Operation: Opération: Angola



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Key Figures

2020 year-end results
6,555  people of concern to UNHCR received shelter support
1,109 (46%) primary school-aged children enrolled in primary education
924 household latrines and 656 bathing shelters constructed
800 people of concern to UNHCR received life-skills training
422 extremely vulnerable refugee families in Luanda were provided with emergency food assistance and soap
2021 planning figures
10,0000 people of concern in urban settings will receive targeted assistance to cover the needs identified through systematic protection monitoring and outreach activities
1,500 households will benefit from livelihoods support through the distribution of agricultural tools and start-up kits, as well as training in agriculture, entrepreneurship, business and other vocational skills
1,300 children will be enrolled in two formal primary schools constructed in the Lóvua settlement, while 200 students will be assisted to attend secondary education
100% of people of concern in the Lóvua settlement and 70% of those in urban settings will be profiled to support a comprehensive durable solutions strategy and assist in multisectoral planning and response
100% of households in the Lóvua settlement will have access to household WASH facilities, while 70% of households will benefit from shelter interventions

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2020 56,145
2019 56,056
2018 70,005


[["Refugees",25806],["Asylum-seekers",30278],["Others of concern",61]]
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2020 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[3.72148992,36.642183270000004,31.01241581,23.20689238,22.5997044,28.82954344],"expenditure":[2.06958952,19.44200489,16.9504877,12.75126857,11.50640024,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[3.72148992,36.642183270000004,31.01241581,23.20689238,22.4797044,28.5200064],"p2":[null,null,null,null,0.12,0.30953704],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[2.06958952,19.44200489,16.9504877,12.75126857,11.49454846,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,0.011851780000000001,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Operational context

In 2020, asylum space in Angola remained challenging mainly due to the Government’s continued suspension of registration and documentation of asylum-seekers and refugees, in place since 2015. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, UNHCR continued to advocate resumption of registration, provision of documentation and implementation of the Refugee Act, while continuously supporting implementation of the Statelessness Conventions in line with commitments made by the Government at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum.

Population trends

By end of 2020, there were 25,800 refugees, 30,290 asylum-seekers and 62 other people of concern to UNHCR in Angola. Out of the 22,916 Congolese refugees in the country, 9,482 are from the 2017 Kasai influx and live in Lunda Norte, mostly in Lóvua refugee settlement. By February 2020, 322 refugees had been assisted to voluntarily repatriate from Lóvua back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but heavy rains forced the operation to suspend subsequent movements. In March, due to COVID-19, the Government declared a total closure of land borders. This affected not only voluntary returns but also reception of new arrivals.

Key achievements

  • A COVID-19 contingency plan saw UNHCR and partners adapt to ensure preventive and response measures were in place. In Lóvua, a new triage system and wards were established to ensure isolation and quarantine facilities for COVID-19 cases, and schools were adapted for possible use as additional isolation centres. Remote education activities and information campaigns were carried out extensively throughout the year. Water, sanitation, and hygiene activities were expanded and all households were provided with hand-washing stations and additional monthly rations of soap. In Luanda, distributions of emergency food and core relief items were carried out, and emergency helplines were established to address challenges rising from COVID-19 in urban areas.
  • UNHCR and partners expanded protection monitoring through home visits, as well as remote counselling to respond to the medical, legal and psychosocial needs related to child protection and gender-based violence. 
  • UNHCR opened a new community centre in Luanda and expanded its outreach activities. In addition to protection services, a vocational center was fully equipped and will become operational in early 2021. This will have the capacity to serve 1,500 people from the refugee and host communities with classes on adult literacy, language, information technology, tailoring, catering as well as arts and crafts.
  • UNHCR drafted and coordinated the biannual strategy on statelessness focused on awareness-raising, legislative reviews and protection solutions to support Government’s commitments made at the Global Refugee Forum.
  • A medical team was established in Luanda to ensure urban refugees had access to health care, medicines and information.

