Refugee and asylum seeker populations continue to face notable hardships particularly in contexts of limited integration within hosting nations. Now, more than ever, there is a need for sustained investments in fostering the self-reliance of refugee populations that require progressive national policies, integration into social protection systems, multi-year funding, and co-operation amongst nations for voluntary and safe repatriations and re-integrations.
Southern Africa hosts approximately 6.7 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 1.1 million refugees and asylum-seekers originating mostly from Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and South Sudan. WFP, with its partners, continues its dedicated support to refugees holistically addressing immediate food and nutrition needs, advancing resilience and livelihood opportunities, supporting social cohesion through diverse support to host locations, and increasing focus on contributions to peace, stability and conflict sensitive programming across all locations to address the root causes of displacement. WFP assists on average over 500,000 refugees in Southern Africa every year and in 2021, WFP with its partners assisted over 520,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.
In supporting the transition from humanitarian assistance to self-reliance, the UNHCR-WFP Joint Programme Excellence and Targeting Hub for Southern Africa works to enhance UNHCR and WFP collaboration on joint livelihoods and resilience programming for refugees.
Despite the generous support from donor partners, resourcing remains insufficient to meet even the very basic needs of refugee households and WFP is forced to implement reductions in food rations in some countries. WFP Southern Africa with its partners call on the global community to sustain focus on the self-reliance of refugees and to support the integration of refugees into national systems.
This update presents an overview of WFP’s refugee operations in Southern Africa as of April 2022. It highlights some of the measures taken by WFP and partners to not only serve refugees better, but also to draw attention to critical funding shortfalls that threaten the food and nutrition safety and protection of refugees.