DRC has been present in Tanzania since 2015, delivering integrated multi-sectoral assistance combining CCCM, livelihood programming, individual and community-based protection, general food distribution, as well as environmental preservation and regeneration. The country has provided asylum to refugees from neighbouring countries, such as Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), and has naturalized over 160,000 Burundians.
Tanzania has historically been welcoming towards refugees and asylum seekers. As of August 2022, a total of 207,435 refugees and asylum seekers from Burundi and the DR Congo live in Nduta and Nyarugusu camps, in North-western Tanzania. A small population of around 200 refugees live in urban areas, mainly Dar el Salaam.
A voluntary repatriation process for Burundian refugees and asylum seekers was initiated in September 2017, to which close to 5,000 people were registered in 2022.
Core sectors Tanzania
Source: | UNHCR
Why we are there
DRC established operations in Tanzania in October 2015 to provide emergency assistance to Burundian refugees who fled violence following the disputed presidential election in April 2015.
From the onset, the operations have been focused in Nduta and Mtendeli (closed since late 2021) refugee camps.
In January 2020, with funding from UNHCR, DRC expanded its refugee operations in Nyarugusu camp, which hosts both Congolese and Burundian refugees, complementing existing activities in the host communities in Kasulu District.
DRC is working in close coordination, consultation and communication with the Government of Tanzania, UNHCR and other partners.
As the appointed camp manager in the past years, DRC played a key role in humanitarian coordination.
The refugee population in the camps continues to rely heavily on the provision of aid because of a strict encampment policy with limited opportunities for self-reliance and livelihood support, which prohibits refugee movements, leaving them, and particularly women and girls, dependent on humanitarian assistance and vulnerable to a variety of protection risks.
A clampdown on markets/trading within the camps and businesses outside the camps has been coupled with overstretched humanitarian resources/capacities, in a context of scarcity of funds available for the whole response.
What we do
Protection and Peacebuilding
Our protection services include return/repatriation support and counselling on individual rights. We seek to prevent sexual and gender-based violence in all forms. We raise awareness about how to access rights. We also work closely with the community-based structures through capacity building on various protection issues affecting persons of concern at community level. Enhancing peaceful co-existence through dialogue remains a core activity to strengthen the relationship between refugees and the host communities. The community-based and governance structures allow DRC to have strong relations with all communities providing clear insight into their needs.
When people are displaced, they often lose both their existing assets and their ability to earn a living. In this context, both food production and an individual’s access to food may at risk. This is why DRC provides food assistance—to save lives, but also to re-establish local food and market systems. We develop livelihood initiatives designed to strengthen opportunities for self-reliance among refugees and internally displaced people. At the same time, we work to stimulate local agriculture through training and capacity-building programming for farmers, and by providing grants and the necessary tools and seeds. One critical example of this is the home gardens for refugees created at the household level.
DRC supports the host communities, as well as refugees, to enhance access to livelihoods through a variety of means, including business and entrepreneurship training, life-skills training, literacy and numeracy training, vocational skills training, savings groups, internships and group enterprise development. All of our initiatives are developed with a strong focus on resilience and sustainability.
Camp management and coordination
DRC provides comprehensive shelter and settlement solutions in both emergency situations and in contexts of protracted displacement. We engage in everything from the provision of temporary tents to rebuilding homes and repairing damaged dwellings. These initiatives enable vulnerable displaced populations to live in dignity and security. We also distribute non-food items, such as emergency bedding, kitchenware, clothes and other critical supplies.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
DRC provides access to sanitary facilities for refugees and the neighbouring hosting communities who would otherwise lack access to these critical resources. This may include the provision of emergency water supplies, sanitary latrines, hygiene items, water points, wells, and water storage and purification facilities. We conduct information campaigns promoting good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infections and diseases.
Energy and environment
DRC’s activities encompass sustainable alternative energy and cooking sources, forest protection and capacity building of target populations on environment and forest management in refugee camps and surrounding host communities in Kigoma region. One example of this is an ongoing intervention funded by the Danish government through which 16,000 households are supported to produce their own bio-mass carbonized briquettes for cooking.
Working in collaboration with
Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office
World Food Programme
Executive Director East Africa & Great Lakes