Unmet needs

  • Many refugees remained undocumented because of the Government’s continued suspension of registration. This meant urban refugees faced heightened protection risks such as detention, discrimination, abuse and exploitation, and greater difficulties in finding employment and accessing basic services such as health care, education, justice, and social safety nets. COVID-19 posed extra challenges to access education and basic needs.
  • Due to limited funding, the operation could not cover all the needs of extremely vulnerable families including those resulting from COVID-19-induced economic hardship and lack of registration amongst urban refugees.
  • COVID-19 restrictions hindered access to employment and opportunities for livelihoods, and slowed the implementation of planned activities. Additional funding would have been needed to implement joint livelihood initiatives (UNHCR/WFP) and expand the existing livelihood strategy.

Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)

  • The Lóvua market was inaugurated in September 2020 with the capacity of 90 shops in a large commercial area. The market is expected to significantly enhance trade, job opportunities, self-reliance and peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities, benefiting more than 6,000 people.
  • A new warehouse was sourced in Luanda for COVID-19 supplies for programming in both Lóvua and Luanda, as well as for food and core relief item emergency distributions in Luanda.

Working environment

Angola is hosting an estimated 62,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Lóvua Settlement in Lunda Norte Province in northern Angola and in urban areas. The working environment in Angola is expected to remain stable in 2020.
It is estimated that there are some 30,000 asylum-seekers in and around the capital Luanda. Urban population in Luanda will continue facing challenges due to lack of registration and documentation. The Government stopped the registration of refugees at the end of 2018. However, the National Refugee Commission (CNR) is expected to continue operating in an ad-hoc manner in 2019, and the refugee status determination will reassume in 2020. UNHCR continues to work on preventing the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers, which is likely to remain a challenge until registration of the urban caseload takes place and documentation is issued or renewed.
As a result of the outbreak of violence in the Kasai region of DRC in March 2017, over 35,000 refugees fled to neighbouring Lunda Norte Province. Nearly 24,000 Congolese refugees were still receiving assistance in Lunda Norte Province until 12,000 refugees decided to return spontaneously to DRC in August 2019. Around 9,000 refugees are still hosted in the Lóvua Settlement. A Tripartite Agreement for the organised voluntary repatriation was signed by the Governments of Angola and DRC as well as UNHCR on 23 August. It is anticipated that another 4,000 refugees will return during 2019 and the remaining caseload in 2020. Those refugees who are unable or unwilling to return will continue to receive protection and assistance in 2020. Some urban Congolese refugees may also opt to return to DRC.
Angola is expected to ratify the 1954 and 1961 Stateless Conventions in 2019. UNHCR will continue providing technical support in the implementation of these legal instruments including to the development of a National Action Plan to end statelessness.
In Lóvua Settlement, a comprehensive livelihood strategy is being developed, jointly with WFP, with a focus on building refugee resilience and self-reliance. UNHCR is also working with UNDP on the strengthening of local governance, social cohesion and resilience in refugee-hosting communities in Lunda Norte Province. This will be complemented by FAO activities in the agricultural sector. These initiatives will target both refugees and host communities.
In the spirit of the Global Compact for Refugees, UNHCR will continue to coordinate closely with various actors in Angola including relevant government line ministries, provincial and municipal authorities, the UN sister agencies, development agencies, NGO partners, international community, civil society and host communities.

Key priorities

In 2020, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Supporting the voluntary repatriation of Congolese refugees to the DRC;
  • Providing protection and assistance to Congolese refugees in Lunda Norte Province in close coordination with relevant stakeholders;
  • Advocating for and support the registration and provision of documentation for all refugees and asylum-seekers;
  • Finding solutions for the refugees through third-country resettlement (100 refugees in 2020);
  • Providing support to the Government in the implementation of the 1954 and 1961 statelessness Conventions including the development of the National Action Plan.
Latest contributions
  • 25-NOV-2021
    United States of America

    private donors

  • 24-NOV-2021
  • Germany
  • 23-NOV-2021
    United States of America

    private donors

  • 22-NOV-2021
    United States of America

    private donors

  • Japan

    private donors

  • 18-NOV-2021

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Romania
  • Qatar
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 17-NOV-2021

    private donors

  • Germany
  • 15-NOV-2021
    United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • 12-NOV-2021
  • 11-NOV-2021
  • Angola
  • 09-NOV-2021
  • 08-NOV-2021
  • Hungary