By the end of 2019, Rwanda hosted almost 150,000 refugees, 75% of them being women and children. Most refugees are coming from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi.

In September 2019, an Emergency Transit Mechanism was established to move refugees in Libya, who are particularly at risk, to the safety of a transit centre in Gashora. Currently, the transit centre hosts 255 evacuees, while work on a long-term solution is in progress. Refugees in Rwanda are granted the right to work and the government has a policy of progressively integrating refugees into national systems.

In August 2020, UNHCR started facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees. By the end of the year, 8,000 refugees are likely to have returned home, with an additional 40,000 departures planned in 2021.

UNHCR’s work in Rwanda focuses on protection, emergency preparedness as well as meeting refugee’s basic needs such as access to clean water, shelter, infrastructure and health care services. Long-term projects include initiatives for economic inclusion and education programmes for refugees. 

(Updated October 2020) 

For information about our work in Rwanda:

  • Information for refugees and asylum-seekers in Rwanda – help.unhcr.org
  • Visit our country website - Rwanda (English)
  • For legislation, case law and UNHCR policy relating to claims for international protection, visit Refworld.
  • For up-to-date information about our programmes and operations in Rwanda, including funding level and donor contributions, visit Global Focus, UNHCR's reporting portal.

Contact Information

For information about our operation in Rwanda, please contact us through our Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.