More than 7800 refugees relocated from Rwanda to other countries in 2023

By Esther Muhozi
On 7 March 2024 at 10:32

The report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda highlights the United States, Canada, Norway, and France as the leading countries in resettling refugees from Rwanda over the past 13 months.

According to the report, 7,826 refugees hosted by Rwanda found resettlement in other countries in 2023, with an additional 637 resettled in January, totaling 8,463 refugees resettled over the 13 months.

The United States leads in receiving the highest number of refugees from Rwanda in this period, accepting 5,668 individuals. Canada follows with 1,252 refugees resettled, Norway with 627, France with 286, and Belgium with 164.

Other countries that have received refugees from Rwanda include Denmark and Australia (152 each), New Zealand (80), Finland (77), and the Netherlands (5), with the Netherlands ranking tenth.

Most of the refugees resettled from Rwanda are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Resettlement to a third country serves as a durable solution for refugees who cannot return to their home country or integrate fully into the first country of asylum. It provides refugees with the opportunity to live permanently in a third country.

The UNHCR in Rwanda processed applications for 6,388 refugees for resettlement in 2023, of which 5,758 were accepted by various countries, in addition to some cases from previous years, making a total of 8,463. Resettlement considers the specific needs of refugees, and recipient countries assess these needs against their own criteria and capacities.

The selection for resettlement is based on information provided during registration and assessment processes, considering the vulnerabilities and needs of the refugees and their families. While family members are identified in the resettlement process, there is no guarantee that they can all be resettled together, as this depends on the laws and policies of the resettlement country.

As of January 2024, Rwanda hosts 135,343 refugees, with 83,946 (62%) from the DRC and 50,561 (37%) from Burundi.

Rwanda received 763 Congolese refugees in December 2023 and January 2024, totaling 14,204 arrivals from the DRC since 2022.

Since 2020, 30,877 Burundian refugees have voluntarily repatriated, including 325 in 2023 and another 95 in February 2024.