Joint Press Statement - National Refugee Policy - Zambia


Joint Press Statement - National Refugee Policy - Zambia

UNHCR - GRZ, 23 Jan 2024

Friday 19 January 2024
For immediate release

Zambia launches landmark National Refugee Policy

Lusaka – Zambia: The Government of the Republic of Zambia has launched today the National Refugee Policy. The Policy outlines a progressive approach to asylum and refugee management that reflects and articulates the central ambition of the UNHCR Global Compact on Refugees to include refugees in national systems and plans and provide greater support to the communities and countries hosting them.
The National Refugee Policy was formally launched this morning at a ceremony in Lusaka, the country’s capital, officiated by the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (MHAIS), Honourable Jack J. Mwiimbu. The ceremony was also attended by the UNHCR Representative, Ms Preeta Law, and a wide range of stakeholders, including United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, diplomatic missions and the private sector.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomed the formal launch of the Policy and its implementation plan as signifying the Government’s intention to implement a landmark program that will enhance the protection and rights of forcibly displaced communities, enable them to be self-reliant and find sustainable long-term solutions for them while also focusing on improving socio-economic conditions for the Zambian communities that host them.
The policy paves the way for harmonization in the regulatory framework aimed at improving refugee rights and finding local solutions for forcibly displaced persons in Zambia. The Policy and its implementation plan are expected to lead to sectoral policy reforms that are needed to create an enabling legal and protection environment for refugees to achieve self-reliance. It will allow refugees to safely participate in and contribute to the social and economic life of the local communities who are hosting them within the safety of Zambia’s borders.
Before the promulgation of the National Refugee Policy, the government established an Inter-ministerial Steering Committee chaired by the Director at the Department of Resettlement in the Office of the Vice President. The Steering Committee is tasked with taking forward a coordinated and whole-of-government approach to deliver the revised Modernisation of Refugee Host Communities and Settlement Approach (MORHCSA) and elements of the program within the Implementation Plan for the National Refugee Policy.
Zambia currently hosts 95,518 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons (72,414 refugees; 5,554 asylum-seekers and 17,550 former refugees) in Meheba Refugee Settlement, in North-Western Province, Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlement in Western Province, and Mantapala Refugee Settlement, in Luapula Province, as well as in urban areas such as in like Lusaka.

For more information:

Jim Chibuye, Public Relations Officer
Office of the Commissioner for Refugees,
Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security
Tel.: +260971138780;

Kelvin Shimo, Communications Associate
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Tel.: +260979585832;