The 16 countries in Southern Africa host nearly 9 million persons of concern, including 1.1 million refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda,
Burundi and South Sudan.
UNHCR in the Southern Africa region contributes to protection and solutions for 5.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) – over 5 million in DRC, over 300,000 in Mozambique, over 134,000 in Republic of the Congo (ROC) and 270,000 in Zimbabwe.
Between 1 January 2019 and 18 June 2020, 31,049 refugees and asylum-seekers voluntarily repatriated to their country of origin from asylum countries in the region. UNHCR has also assisted 150 resettlement departures in 2020 as of 18 June 2020.
UNHCR’s Strategic Directions for Southern Africa
Protect: Strengthen and promote a favourable protection environment for persons of concern. Improve the quality and integrity of registration and reinforce data, information management and analysis. Seek improvement in citizenship laws, reinforce asylum systems and legal protection frameworks including child protection and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.
Respond: Strengthen emergency preparedness for displacement of populations due to new evolving emergencies and natural disasters. Seek to innovate operational responses including integrating sustainable sources of energy to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Include: Enhance partnerships and foster synergies with Governments, UN Agencies, Regional Economic Communities, NGOs, development actors, international financial institutions and the private sector and bring to life the humanitarian-development nexus approach in both emerging crises and protracted situations.
Empower: Empower refugee community members as agents of change and effective partners in delivering protection. Improve two-way communication with persons of concern, focus on effective community engagement and support decision-making including through cash-based interventions.
Solve: Promote comprehensive solutions to refugee situations. Facilitate durable solutions and alleviate poverty by scaling up livelihoods, financial inclusion and self-reliance strategies to foster local integration and voluntary repatriation when conditions allow.