Operation: Opération: Congo



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of refugees provided with individual protection documentation
85% of vocational training students graduate (successful completion and receipt of certification)
30% of DRC refugees opting for local integration have locally integrated
22% of IDPs households whose needs for basic and domestic items are met
3,540 CAR refugees provided with safe and dignified repatriation
2019 planning figures
91% of refugees from the Central African Republic live in adequate dwellings
70,000 IDPs will receive emergency shelter
3,500 refugee and asylum-seekers will receive sectoral cash grants or vouchers
25 of peaceful coexistence projects will be implemented in IDP settlements
19 litres of potable water, on average, will be available per person per day for refugees from the Central African Republic

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 197,095
2017 167,303
2016 71,598


[["Refugees",37494],["Asylum-seekers",9180],["IDPs",138000],["Returned refugees",2],["Others of concern",12419]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[37.62501547,35.34159306,32.00000031,28.642667152,23.57916797,26.42425816],"expenditure":[13.69277603,10.261615,9.33211215,12.21198154,11.78166301,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[37.62501547,35.34159306,32.00000031,26.232864152,20.40916797,23.01543711],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,1.250599],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,2.409803,3.17,2.15822205]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[13.69277603,10.261615,9.33211215,9.83463447,8.8974485,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,2.37734707,2.88421451,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

The economic situation in the Republic of the Congo was further challenged by the drop in fuel price. This is of concern and has serious impacts on the refugees.
More than 10,000 Rwandans remain in Congo, including the 9,000 without refugee status since 1 January 2018 following the implementation of cessation clause for Rwandan refugees. These former refugees are currently residing on the Congolese territory without an official status. UNHCR continues to support them for repatriation and local integration, but with limited traction amongst the former refugees.
The majority of refugees from the DRC and Rwanda have expressed their willingness to stay in the country.  
Therefore, in 2018 UNHCR advocated for the adoption of a local integration strategy for these populations. For the time being, the government has expressed their concerns over such strategy encouraging refugees to stay in the country indefinitely.

Population trends

At the end of 2018 there were some 59,890 refugees, a slight increase from the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, an estimated 16,000 new refugees from DRC crossed to Republic of Congo in less than one week.

The number of IDPs decreased from 114,000 to 76,000 by the end of the year. IDPs returns were reported, though no data is so far available to assess the magnitude of the return process. 

The implementation of durable solutions has led to the decrease in the number of refugees. More than 3,500 CAR refugees were repatriated and 8,000 former Rwandan refugees still considered as people of concern to UNHCR.

Key achievements

Thousands of refugees, mainly from CAR, were repatriated and few dozen resettled with UNHCR’s support.
UNHCR focused on reducing statelessness through awareness-raising campaigns, conducting carrying out activities on birth registration, and organising a workshop on the civil registration systems in Likouala and Pool department.
UNHCR provided support to the Ministry of Justice in the process of reviewing codes and to the national statistics.

Unmet needs

The adoption of the law on asylum remained pending by the Government. The legal framework aiming at facilitating the implementation of the mechanism is still to be adopted.
Access to basic socio-services such as education and health remains a challenge for refugees because of the inadequacy of the national system. UNHCR provision of services was insufficient to cover the needs.
Due to the insufficient funding of the UNHCR, refugees in Likouala department were not able to receive support regarding NFIs.

Working environment

 The Republic of Congo has been facing unrest and violence since April 2016, when the presidential election took place and Denis Sassou-Nguesso was re-elected. Clashes between Congolese army and former Militiamen (‘Ninjas’) in the Pool Province led to a large displacement. Some 130,000 people, including host families of IDPs, are impacted by the current security situation. The Pool department is currently not accessible to UN and the security situation impacts all humanitarian assistance activities in the area.  The number of IDPs and their humanitarian needs will remain critical in 2018.
In addition, the economic crisis that Congo is currently facing is affecting refugees negatively. Those for example who were previously working in building companies, thanks to important public investments programs, have lost their jobs due to the decreased investments in the country.
The current situation is undermining UNHCR’s efforts to have refugees included in national programs and their inclusion in national development projects and active participation to the Work Bank and the International Development Associations sub-window project for refugees and host communities.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR’s will focus on ensuring the self-reliance of refugees through their inclusion in the UNDAF 2018-2022 and in the National Development Plan 2016-2020, as well as finding durable solutions.
The main strategic objectives will be:
  • Building the government capacity to develop and strengthen the  national asylum framework;
  • Developing community-based protection activities;
  • Supporting the economic self-reliance of refugees with the implementation of livelihood programmes and activities;
  • Looking for durable solutions, especially voluntary repatriation and resettlement.
The economic situation in particular in the Likouala department does not facilitate beneficiaries' access to the labour market, thus limiting their ability to purchase essential household items by their own. Therefore, UNHCR plans to meet these needs through the distribution of core relief items and cash grants.
UNHCR will continue providing shelter and non-food items for IDPs but will primarily, in coordination with other agencies, implement its protection strategy and activities aimed at building the capacity of local authorities and people of concern, as well as preventing and responding to protection needs.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
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  • 11-JUL-2019
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  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
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  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
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  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

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