At the end of 2021, Rwanda hosted slightly over 127,000 refugees, mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Of these, 76% are women and children. At least 12,700 refugees reside in urban areas. Refugees have the right to work and are progressively integrated into national systems by the Government of Rwanda.

In 2019, the Government established the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) Centre that hosted 824 refugees evacuated from Libya. Currently, the transit centre hosts 371 evacuees while working on long-term solutions continues. By the end of 2021, 462 refugees had resettled to third countries so far.

In August 2020, UNHCR began facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees, and by December 2021, nearly 30,000 refugees had returned to Burundi.

UNHCR’s work focuses on protection, emergency preparedness and delivering services, including clean water, shelter, and health. Long-term projects include initiatives for economic inclusion and refugee education. 

For information about our work in Rwanda:

  • Information for refugees and asylum-seekers in Rwanda –
  • 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.