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UNHCR’s South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO) serves nine countries: Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, and South Africa. Together they host approximately 260,521 people of concern to UNHCR, 250,250 of whom are hosted in South Africa. Countries of origin of refugees and asylum-seekers include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia, and Zimbabwe.

Namibia currently hosts 6,327 refugees and asylum-seekers, most of whom reside in the Osire Refugee settlement located 225 km from the capital Windhoek. Although Namibia’s encampment policy requires refugees and asylum-seekers to be accommodated at Osire Refugee Settlement, a small number of the caseload also resides in Windhoek and other urban areas. Refugees are largely integrated into the national systems with access to education, health, and job markets.

In Namibia and Botswana, UNHCR worked with government counterparts on verification exercises for the 5,669 and 1,055 refugees and asylum-seekers in the respective countries to streamline population figures and ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers are correctly documented.

UNHCR and the government co-operate to provide protection assistance to the population of concern, as well as food, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, and livelihoods activities. UNHCR supports the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security in providing protection and basic and essential services to refugees and asylum seekers in partnership with two non-governmental organisations: Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) and the Society for Family Health (SFH).

Over 5,000 citizenship certificates have been issued to individuals at risk of statelessness in an ongoing government program for undocumented Namibians.

Additional information

For information about our work in Namibia:

Legislation and guidance

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

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Office contact details

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