United Republic of Tanzania

Applying the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF)

Government pledges towards a more comprehensive response

At the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on 20 September 2016 in New York, Tanzania renewed its commitment to protect refugees and asylum-seekers. It specifically pledged to:

  1. Continue to receive people fleeing war, political instability and persecution;
  2. Review the 1998 Refugees Act and the 2003 National Refugee Policy to ensure refugee protection is in line with international law and current realities:
  3. Provide durable solutions to the remaining 1972 Burundian refugees who were  allowed to apply for Tanzanian citizenship but have not been naturalized;
  4. Strengthen refugee protection by enhancing their access to education and employment; and
  5. Support the global compact on refugees, once it is adopted.

Strategic roll-out of the CRRF

The objective of the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Tanzania is to support the Government in meeting its commitments towards refugees and deliver on its recent pledges for enhanced protection. The comprehensive response focuses on six thematic areas: reception and admission; emergency response; inclusion and self-reliance; local integration for new Tanzanians; third-country options through resettlement and solutions; and preconditions for voluntary repatriation into country of origin.

The application of the CRRF in Tanzania builds on existing mechanisms and initiatives. The 1998 Refugees Act and the 2003 National Refugee Policy that govern Tanzania’s refugee policy are under review, providing an opportunity to move towards a settlement approach and towards the inclusion of refugees into national systems of service delivery, such as education and health.

Government efforts on the local integration of new Tanzanians will feed into the CRRF, as will the United Nations Joint Programme (UNJP) for Kigoma Region in the Northwest, which fosters an inclusive approach in the support provided to host and refugee communities. For instance, the UNJP will establish community centres where youth from both the refugee camps and surrounding villages can access learning and skills development opportunities.

To support the roll-out of the CRRF, the World Bank and UNHCR will initiate a mapping of current humanitarian and development responses to identify gaps and inform priority areas for a comprehensive response as envisaged in the New York Declaration. Government leadership enables the Secretariat to address these gaps and develop an area-based approach for refugee-hosting districts in close collaboration with regional and district authorities.


In line with the whole-of-society approach outlined in the New York Declaration, the application of the CRRF is led by the Government and is guided by broad partnerships in-country. UNHCR and a wide range of humanitarian and development actors, including civil society, are actively participating in the process.

In addition, discussions between the Government and the World Bank will take place in June/July 2017 to explore financing under the Bank’s IDA-18 regional sub-window for refugees and host communities. 

Way forward

Preparations for the roll-out of the CRRF are underway, including the launch of the CRRF in Tanzania and holding the first meeting of the CRRF Secretariat in June 2017. The Secretariat will be co-chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), and will include the membership of Government line ministries, UNHCR, UN agencies, civil society, development actors, the World Bank, private sector, and academia.

The Secretariat will work closely with regional and district authorities to ensure effective coordination between national, regional and district levels. In addition, the outcomes of the Government’s review of the Refugee Policy and the Refugee Act will help support the continued implementation of a comprehensive response for refugees in Tanzania.

Key challenges

The roll-out of the CRRF is impacted by significant shortfalls in the funding of the Burundi emergency response.

Operational and funding needs to deliver on a comprehensive response

  1. The successful application of the CRRF in Tanzania is critical to supporting the review of Tanzania’s legal framework. To this end, the following support is needed:
  • Building capacity towards a “whole-of-government” approach and foster greater understanding for local government authorities to implement programmes for the benefit of refugees and host communities alike.
  • Making the case that establishing settlements rather than refugee camps, and including refugees in national systems, yield benefits for host communities and helps strengthen national development plans.
  1. Resettlement: The projected resettlement needs for 2017 for refugees in Tanzania are 36,000 persons. The resettlement needs for 2016 were 32,350, and a total of 8,873 refugees were resettled.
  2. Complementary pathways: UNHCR asks third-country governments – in cooperation and with the support of other stakeholders, such as the private sector, civil society and diaspora organizations - to establish and expand complementary pathways for refugees living in CRRF pilot countries. These pathways may include expanded family reunification and family-based mobility; labour mobility schemes; scholarships and education programmes; and regional mobility schemes. (Note: implementation of such pathways necessitates certain facilitative administrative measures, as well as protection safeguards. UNHCR may support States with technical advice in these areas). UNHCR can provide more information on the needs relating to complementary pathways.
  3. Additional resources for broad-based and sustainable partnerships for operational delivery, including activities in 2017 and planning for longer-term development initiatives for 2018 onwards. This includes greater support to line ministries, local authorities and host populations.
  • Support to operational responses to build refugee resilience, facilitate the inclusion of refugees in national service delivery, and ease the pressures on refugee-hosting regions and districts.
  • Resources for Government and partners to launch low-scale, soft pilots in key sectors to illustrate new approaches and the benefits of these, and for preparatory work to facilitate longer-term development programming.
  1. Donor support to area-based development programming and access to new sources of development financing for refugee-hosting regions. The main pillars of Tanzania’s current Five Year Development Plan (FYDP-II) are industrialization and human development. Area-based programming for refugee hosting regions will be fully aligned with national development plans.   


UNHCR overall financial requirements in 2017 for the Tanzania operation amount US$138.8 million. The operation is currently funded at 10 per cent. The 2017 financial requirements for the refugee response plan (RRP) in Tanzania amount US$217.2 million. The refugee response plan is currently funded at 6 per cent. NB: We will shortly provide more updated figures on joint UN Programmes. The overall budget for Year 1 of the UN Joint Programme for Kigoma is about 18 million, with close to 60 per cent already funded. 


[1] As at end 2015, source: World Bank

[2] Ibid.