Rwanda + 2 more

UNICEF Rwanda Humanitarian Situation Report End-Year 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



  • In 2020, UNICEF mobilized US$ 1,9 million (28 per cent).

  • With the support of the Government of Japan, DFID and UNICEF National Committees, UNICEF was able to respond to the most essential needs of refugee children, including for Education, Child Protection and support the national EVD preparedness efforts.

  • 6 million people were reached with messaging on EVD and COVID-19 prevention and access to services.

  • UNICEF provided IPC supplies to 22 hospitals, including 3 tons of chlorine powder for disinfection and 1,500 litres of hand sanitizer.

  • 29,848 refugee children were reached with quality inclusive education • 12,347 refugee children were vaccinated against measles.

  • 8,500 Burundian refugee children received child protection services in Mahama Camp and in host communities.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

In 2020, UNICEF Rwanda appealed for US$ 8 million to support the Refugee Response and the Government of Rwanda’s National Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Response Plan.
As of 31 December 2020, UNICEF raised US$ 1,9 million and addressed the most essential needs of refugee children, including for Education, Child Protection and Health.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Rwanda’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on 14 March 2020. As of 31 December, there were 8250 confirmed cases of whom 6,369 have recovered, with 86 deaths reported. All confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being monitored and contacts have been traced.

Since the last Cabinet meeting on 27 November 2020, movements are still prohibited between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. Fitness facilities, swimming pools, live performances and cultural shows may now operate in compliance with COVID-19 prevention measures. Most offices are open at 50 per cent capacity, and funerals and weddings cannot exceed 75 people.

The Government of Rwanda has reopened most schools. As of December 2020, primary grades 5 and 6, as well secondary levels 3, 5 and 6 have resumed in-person classes. Private schools have resumed in-person learning for all grades. Universities, technical and vocational schools have also resumed in-person learning. When the new school year begins in January 2020, it is expected that all schools will be open for in-person learning.

In 2020, UNICEF supported the Government of Rwanda to mitigate the secondary effects of COVID-19 on children and families, including by supporting remote learning when schools closed, providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for community health workers and child protection volunteers, and by constructing handwashing facilities in schools.

There are currently 146,831 refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda1 . Of these, 69,666 are Burundian refugees, 76,845 are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 320 are refugees from other countries. Refugee children under the age of 18 make up over 50 per cent of the total refugee and asylum-seeker population.

Five refugee camps for Congolese refugees were established in 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012 and 2014. In 2012, UNHCR took full responsibility for the Congolese refugee response.

Most Burundian refugees reside in Mahama Camp, which currently hosts 59,538 people. In addition, there are more than 11,400 Burundian refugees in the urban areas of Kigali and around 880 in Huye.

Finally, on 18 November 2020, the Minister of Health of the DRC H.E. Dr Eteni Longondo, declared an end to the 11th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the North-Western Province (Equateur) of the country, five months after the outbreak began. Throughout the outbreaks in DRC, Rwanda had remained free of Ebola.