The world is currently facing the highest levels of displacement ever in history, with an unprecedented 65.3 million people forced from their homes by war, internal conflicts, drought or poor economies. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts more than 26 per cent of the world’s refugee population. The Central African neighbouring countries of Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congon DRC all shelter large numbers of refugees from each other as a result of more than two decades of conflicts.
Tanzania is currently hosting a total of 359,494 people of concern, and faces a protracted humanitarian crisis. Nyarugusu camp opened over 20 years ago now accommodates nearly 150,000 DRC and Burundi refugees. Nduta camp re-opened in October 2015 now has 122, 276 asylum-seekers and refugees from Burundi.
Uganda, as of January 2018, is receiving up to 500 refugees from South Sudan a day and now provides sanctuary to around 1.4 million refugees. UN Refugees Chief Filippo Grandi has praised Uganda’s “open border” policy calling it the most progressive approach in Africa and a model for the rest of the world.
An estimated 1.5 million people are internally displaced in Somalia, nearly 900,000 are refugees in the near region, including some 308,700 in Kenya, due to a 2 decade conflict. The on-going process of political and security stabilization in Somalia presents a critical moment to renew finding durable solutions efforts.
Africa’s refugees not only face extreme poverty but challenging environmental conditions and extraordinary political situations as well. Children, who make up more than half of the refugee population, are bearing the brunt with challenges in education, lack of food, school materials and too few teachers, their salaries too low to offer incentive. Adequate shelter is a basic human right and basic necessity but providing this for each refugee family is more than a big challenge. Hundreds of thousands of refugees in Africa are suffering, there just isn’t the funding.