A. Rwanda hosted a total of 137,975 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of February 2021. The population of concern included mainly persons from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (56.3%) and Burundi (43.5%).
B. 17,644 Burundian refugees in Rwanda voluntarily repatriated to Burundi since August 2020. Most of the returnees are from Mahama camp (17,256) compared to a small number of urban refugees (388).
C. Rwanda has included refugees in the national COVID-19 vaccination program. A total of 416 refugees have been vaccinated so far. As of 14 March, 452 COVID-19 cases had been identified among refugees, 433 had recovered, 15 were still active and 4 deaths had been recorded.
Working with Partners
■ The Government of Rwanda (GoR), through MINEMA, leads the refugee response in the country with UNHCR and partners providing direct operational support, capacity development, and technical advice to the local authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MINAFFET), Directorate of Immigration/Emigration (DGIE), the National Identification Agency (NIDA), and the National Refugee Committee are also involved in the refugee response.
■ Rwanda is among eight countries that have piloted the UN Delivering as One approach, in which UN system agencies work to capitalize on the strengths and comparative advantages of the different members of the UN family. UNHCR coordinates the refugee response, ensuring overall protection and multi-sectoral assistance for all refugees, and leads the One UN programme for return and reintegration of Rwandan returnees.
■ The Government of Rwanda officially accepted the application of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in February 2018 and contributes to the progressive implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees. Rwanda made 9 pledges at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in December 2019, which focuses on education, livelihoods, protection, environment, energy, and health. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Rwanda was the first country to develop thematic action plans per pledge. All operational responses are in line with this inclusive protection and solutions approach.