2014 UNHCR country operations profile - United Republic of Tanzania
| Overview |
The United Republic of Tanzania (Tanzania) has a decades-long history as a generous country of asylum. The country is a strong partner of UNHCR in joint efforts to find durable solutions to the situation of refugees who have successively found asylum within its territory. In addition to providing a hospitable environment over the years for many refugees, the Government took an unprecedented decision in 2010 to naturalize more than 162,000 Burundian refugees who had lived in three settlements in the west of the country for more than 40 years.
The institution of asylum in Tanzania has been a heavy burden on government resources, particularly in relation to political instability in the Great Lakes Region. In recent years for instance, access to fair and efficient asylum procedures has been a challenge for asylum-seekers. The National Eligibility Committee (NEC) had not convened for four years until March 2013, when sessions were finally resumed. Such challenges continue to be addressed by the Government, with the support of UNHCR.
The 162,000 Burundians who went through the naturalization process in 2010, also referred to as newly naturalized Tanzanians (NNTs), were due to be relocated to other regions of the country prior to receiving citizenship documentation. However, in August 2011 their relocation was suspended pending further consultations within the Government on the formalization of their status. The future of the NNTs remains linked to the finalization of this consultative process.
In late 2012, almost 35,000 Burundian former refugees were assisted to return home from Mtabila camp in a dignified and safe manner. Since then, the Tanzanian Government has demonstrated flexibility in agreeing to accommodate new arrivals in the country, particularly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and to reassume its eligibility assessment responsibilities.
The situation in Nyarugusu camp, where over 68,000 refugees reside, continues to deteriorate as a result of limited funding. Refugee movements are restricted by the encampment policy in Tanzania, thus limiting self-reliance options and increasing dependence on humanitarian assistance.
In 2014, the Government of Tanzania will continue to provide land for over 105,000 refugees in Nyarugusu camp and the "Old Settlements" of Mishamo, Katumba and Ulyankulu, where the NNTs reside.
People of concern
The main groups of people of concern planned for in 2014 under the Tanzania operation are: Congolese refugees, the majority of whom fled the conflict in eastern DRC in 1996; Burundian refugees who fled in the 1990s and were found to be in continued need of international protection following the Mtabila camp closure exercise; Burundians who arrived in 1972 and went through the naturalization process in 2010, now awaiting a final decision from the Government of Tanzania regarding their local integration; 1972 Burundian refugees who were not part of the naturalization process; and Burundians settled in villages in the Kigoma area for whom durable solutions have yet to be identified.
|UNHCR 2014 planning figures for United Republic of Tanzania|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||Dec 2013||Dec 2014||Dec 2015|
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Total in country||of whom assisted
|Dem. Rep. of the Congo||66,060||66,060||71,260||71,260||69,410||69,410|
|Dem. Rep. of the Congo||190||190||200||200||200||200|
|Others of concern||Burundi||194,150||194,150||201,920||201,920||-||-|
| Response |
Needs and strategies
Owing to limited funding in recent years, the education and health infrastructure in Nyarugusu camp is in poor condition and in need of renewal. Only 70 per cent of refugees in the camp have adequate shelter and family latrines. There is also a need for the renewal of non-food items (NFI), with the last distribution having taken place in 2007.
The use of firewood is unsustainable given the depletion of wood stocks and refugees having to travel increasingly long distances to cater for their energy needs. The levels of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) have remained consistently high over the past two years.
The delay in providing a decision on the future of the NNTs has had far-reaching consequences for them, including on their social and economic welfare, and limited access to basic services. UNHCR will therefore continue to work with the Government and host communities on projects that enhance their access to basic services such as health, education, sanitation, as well as livelihood activities.
At the ministerial-level intergovernmental event marking the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Statelessness Convention organized by UNHCR in Geneva in December 2011, the Government of Tanzania pledged to review the 1998 National Refugees Policy; to revise or repeal and replace the 2003 Refugee Act; to ratify the 2009 Kampala Convention; and to continue to register and provide documentation for refugees and asylum-seekers. UNHCR will follow up on, and support the implementation of these pledges.
| Implementation |
In Tanzania, efforts to achieve UNHCR's principal objectives of providing international protection and assistance, while pursuing durable solutions for all people of concern, including the strengthening of asylum and migration systems, have been supported through the Delivering as One initiative and through UNHCR's participation in the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP) 2011-2015. Within the UNDAP, UNHCR Tanzania leads the Refugee Programme Working Group, which includes FAO, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP.
UNHCR also works closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs through its Refugee Services Department, the Prisons Services Department, the Immigration Department, the Border Management and Control Department and the Citizenship Department, as well as with the Zanzibar authorities in charge of illegal migratory flows management, repatriation, law renewal and capacity building.
|2014 UNHCR partners in United Republic of Tanzania|
|Government agencies: Ministry of Home Affairs, Zanzibar's Legal and Human Rights Centre|
|NGOs: African Initiatives for Relief and Development, Community Environmental Management and Development Organization, Centre for Studies of Forced Migration, International Rescue Committee, Jesuit Refugee Service, National Organization for Legal Assistance, Relief to Development Society, Tanzania Red Cross, Tanzania Water and Environmental Sanitation Agency|
|Others: Law College, University of Dar es Salaam|
|Government agencies: The Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation|
|NGOs: Asylum Access, Refugee Point, Spanish Red Cross, Tanganyika Christian Refugee Services|
|Others: FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFP, UNICEF, WFP|
| Financial information |
In recent years, the financial requirements for UNHCR's operation in Tanzania have reflected developments in the region with provisions made for a possible influx of refugees from the DRC and progress anticipated with the local integration of Burundian refugees. The budget peaked in 2011 at USD 91.6 million when UNHCR was ready to fully support the relocation of the newly naturalized Burundian refugees, a project that has not yet been realized. The 2014 financial requirements for the Tanzania operation are set at USD 38.8 million.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105