Press Release

Japan and UNHCR sign $360,000 agreement for emergency assistance for Congolese new arrivals in Tanzania

12 February 2024

Photo: © UNHCR Tanzania/Clemence Eliah

The Government of Japan and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, signed today a new partnership agreement for the continuous provision of safe shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and essential items for Congolese new arrivals in Kigoma region, Tanzania. The contribution of USD 360,000 from the Government and people of Japan will strengthen lifesaving emergency services for people fleeing violence from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“While Japan, together with UNHCR, will make efforts to support Tanzania, I sincerely hope that the government of Tanzania will also continue playing an important role to provide protection as well as the necessary care to refugees in accordance with international humanitarian laws. By working together, we can make a tangible impact on the lives of refugees, ensuring a brighter and more secure future,” said H.E Mr. Yasushi Misawa, Ambassador of Japan to Tanzania.

In 2023, UNHCR and its national and international partners supported the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to receive over 14,400 new arrivals in Kigoma region who were provided with a safe place to sleep, food, water, and other life-saving assistance. Often refugees and forcibly displaced people who flee arrive with little more than the clothes they are wearing and the few belongings they can carry in their arms. Access to shelter, water, sanitation facilities, and essential items for hygiene promotion becomes vital to reducing mortality and morbidity, and enhancing new arrivals’ protection, dignity, and quality of life.

“Last year, I was in Kigoma and in Nyarugusu refugee camp where I spoke to men, women, and children who fled from the DRC. They were people like you and me, desperate, crying for their dead and missing family, friends, and neighbours. The very timely contribution from Japan will allow us to help refugees live dignified lives in displacement,” said Ms. Mahoua Parums, UNHCR’s Representative in Tanzania.

UNHCR requires USD 8 million to respond to the DRC emergency in Tanzania and appeals for more humanitarian and international community support as needs persist. As of 31 December 2023, Tanzania hosts over 240,000 refugees, mainly from Burundi and the DRC. UNHCR remains deeply grateful for the people and Government of the United Republic of Tanzania who have set a global example in welcoming refugees. Continued solidarity with both the refugees and the host communities is vital.


Bahia Egeh

Bahia Egeh

External Relations Officer
Goodness Mrema

Goodness Mrema

Communications/Public Information Associate

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Other entities involved in this initiative

Embassy of Japan

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