Where We Work

Kigali Province

KIGALI (Kigali City): UNHCR Rwanda’s Office in Kigali coordinates all operations for nearly 135,000 refugees, asylum seekers and people of concern across the country. In addition to camp-based refugees, UNHCR’s Kigali Office also assists almost 10,000 urban refugees from various nationalities.

The Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM), Gashora: The ETM was established in September 2019, by UNHCR, in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda (GOR), and the African Union (AU). Its aim is to host vulnerable persons of concern from Libya who have undertaken voluntary evacuation from Libya while they await onward resettlement to a third country. While at the ETM, their basic needs like food, shelter and health care are provided, as well as useful trainings to support them restart their lives once they reach safety.

Eastern Province

NYABIHEKE Camp (Gatsibo District): Established in 2005, Nyabiheke camp, located in Gatsibo District in Eastern Province, is home to around 13,500 refugees who are primarily from the North Kivu and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originally hosting Congolese refugees who fled to Rwanda in the early 2000s, Nyabiheke was expanded in 2013 in order to accommodate several thousand additional Congolese refugees, who arrived in 2012-2013 during renewed fighting in eastern DRC.

Southern Province

KIGEME Camp (Nyamagabe District): In 2012-2013, Rwanda received a sudden influx of over 35,000 refugees from the eastern DRC. As a result, UNHCR and the Rwandan Government opened Kigeme camp in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province, in mid-2012. Today, Kigeme is home to over 14,000 Congolese refugees.

MUGOMBWA Camp (Gisagara District:) In response to the influx of Congolese in 2012-2013 emergency, Mugombwa camp was established in early 2014. UNHCR began relocating refugees in mid-February 2014 from crowded transit centres to Mugombwa camp. Today, the camp is home to over 11,000 refugees.

Western Province

KIZIBA Camp (Karongi District): Kiziba Camp was opened in December 1996, after the start of civil war in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The camp was established to help cope with the influx of tens of thousands of refugees. Some of the refugees have since returned to their homes in eastern DRC, but about 16,000 remain. Kiziba is Rwanda’s oldest refugee camp.

Eastern Province

MAHAMA Camp (Kirehe District): Mahama camp is UNHCR’s newest camp in Rwanda and was opened in 2015. Initially the camp hosted Burundi refugees but in 2021 after the closure of Gihembe camp, Congolese refugees were also relocated to Mahama. As a result, Mahama is the largest refugee camp in Rwanda hosting almost 60,000 refugees.