2013 UNHCR country operations profile - United Republic of Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania) has been an asylum country for more than four decades, during which time it has hosted one of the largest refugee populations in Africa. But more recently, as overall stability has increased in the subregion, the number of refugees in the country has declined. In line with the decision of the Tripartite Commission comprising the Governments of Burundi, Tanzania and UNHCR, Mtabila camp will be closed by 31 December 2012.
The decision to close the camp follows a complex year-long interview and appeal process conducted by UNHCR and the Tanzanian Government, as a consequence of which approximately 37,500 Burundians were deemed not to require international protection any longer. Another 2,700 Burundians who still require international protection have been relocated to neighbouring Nyarugusu camp to await an alternative durable solution.
In August 2011 the Government suspended the local integration of some 162,000 Burundians, pending further internal consultations. A final directive on the issue from the Government is still awaited.
The situation is also complicated for approximately 63,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who are unlikely to return home in 2013, given the upsurge in conflict in their country over the past year, particularly in the North and South Kivus. The situation has the potential to generate significant new arrivals in Tanzania.
While the number of individuals arriving in mixed-migration flows has risen sharply, fewer of them than before are being given asylum, as the authorities are reluctant to process new asylum applications. Nonetheless, the Government has declared that it is committed to reviewing its refugee policy and related legislation, ratifying the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa and acceding to the international statelessness instruments. There has also been progress towards the adoption of a regional protection regime under the aegis of the East African Community.
Although the number of refugees in the country is going down, protection and assistance needs remain high. The vast majority of the 66,000 refugees (63,000 of them Congolese) in Nyarugusu, Tanzania's only remaining refugee camp, can neither work nor move outside the camp. This compels UNHCR to provide a full set of services to them.
At the same time, the lack of prospects for local integration and the deteriorating situation in the DRC point to the need to increase resettlement opportunities for Congolese refugees. A similar approach is required for the small number of Burundian refugees still residing in Nyarugusu, as the Government has clearly indicated that naturalization is not possible for Burundian refugees who arrived in the 1990s or later.
Once the Government issues a final directive on local integration, the newly naturalized Tanzanians will require UNHCR's support to complete the naturalization process and exercise their full rights as citizens, as well as to integrate locally in their current communities or elsewhere. There is also the need to look for a durable solution for some 6,000 Burundian refugees residing in the "Old Settlements" who have not been accepted for naturalization, as well as the estimated 22,000 Burundians of the "1972 group" living in villages in the Kigoma region.
UNHCR will also stand ready to assist the Government in a comprehensive review of relevant legislation, including the refugee, citizenship and immigration laws, as well as in ratifying statelessness and IDP instruments.
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for the United Republic of Tanzania|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|Others of concern||Tanzania||162,150||162,150||194,150||194,150|
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Favourable protection environment
Access to the territory is improved and the risk of refoulement is reduced.
All cases of threatened refoulement are resolved.
Basic needs and essential services
The population has optimal access to education.
All children of concern, including some 20,000 refugees aged 6-11, are enrolled in primary school.
Security from violence and exploitation
The risk of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is reduced and the quality of the response to it improved.
All known SGBV survivors receive support.
The potential for resettlement is realized.
Some 2,520 Burundian and Congolese refugees are resettled.
The potential for integration is realized.
Approximately 50 per cent of newly naturalized Tanzanians opting for local integration are able to do so.
Strategy and activities in 2013
UNHCR's strategy in Tanzania is aimed at three main areas in line with the agreed outcomes for the 2011-2015 United Nations Development Assistance Programme (UNDAP) for the country.
Local integration of newly naturalized Tanzanians Helping the Tanzanian Government to facilitate the integration of some 162,000 new citizens will be a priority for UNHCR in 2013.
UNHCR will continue to improve the delivery of basic services in refugee-affected areas, including in the "Old Settlements" and their neighbouring communities. Projects will include the construction of new schools, the refurbishing and equipping of health clinics and the rehabilitation of water systems.
Additional activities will be confirmed once the Government issues a final directive on local integration and indicates whether these new citizens will be relocated or allowed to remain in their current locations. UNHCR will play a catalytic role in mobilizing resources to support longer-term needs in the communities where refugees are being integrated by working closely with the Government, UN agencies and other development actors.
Protection and solutions for refugees in camps
UNHCR will pursue durable solutions, particularly voluntary repatriation when the situation in the eastern DRC permits, and resettlement for the approximately 66,000 refugees in Nyarugusu camp. A comprehensive verification exercise to obtain the information necessary for resettlement submissions will be conducted in early 2013.
Basic assistance and protection standards will be maintained in Nyarugusu, with particular attention directed at vulnerable refugees. By reducing support costs, particularly in the area of logistics and non-field staff, UNHCR will be able to direct resources at key areas, including SGBV prevention and response, the rehabilitation of dilapidated health and education infrastructure, and youth initiatives.
Strengthening of asylum
UNHCR will assist the Government to build a fair and efficient asylum system that is consistent with international standards and open to persons of concern in mixed-migratory movements who are at risk of refoulement. UNHCR will help the Government to review refugee, citizenship and immigration legislation, as well as ratify the statelessness instruments and the African Union IDP Convention. Moreover, UNHCR will build the capacity of border officials, conduct border monitoring and detention visits, and advocate for access to asylum procedures. It will also seek more flexibility on the issue of urban refugees.
Advocacy with the East African Community will aim to strengthen regional cooperation in the development of asylum and migration procedures that are in accordance with international law.
A major constraint for UNHCR is the growing tendency within Tanzania to promote a "refugee-free zone", with asylum-seekers increasingly viewed from a political and security perspective. This poses a hurdle for UNHCR as it strives to ensure that full access to protection and assistance is afforded both to refugees and to asylum-seekers. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the closure of Mtabila camp may facilitate a more flexible approach towards new asylum-seekers, as the Government insists it is committed to complying with its international protection obligations.
The deterioration of conditions in the DRC will restrict voluntary repatriation and hamper efforts to bring down the number of Congolese refugees in the country.
The suspension of local integration for the newly naturalized Tanzanians is generating anxiety among them and having a direct impact on their self-reliance and access to basic services.
Organization and implementation
UNHCR's main partner continues to be the Refugee Affairs and Immigration Department within the Ministry of Home Affairs. Once the Government issues its final directive on local integration, the primary counterpart is expected to be the Prime Minister's Office, specifically the Regional Administration and Local Government section. Authorities at the regional, district and village levels, as well as development actors (including NGOs and UN agencies) will also be engaged to assist the local integration of the new citizens.
As the lead agency of the Refugee Programme Working Group under the governance cluster of the UNDAP, UNHCR will provide strategic leadership and direction on international protection and assistance to refugees, local integration of the new citizens, and the establishment and strengthening of efficient and fair asylum and migration systems that comply with international norms.
UNHCR's financial requirements in Tanzania will amount to USD 39.6 million in 2013, a decrease by USD 40 million compared to 2012.
The budget for refugees in camps in the north-western region of Tanzania will be reduced by more than 33 per cent in 2013 because of the closure of Mtabila camp. The remaining budget focuses primarily on protection and assistance in Nyarugusu, as well as durable solutions. However, there has been an increase in the allocation for strengthening asylum systems and targeting urban refugees.
The local integration budget will also be reduced significantly, mainly due to the suspension of the plan to relocate the new citizens throughout the country.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update