswana | Comoros| Eswatini | Lesotho | Madagascar | Malawi | Mauritius | Mozambique | Namibia | Seychelles | South Africa | Zambia | Zimbabwe|

Subregion: Southern Africa


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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Southern Africa

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2017 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[71.78563246,74.338103542,76.47449221,113.36830576,125.00417463,113.31115107],"expenditure":[42.47998622,40.00321486,41.10263636,66.37558515,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[69.95513627,72.322737383,74.67262645,111.88847664,123.10730955,111.82286139],"p2":[1.13994119,1.481945159,1.80186576,1.47982912,1.89686508,1.48828968],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[0.690555,0.533421,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[41.60175533,38.70577751,40.03893561,65.42664959,null,null],"p2":[0.53033177,0.8125094,1.06370075,0.94893556,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[0.34789912,0.48492795,null,null,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2019 [projected]

[["Refugees",300216],["Asylum-seekers",398869],["IDPs",5087],["Returned IDPs",9321],["Returned refugees",200],["Others of concern",4978]]
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Operational Environment

Southern Africa sub-region hosts close to 534,000 people of concern, including some 204,000 refugees and more than 281,000 asylum-seekers as of mid-2018, mainly from the Central Africa and Great Lakes, East and Horn of Africa, and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. There has been an increase in the number of people of concern in the sub-region largely due to the influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to neighbouring Angola and Zambia, as well as to other countries in the sub-region. By mid-2018, Southern Africa sub-region was hosting close to 186,000 Congolese refugees and asylum-seekers. As a result of the peace process, the majority of Mozambican asylum-seekers in Malawi have returned during 2018 and those hosted in Zimbabwe are expected to return during 2019.
Although several countries in the sub-region are experiencing economic growth, many are still struggling with inequalities, poverty, seasonal floods, drought, food shortages, poor social protection, xenophobia and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence. Mixed movements continue to put a strain on national asylum systems, triggering restrictive migration and refugee policies in the region. While nearly all countries are parties to international and regional refugee instruments, reservations regarding freedom of movement and access to employment, keeping refugees mainly in camps and settlements, remain.
Zambia is already applying the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have also expressed interest or support for applying it.
One of the main challenges continues to be the onward movement of people of concern between countries in the sub-region, with the final destination for most being South Africa. This concerns in particular the movement of populations from the DRC, Ethiopia and Somalia. In order to address these challenges, UNHCR operations in Angola, Madagascar, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have deployed the new biometric identity management system for protection needs assessments. Since 2017, some 517 secondary movements of registered people of concern have been detected in the sub-region. Depending on the availability of funding, further deployments to cover the entire region have been planned for 2019.

In 2019, UNHCR will endeavor to:
  • Advocate for accession to, and ratification of, international and/or regional instruments on refugees, internally displaced people and stateless persons, lifting reservations to these instruments and support the development of national legal frameworks;
  • Find comprehensive solutions, particularly to refugees in protracted situations and former refugees who remain in asylum countries;
  • Improve the standards of assistance through empowerment of refugees, increased self-reliance and livelihoods as well as implementation of cash based interventions;
  • Promote the implementation of the Global action plan to end statelessness by 2024.
  • Pursue a multi-year multi-partner protection and solutions strategy for 2019-2021 as well as the implementation of the CRRF in the sub-region.

Response and implementation

 Botswana hosts some 2,400 refugees and asylum-seekers in Dukwi refugee camp. UNHCR began to phase down its presence in Botswana in 2015 and support to the Government in the management of refugees and asylum-seekers will continue in 2019.
In the Kingdom of Eswatini UNHCR provides protection and assistance mainly through a local partner to some 1,500 refugees and asylum-seekers residing in the Malindza reception center and in urban areas. The new Refugee Act is currently pending the signature of the Minister of Home Affairs to enter into force. Eswatini has requested UNHCR’s technical support in drafting regulations giving effect to the changes and institutions established under the new legislation. 
Lesotho hosts 87 people of concern. In 2019, UNHCR will continue capacity building to authorities on refugee status determination and the management of refugees and asylum-seekers.
The Indian Ocean Island States host few known people of concern. UNHCR continues to monitor the situation through partners and periodic missions. UNHCR will continue encouraging Comoros and Mauritius to accede to international refugee and statelessness instruments as well as to establish a referral mechanism to coordinate the management of asylum-seekers, refugees and stateless persons. Seychelles has requested UNHCR’s technical support in drafting a national legal asylum framework that could serve as a model for other Indian Ocean Island States. Seychelles has also shown interest in acceding to statelessness conventions.
Madagascar is hosting 128 refugees and asylum-seekers. UNHCR will continue to support in the management of refugees and asylum-seekers through the provision of social and legal assistance by a partner.
Namibia hosts some 3,700 refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas and the Osire refugee settlement. UNHCR provides shelter, food and core relief items through its local partner and supports the Government in absorbing the assistance activities. UNHCR also supports the Government in the local integration of some 1,700 former Angolan refugees who are in the process of receiving residence permits.

2019 Budget for Southern Africa | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Angola 28,998,77400028,998,774
Malawi 16,196,96400016,196,964
Mozambique 6,830,197117,973006,948,171
South Africa Regional Office 29,957,1341,110,3110031,067,445
Zambia 22,094,31000022,094,310
Zimbabwe 7,745,481260,006008,005,487
Total 111,822,8611,488,29000113,311,151

2019 Voluntary Contributions to Southern Africa | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Southern Africa overall
Private donors in Canada 04,825 4,825
Private donors in Italy 014,022 14,022
Private donors in Spain 082,655 82,655
Private donors in Sweden 011,413 11,413
Private donors in Thailand 01,002 1,002
Private donors in the Netherlands 06,430 6,430
Private donors in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 0471 471
Southern Africa overall subtotal 0120,819 120,819
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 359,1540 359,154
Private donors in Italy 017 17
UNAIDS 030,000 30,000
Angola subtotal 359,15430,017 389,171
Japan 417,5960 417,596
UNAIDS 030,000 30,000
Malawi subtotal 417,59630,000 447,596
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 99,8760 99,876
Norway 0576,967 576,967
WFP 107,0000 107,000
Mozambique subtotal 206,876576,967 783,843
European Union 1,137,6560 1,137,656
Japan 500,0000 500,000
Zambia subtotal 1,637,6560 1,637,656
African Development Bank 734,0900 734,090
Zimbabwe subtotal 734,0900 734,090
Total 3,355,372757,803 4,113,175