Republic of the Congo
Operation: Republic of the Congo
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|2020 year-end results|
|56,000||IDPs affected by floods were assisted with water, sanitation, hygiene services and shelter support|
|3,738||registered refugee children had access to primary education|
|722||Central African refugees and 14 Rwandan refugees were assisted to voluntarily repatriate|
|91%||of Congolese refugees lived in adequate shelters|
|80%||of refugees had access to primary health care|
|70%||of refugees had access to secondary and tertiary medical care|
|67%||of Central African refugees lived in adequate shelters|
|2021 planning figures|
|16,400||refugees from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be assisted to repatriate in 2021|
|9,000||children in pre-primary and primary school will receive school kits|
|6,000||people without birth certificates will be issued birth certificates through mobile courts|
|2,500||refugees and asylum-seekers and 7,500 IDPs will participate in targeted income-generating activities|
|800||survivors of gender-based violence will receive targeted psychosocial and financial support|
People of Concern
Republic of the Congo
Operational contextIn line with the national protection and solutions strategy, UNHCR advocated the inclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers into existing social, education and health systems, and strengthened national partners to enhance protection and assistance. The Office also signed a data-sharing agreement with the World Bank funded Lisungi project, that supports the inclusion of people of concern in the social register. For IDPs, the strategy saw strengthened coordination and monitoring to enhance protection and assistance. Statelessness-related activities focused on identifying people at risk, reducing situations that may lead to statelessness, supporting systems for birth registration, and capacity building. In 2020, the Government enacted a law to accede to both the 1954 and 1961 Statelessness Conventions.
Population trendsAs of 31 December 2020, the Republic of the Congo hosted 27,097 refugees, 13,624 asylum-seekers and 11,923 other people of concern to UNHCR, a 1.5% increase compared to 2019. 722 refugees voluntarily repatriated to the Central African Republic and 14 to Rwanda. Following the presidential elections of December 2020 in the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo received a new influx of 300 Central African asylum-seekers.
- UNHCR supported the Government to issue 1,641 identity cards to refugees from the Central African Republic.
- 3,392 birth certificate registers were donated by UNHCR to the Government to support civil registration.
- 50,000 persons at risk of statelessness received birth certificates.
- 32,158 refugees and asylum-seekers received medical care in national health facilities.
- 20,000 face masks were produced by refugees, asylum-seekers, and host communities as part of a cash-for-work project. The masks were distributed to vulnerable refugees and host communities.
- 56,000 IDPs out of 314,000 IDPs affected by floods were assisted with water, sanitation, hygiene services and shelter support in the Pool Department and in other departments (144,000: Government figures; 170,000: humanitarian response plan figures).
- Primary schools were overcrowded, impacting access to education as well as COVID-19 prevention efforts. In Likouala, Brazzaville, Pointe Noire, Plateaux and Sangha Departments, there were 8,200 students in need of additional classrooms, school kits, school canteens and school fee support to access education.
Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)
- Refugee women from the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and host communities were supported with vocational training and skills acquisition. After graduating from UNHCR’s livelihoods programme, women were supported with start-up kits to support activities such as hairdressing, tailoring and catering. This helped empower women and reduced the likelihood they would resort to negative coping-mechanisms.
- 227 refugees received training, production kits and inputs for agriculture, livestock and fisheries to foster self-reliance.
Working environmentThe economic crisis the Republic of Congo is facing since 2015 continues to have a significant impact on the country. In order to respond to this, the government launched "The march towards development," the President’s social project for 2016-2021 as well as the "Living together" initiative which calls for unity, dialogue and national cohesion. UNHCR has been involved in the design of both the National Development Plan (2018-2020) and the UNDAF (2020-2024) emphasizing that a clear link should be established between humanitarian and development work. Although the economic situation is expected to slightly improve in 2020, refugee self-reliance and inclusion of refugees into national systems will continue to remain a challenge.
In March 2016, Presidential elections led to a political and humanitarian crisis especially in the Pool Department. A peace agreement was signed in December 2017 between the Government and the militia operating in Pool Department, where the political and security situation is expected to remain stable in 2020.
Due to positive developments in countries of origin, refugees from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo have improved prospects for voluntary repatriation.
UNHCR relies on the close cooperation with the Government of the Republic of the Congo, and its relevant line ministries. UNHCR also works in close partnership with the UN system, international and national NGOs as well as refugee committees. Based on the national protection and solutions strategy, UNHCR works to integrate refugees into existing social, education and health systems.
The partnership with the World Bank under the IDA 18 sub window for refugees is ongoing. The implementation will start in 2019 and continue until December 2022.
Key prioritiesIn 2020 UNHCR will focus on:
- advocating with the Government for the adoption of national asylum law as well as adhesion to the statelessness conventions;
- facilitating voluntary repatriation of refugees and asylum-seekers;
- enhancing the economic empowerment of people of concern through implementing self-reliance initiatives;
- improving the access of people of concern to basic needs and essential services including health, education, shelter and WASH.