Global Plan 2006: Humanitarian aid for refugees in the United Republic of Tanzania

Situation Report
Originally published



Tanzania has hosted refugees from the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa (GLR) and further afield for over 30 years. As a stable nation in the midst of a region often affected by conflict, it has provided a "haven of peace", in keeping with the name of its key city, Dar es Salaam.(1) As of 1/10/05, the registered refugee population in Tanzania was almost 368,000. This includes nearly 3,000 Somalis, who are being integrated into the NE Tanga region. This Global Plan concerns the 365,000 refugees who are living in 12 camps in the NW regions of Kigoma and Kagera. These camps are managed by UNHCR under the authority of Tanzania's Ministry of Home Affairs. Of these 365,000 refugees, 57% are Burundian, 42% Congolese and 1% Rwandese plus mixed origin. These refugees are almost entirely dependent on humanitarian aid for survival, as refugee self-sufficiency is not permitted by Tanzania's Refugees Act 1998. In addition to the registered refugees, the government estimates that there are half a million living outside the camps, including 170,000 Burundians settled officially in Rukwa region in 1972 and 300,000 settled illegally in Tanzanian border villages.

The GLR has witnessed lengthy peace talks under the Lusaka accord of July 1999 for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Arusha accord of August 2000 for Burundi. In 2005 Burundi ended its transition phase, with the democratic election of a president in August, and DRC is preparing to hold democratic elections in 2006. Since 2002 UNHCR has facilitated some Burundian repatriation from Tanzania, and a Tripartite meeting on 9/09/05 aimed to initiate facilitated repatriation for Congolese refugees from mid-October 2005. In the last few years, the Government of Tanzania changed from tolerating local integration towards promoting repatriation. So this is the main solution for refugees in Tanzania, and the process of Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) is scarcely relevant to this programme, except for strengthening the refugees' countries of origin, to facilitate their return. Whilst it is likely that repatriation will increase during 2006, it is probable that there will be at least 335,000 registered refugees living in camps in Tanzania at the start of the year.

The European Commission, through its Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO), aims to continue providing humanitarian aid to approximately 335,000 refugees in NW Tanzania in 2006. The expected results are that their essential needs will be met and repatriation will be supported, via the following Specific Objectives:

- Protection, care and maintenance: to provide integrated assistance to refugees, including water, sanitation, health, nutrition, shelter, protection and transport

- Repatriation: to support facilitated repatriation of refugees to the first transit centre in their country of origin

- Technical assistance: to maintain a technical assistance capacity in the field, to assess needs, appraise project proposals, and to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of operations

This Global Plan proposes an amount of EUR 11,500,000 for 2006, with a decision duration of 16 months. Potential partners are UNHCR, UNICEF, IFRC and Spanish Red Cross (SRC).


(1) The capital of Tanzania is Dodoma.