As of the end of May 2022, Southern Africa hosts around 7.8 million persons of concern (PoCs) to UNHCR. This includes 1.1 million refugees and asylumseekers, 6.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as others of concern and refugee returnees. The number remains at a similar level from April 2022. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) represents 78 per cent of the regional data.
Refugees, Asylum-Seekers, and Others of concern
The region hosts 787,000 refugees, 285,000 asylumseekers, and 36,000 others of concern. The biggest inflows are from Rwanda and the Central African Republic into DRC. DRC is also a major source of refugees and asylum-seekers flowing into South Africa, Zambia, Congo, Angola, and Malawi. Most major countries of origin are in Africa, but Bangladeshis have also requested asylum in South Africa (see Figure 1).
Among refugees and asylum-seekers, the male represents 53 per cent and the female 42 per cent. Children under age 18 take up to 42 per cent, and the working-age group from 18 to 59 years old is 51 per cent. The unknown group of demographic information is 5 per cent; most of them are self-settled in Angola and Mozambican asylum-seekers in Zimbabwe.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
In Southern Africa, there are 6.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Most of them are conflict-induced, 6.3 million, but there are also natural disaster-induced IDPs, 0.4 million. The data on IDPs are reported in DRC, Congo, Mozambique and Zimbabwe (see Figure 2).
There were 57 voluntary repatriations in the region in May 2022. Specifically, 56 Congolese (DRC) returned from South Africa, and so did one Congolese (DRC) to Congo. In 2022, 1,499 individuals have repatriated in total. For resettlement, 1,964 persons were referred to resettlement countries for consideration by the end of May 2022. Fifty per cent of the individuals on the submissions were male and fifty per cent were female; 60 per cent of them were children under the age of 18. Most individuals (1,493) were submitted to the United States which is 76 per cent of all submissions. Malawi was the country of asylum that submitted the highest number of individuals, 769, followed by Zambia, 459. Departed individuals were 784; among them, 417 left to the United States.
Among 16 countries in the region, the data of refugees and asylum-seekers in 11 countries are fully hosted by proGres v4 (PRIMES). In South Africa, the data are managed by the government and UNHCR manages only the cases for assistance and durable solutions. In Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and Zimbabwe, some portion of the data is not available in ProGres v4. Overall, more than half of refugees and asylum-seekers in Southern Africa are available in ProGres v4. For IDP data, UNHCR refers to different sources. Specifically, the source of DRC’s IDP figure is the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). For Mozambique and Zimbabwe is the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and for Congo is the government, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Humanitarian Action (MASAH).