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 application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Tanzania was officially launched on 2 June 2017 in Dar es Salaam. It seeks to support the Government in implementing global commitments for enhanced protection and the specific objectives of the CRRF, as well as delivering on the pledges made by the Government at the Leaders' Summit.

The comprehensive refugee 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. To this end, the CRRF 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 the inclusion of refugees in 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.

The newly-established National Steering Committee (NSC) provides strategic and policy guidance on the roll-out of the CRRF in Tanzania.  It is co-chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), and includes the membership of Government line ministries, UNHCR and other UN agencies, civil society, development actors, the World Bank, the private sector, and academia.

The NSC is supported by a Secretariat (MHA, PO-RALG, and UNHCR), which will work closely with regional and district authorities to ensure effective coordination across national, regional and district levels. The first meeting of the NSC took place on 7 September 2017 in Dodoma, signalling an important step in the roll-out of the CRRF.

The meeting provided an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss and agree on the way forward in the practical implementation of the CRRF in Tanzania. Participants endorsed the CRRF roadmap and the terms of reference of both the NSC and the Secretariat. High level government input and participation at the meeting demonstrated strong ownership and engagement by the Government.

As next steps, the Secretariat will work on populating the CRRF work plan, in close consultation with partners. The next NSC meeting will focus on implementation modalities – including funding and delivery mechanisms – and on the review of the CRRF Communications and Engagement Strategy. 

Key partnerships

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

A prime example of the financial engagement and expertise of new actors in refugee situations is the World Bank’s creation of a US$ 2 billion refugee and host community sub-window, IDA18. A joint World Bank-UNHCR mission to Tanzania took place at the end of June 2017 to pursue the dialogue with the Government on possible access to concessional financing through this new financial facility.

The World Bank’s new engagement extends to collaboration on analytical work. Furthermore, two joint World Bank-UNHCR analytical pieces have currently been developed for Tanzania:

  • A mapping of humanitarian and development responses in refugee hosting regions, including an initial identification of gaps in support for refugee and host communities against national, regional and district priorities.
  • A literature review of the impact of refugees on host populations, to gather lessons-learned from the country’s long history of welcoming and hosting refugees.

Operational and funding needs to deliver on a comprehensive refugee 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.
  • Support the Government to establish settlements rather than refugee camps, and including refugees in national systems, yielding benefits for host communities and helping strengthen national development plans.

2. 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.

3. Complementary pathways

Third-country governments – in cooperation and with the support of other stakeholders, such as the private sector, civil society and diaspora organizations are encouraged to establish and expand complementary pathways for refugees living in CRRF roll-out countries.

These pathways may include expanded family reunification and family-based mobility; labour mobility schemes, including in the region; and scholarships and education programmes. (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.

4. Additional resources for broad-based and sustainable partnerships for operational delivery

This includes 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, to facilitate the inclusion of refugees in national service delivery, as a way to 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.

​5. 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.   

6. Funding

The roll-out of the CRRF is impacted by significant shortfalls in funding. UNHCR Tanzania’s overall financial requirements in 2017 amount to $138.9 million, with 21 percent funded. The 2017 inter-agency financial requirements for the Burundi Refugee Response Plan in Tanzania amount to US$ 232.8 million, with 20 percent funded. The overall budget for Year 1 of the UN for Kigoma is about 18 million, with close to 60 percent already funded.