About Us

UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (or the UN Refugee Agency), is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.

In Rwanda, UNHCR co-leads the response for refugees with the Government of Rwanda’s Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA).  We also work closely with numerous national and international partners to provide protection and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, as well as Rwandan host communities living nearby the camps.

Rwanda is currently host to 127,000 refugees and asylum seekers, 90 percent of whom live across five refugee camps: Kiziba, Nyabiheke, Kigeme, Mugombwa and Mahama. In addition, UNHCR supports the evacuation of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers from Libya through the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) which is located in Gashora.

These activities are managed through the presence of five Field Offices in Karongi, Kabarore, Huye, Kirehe and Nyamata as well as the Branch Office in the capital, Kigali.

UNHCR’s work in Rwanda focuses on four main pillars:

  • Ensuring access of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless populations in Rwanda to a favorable protection environment. Including providing services and support such as registration, documentation, prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and child protection.
  • Helping refugees, asylum seekers and stateless populations in Rwanda enjoy a better living condition. Including providing healthcare, access to water, sanitation, shelter and energy.
  • Supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda to access for livelihoods and economic opportunities. Involving increasing refugee self-reliance and supporting their inclusion within the national education system as well as technical and vocational training
  • Finding durable solutions for refugee populations. Involving voluntary repatriation, resettlement and complementary pathways and local integration. UNHCR also supports the return of Rwandan returnees.

Even though, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa and the continent’s most densely populated country, over the last few decades it has achieved significant growth and development. UNHCR’s work in Rwanda consequently aligns to its ‘Vision 2050’, national transformation strategies and sustainable development goals.