Operation: Opération: Zambia



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
14,080 people of concern received shelter support
6,900 registered refugee children enrolled in primary education
2,130 people of concern received cash grants
170 people of concern had their cases submitted for resettlement
140 wells/boreholes rehabilitated
20.4 litres of water provided per person, per day
2019 planning figures
100% of asylum-seekers have access to refugee status determination procedures
100% known SGBV survivors receive appropriate assistance
80% people of concern in camps are assisted with documentation
15,000 people of concern in camps and 700 in urban setting are receiving cash or vouchers for food and other services
40% of people of concern aged 18-59 years have own business or are self-employed for more than 12 months

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 76,027
2017 68,340
2016 57,209


[["Refugees",49879],["Asylum-seekers",3306],["Others of concern",22842]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[13.77666413,19.5134076,17.61131682,13.60990976,32.279067154,22.0943104],"expenditure":[9.46195797,8.98553227,10.45134148,11.87396096,14.7293135,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[13.77666413,19.5134076,17.61131682,13.60990976,32.279067154,22.0943104],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[9.46195797,8.98553227,10.45134148,11.87396096,14.7293135,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

The political situation in Zambia remained stable, although with some challenges due to slow economic growth, rising fiscal deficit and an increase in foreign debts. UNHCR continued to work closely with key government line ministries, the UN Country Team, NGO partners and host communities. Zambia is currently the only Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) pilot country in southern Africa, and it has maintained its borders open to provide access mainly to those fleeing from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Within a local integration programme, some 1,500 former Angolan refugees have obtained permanent residence permits and another 1,500 former Rwandan former refugees have received temporary permanent residence permits.  

Population trends

At the end of 2018, Zambia was hosting 76,030 people of concern including 49,880 refugees, 3,310 asylum-seekers and 22,840 other people of concern comprising of the 17,870 Angolan and 4,980 Rwandan former refugees. This represented an 11% increase in people of concern in Zambia in 2018.Besides the refugees hosted in Mantapala, Mayukwayukwa and Meheba settlements, there were over 12,000 self-settled refugees across the country. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers in Zambia are from the DRC. The relatively low number of asylum-seekers is due to the prima facie determination of new Congolese arrivals in Luapula Province. 

Key achievements
  • Cash-based interventions were strengthened through a shift to the provision of digital cash through a financial service provider;
  • More than 4,940 people of concern and members of host community in Mantapala settlement underwent voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counselling;
  • A shift from semi-temporary latrines to permanent latrines was initiated in Mantapala settlement through the construction of prototype, in line with UNHCR’s WASH strategy;
  • The number of women participating in leadership positions in Meheba settlement increased;
  • Improvement in community awareness on the various forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and timely reporting of SGBV cases in Mayukwayukwa settlement.

Unmet needs

Due to funding constraints, the following needs remained unmet:
  • Lack of sufficient medical staff and medicines in all three settlements;
  • In Mantapala settlement, there is an urgent need for over 2,000 latrines and bath shelters for households and schools.
  • The Mantapala settlement is lacking a functioning solid waste management system. 

Working environment

Due to continued volatility in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the number of new arrivals in Zambia is expected to steadily increase, requiring increased preparedness and response capacity.  The estimated number of people of concern in 2018 is 37,300, including new arrivals and newly recognized refugees, but excluding former refugees or new permanent residents. Some 6,200 new asylum applications, mainly from Burundi, the DRC and Somalia, are anticipated in 2018.
Due to new arrivals, UNHCR will increase the number of beneficiaries receiving cash-based assistance which currently stands at 4,065. Despite the phasing out process, a residual number of Angolans and Rwandans are expected to still need UNHCR’s assistance to acquire residence, or other immigration permits, in order to integrate in Zambia. Third country resettlement will only be available for a maximum of 500 refugees.
Following Zambia’s commitment at the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the Government has rolled out CRRF and is expected to develop a refugee policy and regulations that may introduce flexibility in the implementation of the encampment policy and provide better access to livelihood opportunities for refugees.
Thanks to the support of UNDP, by end 2017, former refugees and refugees with resident permits are expected to be included in development plans and social programmes of the Government.
The Government, UNHCR and partners will continue to work in refugee settlements and urban areas to ensure protection and delivery of assistance.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Providing protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Zambia in close coordination with the government and partners;
  • Enabling livelihood opportunities for refugees while finding durable solutions;
  • Engaging with the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees to implement new refugee policy and regulations;
  • Promoting the ‘Graduation model’ in settlements and urban areas;
  • Scaling up cash-based interventions (CBI).
In view of funding constraints in 2018, the operation will not be able to implement a number of activities that have direct impact on the well-being of refugees, such as support to former refugees and long staying refugees from the DRC to access residence permits. Education and health infrastructure in both settlements are in deplorable condition. Neither Government nor UNHCR will be able to provide any maintenance or improvements. 
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

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  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors