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As of December 2021, Malawi hosts 52,678 persons of concern (PoCs) to UNHCR. The majority live in the Dzaleka refugee camp located in the Dowa district, some 41 kilometres away from the capital Lilongwe.  

Dzaleka is a protracted camp with a monthly average of 300 new arrivals (62% are from the DRC, 19% Burundi and 7% Rwanda and 2% other nationalities). 45% of the PoCs are women, and 48% are children. The camp was initially established to host between 10,000 to 12,000 PoCs but now hosts over 52,000 individuals.

Of the total PoC population, 21,530 have refugee status, 30,910 are asylum seekers, with 238 others of concern, making the refugee situation protracted. The protracted nature of the camp settlement and encampment policy increases the risks of its inhabitants to infectious diseases, protection, and self-sufficiency.

Additional information

For information about our work in Malawi:

Legislation and guidance

For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.

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