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Southern Africa – Regional Fact Sheet, August 2022

8.1million people of concern to UNHCR are hosted in16 Southern African countries, including 1.1million refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.

UNHCR contributes to protection and solutions for 7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs)in the region due to both conflict and natural disasters –5.6 million in DRC, 1 million in Mozambique, 304,000 in Republic of the Congo (ROC) and 42,000in Zimbabwe.

By the end of August, 11,954 refugees and asylum-seekers voluntarily repatriated to their countries of origin from asylum countries in Southern Africa. UNHCR has also assisted 1,336people to depart on resettlement since the beginning of the year.

Regional Overview Context:

Southern Africa is home to 8.1 million people of concern to UNHCR as of August 2022. Complex crises cause millions to flee their homes and prevent their safe return. The region comprises the largest IDP situation in sub-Saharan Africa, while refugee camps and settlements, along with some urban areas, host long-term refugee populations–some displaced for many decades. The situation is complicated by the growing impact of climate change and natural disasters.

Emergency Situations: About two-thirds of forcibly displaced people in the region have fled conflict in the DRC, mainly in the east of the country, where violence, compounded by natural disasters, have internally displaced 5.6 million people and caused about 1 million to seek asylum. In northern Mozambique, more than1 million people are internally displaced, including 200,000, among them IDPs and refugees, affected by tropical storms and cyclones.

Solutions: Local integration and voluntary repatriation are the focus for solutions in the region, as opportunities for resettlement remain limited to a small percentage of the overall population. Options to expand complementary pathways are also being explored. Steps towards ending statelessness in the region include reforming nationality law, policy and procedure, and supporting access to documentation.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees