United Republic of Tanzania


Operation: Opération: United Republic of Tanzania



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of people of concern were registered on an individual basis
98% of Congolese children and 79% of Burundian children were enrolled in primary education
2.6% of Burundian and 1.6% of Congolese children ˂ 5 years of age are malnourished
21  litres of potable water, on average, was made available per person per day to Congolese and Burundian refugees
2019 planning figures
90% of Burundian refugee households needs for basic and domestic items are met 
78% of Congolese and other households in Kigoma will have a drop-hole latrine or drop-hole toilet
75% of Burundian refugee households live in adequate dwellings
20  litres of potable water, on average, will be available per person per day for Congolese and other refugees in Kigoma

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Decrease in
2018 337,005
2017 521,282
2016 458,828


[["Refugees",278322],["Asylum-seekers",39659],["Others of concern",19024]]
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United Republic of Tanzania

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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[38.21491383,134.15516444,108.50987822,137.1331802,125.8120637,126.08262139],"expenditure":[24.6811937,48.87004149,69.99019142,66.46673125,53.8762131,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[23.19500923,118.73635308,96.04563581,126.70166642,122.59261362,123.89980609],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[15.0199046,15.41881136,12.46424241,10.43151378,3.21945008,2.1828153],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[20.0803866,42.24403878,65.51548653,61.88418214,51.28754876,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[4.6008071,6.62600271,4.47470489,4.58254911,2.58866434,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

Despite instability in the region, the operational environment in the United Republic of Tanzania remained stable throughout 2018, and the country continued its long history as a refugee hosting country. With ongoing insecurity in neighbouring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) influxes continued during the year.

Compared with its historical generosity towards refugees, the Government employed a stricter approach to asylum for new arrivals from Burundi and the DRC in 2018, with the closure of all entry points across north-western Tanzania – significantly reducing the protection space available to refugees. Moreover, a series of restrictive measures were introduced in July 2018 limiting the livelihood opportunities available to Burundian refugees, as well as movement both inside and outside the three camps.

While UNHCR is not promoting voluntary repatriation to Burundi, UNHCR and partners assisted more than 57,800 Burundians to repatriate voluntarily in 2018.

The Government is not formally applying the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, but strongly supports the Global Compact on Refugees.


Population trends

At the end of 2018, the United Republic of Tanzania hosted approximately 326,000 people of concern, the vast majority of whom were refugees or asylum-seekers from Burundi and the DRC.
Some 90% of people of concern reside in three refugee camps: Nyarugusu (154,600), Nduta (92,400) and Mtendeli (37,200). An additional 42,600 people live in old settlements and villages in the Kigoma region.
The voluntary repatriation of refugees to Burundi contributed significantly to the decrease in the Burundian population. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the elections in DRC in December 2018, an anticipated influx of Congolese asylum-seekers fleeing electoral violence did not eventuate. 

Key achievements

  • In 2018, UNHCR resettled close to 3,200 Congolese refugees, among them 2,883 to the United States of America.
  • Best interest processes were initiated or completed for 53% of unaccompanied and separated (UASC) Congolese children and 45% for UASC from Burundi.

Unmet needs

Ongoing funding shortfalls and restrictive policies regarding refugee freedom of movement and economic activities limited the ability of UNHCR and other humanitarian actors to deliver lifesaving assistance.
Nearly 40% of Congolese refugees and 37% of refugees from Burundi did not live in adequate dwellings in 2018. Access to education did not meet the set standards: the primary school pupils per classroom ratio reached 120 among the Burundian refugee population, yet the average was even higher for Congolese refugees. School dropout rates were also high, with less than 10% of secondary school-aged children enrolled, overcrowded classrooms and a shortages of trained teachers. Major gaps in sanitation and hygiene continued, resulting in the risk of disease outbreaks. Livelihood restrictions continued following the closure of common markets in all three camps.

Working environment

The United Republic of Tanzania continues to host large numbers of refugees. In 2017, the total population of concern stood at some 743,000 people.
In the Tripartite Commission Meeting held in August 2017, the Governments of Burundi and Tanzania committed to the principles of voluntary repatriation of refugees in safety and dignity. In the first two months of the voluntary repatriation, close to 6,900 people have returned to Burundi from the United Republic of Tanzania.
UNHCR works with the Government of Tanzania and other partners for the provision of protection and basic services to refugees and other people of concern, and will continue supporting the Government in the process of rolling out the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in 2018.
 UNHCR’s multi-year protection and solutions strategy is guided by five core directions, which through UNHCR’s leadership under the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM), will advance protection and solutions for all people of concern in the United Republic of Tanzania. The core directions are: to protect, respond, include, empower and find solutions. UNHCR continues to support the Government in the review of the national legal framework related to refugees aiming at adherence to international standards and for the gradual refugee’ access to national systems. In addition, UNHCR puts emphasis on self-reliance to minimize long-term dependency on humanitarian assistance, ensure adequate emergency response, strengthen the engagement and participation of refugee communities at all levels, and promote peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities. Alternatives to camps policy is being reviewed with the Government of Tanzania and initiatives towards moving away from a strict encampment policy revisited.

Key priorities

UNHCR’s key  priorities are :
  • Ensuring continuous access to territory, reviewing of the 1998 Refugee Act, and the 2003 Refugee Policy, provision of refugee documentation, mitigation of risks of SGBV, and legal aid.
  • Seeking durable solutions. UNHCR will work with the Government of Tanzania to support and facilitate solutions for the remaining Burundian refugees who arrived in 1972 and their naturalization. The Office will also submit resettlement cases and support the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees in safety and dignity.
  • Providing essential preventive and curative health care services and maintaining and availing water systems at minimal level to refugees and asylum-seekers. Further, UNHCR puts emphasis on increasing the latrine coverage in the camps.
  • Moving gradually from emergency to transitional shelters, resistant of heavy rains and that will help to mitigate protection risks faced by women.
  • Providing formal education with particular attention to primary and secondary education. UNHCR will advocate for the inclusion of refugee children into the national education system.  However a shift from the country of origin to the country of residence curriculum will be  a pre-condition.
  • Supporting the empowerment of refugees through entrepreneurship skills and vocational trainings, as well as access to common markets and the identification of cash-based interventions opportunities.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

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

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors