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:
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Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion Central Africa and the Great Lakes
People of Concern - 2019[["Refugees",1428999],["Asylum-seekers",67006],["IDPs",6802108],["Returned IDPs",2578256],["Returned refugees",93719],["Stateless",974],["Others of concern",42887]]
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Operational environmentThe Central Africa and Great lakes sub-region is characterized by multiple complex conflicts, resulting in both internal and cross-border displacement of people.
The number of people of concern in the sub-region is increasing, mainly due to the deteriorating situations in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Currently the Congolese IDPs and refugees form the largest displaced population in the sub-region, with close to 4.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and some 539,800 refugees and asylum-seekers in neighbouring countries.
The operational environment will continue to be heavily affected by a high concentration of multiple, complex, and often inter-connected displacement situations. The security situation in the DRC has continued to weaken, with the Kasai, South Kivu and Tanganyika being the most affected areas. Meanwhile, Ebola constitutes a growing threat in the provinces of North Kivu, Beni, and Ituri with health interventions becoming increasingly difficult to carry out as the provinces are simultaneously active areas of conflict.
Although the large-scale violence in Burundi has receded, the situation remains of concern. With the political situations unresolved and persistence of significant human rights abuse, refugee arrivals are expected to continue in 2019. Although UNHCR remains concerned over the situation in the areas of return, it is working with and the Government to assist those who have indicated that they made a free and informed choice to return to do so in safety and dignity. Since 2017, more than 50,000 Burundian refugees have been assisted to return voluntarily to Burundi, mainly from Tanzania.
The serious crisis in the Central African Republic continues to generate internal forced displacement and, since the end of 2017, has also produced a new influx of refugees into Cameroon and Chad. Since the beginning of the crisis, over 360,000 people were forced to seek refuge in Cameroon and Chad. Insurgent activities committed by armed groups and inter-community violence continue to expose people of concern to serious protection risks. At the same time, some IDPs have returned to their villages of origin, such as an estimated 80,000 who returned to Paoua in the initial six months of 2018. Counter insurgency operations (jointly implemented by MINUSCA and the Central African Armed Forces) have led to clashes with non-state armed groups resulting in further displacement. At the same time, with the support of the African Union and countries in the region, dialogue has started between the government and armed groups and, locally, between armed groups. As such, some areas have been pacified triggering the return of refugees and IDPs. This trend is expected to continue and, hopefully, intensify in 2019, requiring additional resources to ensure the sustainability of returns.
In the Far North region of Cameroon, the number of Nigerian refugees has increased from some 94,400 in January 2018 to 97,800 at the end of August. In addition, there are some 238,100 IDPs in the region. These two populations continue to face serious protection and humanitarian needs. Despite the signature of a Tripartite Agreement between Cameroon and Nigeria, no large-scale returns are expected in 2019. In addition, further displacement is triggered by violence in the Anglophone region of Cameroon.
Similarly, following the recent crisis in the North and South West Provinces, IDPs are reported lacking access to health services, as facilities are either inaccessible or closed, while children remain out of school. Shelter remain a serious concern, as families are residing in the bush and sheltering in overcrowded conditions without access to safe WASH facilities. Food and essential non-food items are becoming inaccessible to many households due to rising cost of food and other essential commodities on the market. This situation being new, it is not part of the comprehensive plan for Cameroon, but it will make the object of a Special Appeal that will be launched towards the end of 2018.
In the sub-region as a whole, UNHCR will continue to focus on delivering protection and life-saving assistance to refugees and IDPs, while supporting in parallel return and reintegration programmes. In Cameroon and Chad, the office will apply multiyear protection and solution strategies to address both humanitarian and developmental needs of protracted refugee situations. The recent launch of the CRRF approach in Chad as well as the World Bank’s approval of IDA 18 package of USD 274 million for Cameroon and of USD 60 million for Chad will provide an opportunity for the integration of refugees in national systems and pursing the broader strategic objective of refugee inclusion.
The Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) aims to support the governments in meeting their commitments and recent pledges for enhanced protection and inclusion of refugees, following the New York declaration. UNHCR currently works with the government of Rwanda, and along with other partners for the provision of protection and basic services to refugees and other people of concern, and will continue supporting the government in the process of rolling out the CRRF in 2019.
Response and implementationThe Republic of Gabon hosts 922 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Chad (539), followed by the DRC (117) and the Republic of Congo (87). Most refugees and asylum-seekers reside in urban areas. The majority of refugees are engaged in commercial activities and in the informal sector. Challenges include integrating refugees into the formal job market. UNHCR and the government partner support the most vulnerable families in the areas of health, education and income-generating activities to ensure their empowerment. UNHCR will also advocate for the granting of arable land, as well as support vocational training or recruitment of young refugee graduates.
Negotiations undertaken for waiving the payment of necessary materials and workforce used to issue a free residence permit document remain unsuccessful. As a result, UNHCR is partially contributing to the cost of the cards, and may move towards fully covering the costs.
2019 Budget and Expenditure in Central Africa and the Great Lakes | USD
|Central African Republic||Budget|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo Regional Office||Budget|
|United Republic of Tanzania||Budget|
2019 Voluntary Contributions to | USD
|Earmarking / Donor||Total|