Operation: Opération: Malawi



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of refugees had access to primary health care
100% of Mozambican asylum-seekers hosted in Luwani camp returned spontaneously with UNHCR’s assistance
100% of SGBV survivors received appropriate support
100% of population had optimal access to reproductive health and HIV services
100% of women were provided with sanitary supplies
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern have access to clean drinking water
60% of refugee and asylum-seeker children have access to primary education
50% of people of concern have access to birth registration and birth certificates
35% Rate of acute malnutrition decreased to 35%

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 37,244
2017 35,331
2016 30,415


[["Refugees",13782],["Asylum-seekers",23141],["Others of concern",321]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[4.41194171,6.24625509,14.05602103,18.11807959,17.50133613,15.39205459],"expenditure":[2.94750217,3.7456183,5.68901108,6.87898186,7.71311785,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[4.41194171,5.71283409,14.05602103,18.11807959,17.50133613,13.19696359],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,0.533421,null,null,null,2.195091]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[2.94750217,3.26069035,5.68901108,6.87898186,7.71311785,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,0.48492795,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

The political environment in Malawi remained stable throughout 2018. However, the restrictive domestic legal framework and the congestion of Dzaleka refugee camp have led to various protection risks. Discussions with the Government of Malawi on finding alternative sites for settlement remained ongoing at year-end.
The Government expressed interest in the CRRF several times during the year.   

Population trends

At the end of 2018, Malawi was hosting some 37,240 people of concern, including 13,780 refugees, 23,140 asylum-seekers and 320 other people of concern. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of concern in Malawi increased by 5% since the end of 2017.

Key achievements

  • The Government of Malawi’s roll out of CRRF is underway with the multi-year multi-partner protection solution strategy aligned for implementation;
  • Malawi had a 98% recognition rate for refugees;
  • The Malawi Growth Development Strategy III made a commitment to greater inclusion of refugees at the district level development planning;
  • DAFI, UNHCR’s higher education scholarship programme, was rolled out in Malawi, supporting the enrolment of six refugee students in Malawian universities.
  • UNHCR and the Government signed an MoU on data sharing, which granted the Government access to UNHCR’s ProGres registration system and biometric identity management system.
  • UNHCR constructed a 25 hectare solar powered irrigation scheme benefiting persons of concern and the host community.
  • All the Mozambican asylum-seekers hosted in Luwani camp returned with UNHCR’s assistance, and the camp facilities were handed over to the Government.

Unmet needs

The planned relocation of refugees and asylum-seekers from Dzaleka camp to a potential new site did not materialize in 2018. New asylum-seekers continued to arrive creating further congestion. Due to the congestion in Dzaleka camp, lack of learning spaces and classrooms is a major challenge. Over 60% of children did not have access to primary education. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to increase WASH facilities in the camp as 46 communal latrines caters for over 37,000 people, resulting in one latrine for 800 people. 

Working environment

Malawi has enjoyed a stable and democratic government since the end of the one party regime in 1993. The process leading to the elections in 2019 is expected to be peaceful. However, Malawi faces high living costs and breakdowns in the provision of essential social services. Malawi is also facing challenges due to floods and droughts impacting food security. The population of concern to UNHCR has increased from close to 17,000 in 2013 to over 31,000 in August 2017. The number of new asylum-seekers, particularly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is expected to increase during 2018.
The Government has supported with land and some personnel. The operation has developed a number of partnerships with private sector, civil society, national/international NGOs, local institutions and government bodies.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Ensuring people of concern are provided with international protection, have access to quality education and health services, receive adequate food, shelter, water and sanitation, and have opportunities to develop their livelihoods;
  • Facilitating the voluntary return of Mozambican asylum-seekers during 2018;
  • Decongestion of Dzaleka camp including phased relocation of people of concern to suitable settlement sites identified by the government. 
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