United Republic of Tanzania


Operation: Opération: United Republic of Tanzania



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Key Figures

2020 year-end results
225,846 camp-based people of concern were registered on an individual basis
65,260 school-aged children (3-17 year) had access to formal education
12,695 Burundian refugees and 4,403 Congolese refugee children aged 3-5 were enrolled in early childhood education
4,664 of people of concern in need of legal assistance were provided with legal services
3,293 Burundian and 1,371 Congolese people of concern were provided legal assistance
52 awareness-raising campaigns on prevention and response to gender-based violence were conducted
30 liters of portable water per person per day was made available
2021 planning figures
282,700 refugees and asylum-seekers will receive protection and assistance
93,000 repatriations to Burundi will be facilitated
99% Congolese and 86% Burundian refugee children will be enrolled in primary education
70% of refugee households will receive core relief items
82% of refugee households will live in adequate dwellings
30 liters of portable water per day per person will be made available

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2020 287,323
2019 295,595
2018 337,005


[["Refugees",234655],["Asylum-seekers",28748],["Others of concern",23920]]
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United Republic of Tanzania

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2020 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[108.50987822,137.1331802,125.8120637,126.04262139,150.66111858999997,116.70000001000001],"expenditure":[69.99019142,66.46673125,53.876213099999994,47.84617567,52.88407586,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[96.04563581000001,126.70166642,122.59261362000001,123.85980609,147.59324689,113.56816401],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[12.46424241,10.43151378,3.21945008,2.1828152999999997,3.0678717,3.131836],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[65.51548653,61.88418214,51.28754876,46.42073671,51.615569560000004,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[4.47470489,4.58254911,2.58866434,1.42543896,1.2685063,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Operational context

In 2020, the protection and humanitarian environment continued to be restrictive. A strict encampment policy, coupled with restrictions on livelihood and self-reliance initiatives for refugees, has contributed to their increased dependency on international humanitarian assistance. Restrictions on access to territory and asylum procedures remained unchanged, with border entry points closed and UNHCR unable to access them. The Global Compact on Refugees remained unimplemented.

This restrictive environment further complicated UNHCR’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNHCR worked with the Government and partners to ensure the protection of people of concern; however, the Government’s approach to the pandemic, continued to hamper UNHCR’s prevention, control, and response efforts.

Population trends

By the end of 2020, the United Republic of Tanzania hosted 263,393 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Burundi (73%) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (27%), as well as a small number of refugees from other countries. Of the total registered population, 50% were female and 55% children. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers lived in three refugee camps, with a small urban population in Dar es Salaam.

With the exception of a few new arrivals registered in Dar Es Salaam, there were no arrivals registered in the camps. Only newborn babies were registered through the continuous registration framework.

Some 30,600 refugees repatriated to Burundi in 2020, bringing the total number of those who had repatriated since 2017 to nearly 113,000.

Third country resettlement was restricted due to COVID-19, with 1,300 departures recorded in 2020.

Key achievements

  • 30,631 Burundian refugees were assisted to voluntary repatriate to Burundi.
  • Targets to ensure survivors of gender-based violence had access to appropriate services, including psychosocial and legal counselling were surpassed.
  • 85% of school-aged children (3-17 years) had access to education.
  • Nearly 600,000 health consultations were conducted, 6% of which benefited host communities.
  • Nearly 29,000 handwashing facilities were established to improve hygiene.   

Unmet needs

With the operation only 34% funded in 2020, assistance and protection services were constrained.
  • 25% of the refugees did not have adequate shelter and were living in dilapidated emergency shelters and tents.
  • 30% of households did not have family latrines.  
  • 97% of targeted shelter constructions needs in 2020 were unmet following the Government’s suspension of construction in the camps.  
  • Only 50% of household needs for basic and domestic items were met.
  • Only 15% of the refugees had access to sustainable energy, resulting in communities engaging in deforestation and environmental degradation.   

Use of flexible funding (unearmarked or softly earmarked funding)

  • Flexible funding enabled UNHCR to respond to urgent needs in various sectors including training 618 health staffs and Government counterparts on disease surveillance.
  • Family household latrine coverage increased from 49% to 70% thanks to flexible funding.  

Working environment

While the overall political and security situation in the United Republic of Tanzania will likely remain stable, the planned presidential election in 2020 could influence the policies related to refugees. Continued instability in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and planned elections in Burundi in 2020 may result in renewed displacement. These regional dynamics will lead to both push and pull factors affecting protection and solutions for refugees in Tanzania. Furthermore, after decades of hosting refugees, the Government is looking to the international community for more sustained support. UNHCR will need to retain the capacity to respond to sudden influxes and lead the development and updating of contingency plans, while also safeguarding access to territory and the voluntary character of refugee returns.
UNHCR is continuously exploring potential for engagement with development actors, multilateral donors, UN agencies, financial institutions, private sector, civil society/NGOs, academia and other stakeholders to advocate for refugees’ inclusion in government and development plans.
UNHCR continues to participate in the UNCT, related coordination mechanisms and relevant UNDAP working groups. The Resilience Thematic Group under UNDAP II explicitly captures the engagement of several UN agencies in support of refugees and migrants. UNHCR will also maintain its active participation in the area-based UN Joint Program, which brings together 16 UN agencies, and where the linkage between humanitarian assistance and development of host community areas is established.
UNHCR will continue to engage partners and coordinate the refugee response in Tanzania to ensure complementarity, reduce duplication and increase accountability through the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM).

Key priorities

In 2020, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Advocating with the Government for asylum space, including emphasizing the voluntariness of the ongoing assisted repatriation to Burundi. These efforts aim to uphold the right to seek asylum and the right to return home voluntarily in safety and dignity.
  • Seek protection and solutions for refugees and asylum-seekers for both new arrivals and those in protracted situations. With the persistent instability in countries of origin, focus will be on identifying people with specific needs for resettlement. For those intending to return, information and – if security allows – basic assistance will be provided to.
  • Ensure that the basic needs of refugees are met, as well as access to services, such as education, health-care and documentation.
  • Promote social cohesion between refugees and the host community with a focus on addressing environment degradation. Activities will include facilitation of regular meetings of the peaceful co-existence committee, organizing social interactions of communities like sports, and implementation of common reforestation programmes both in the camp and villages adjacent to the camp.
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