Supporting Refugees to Create Sustainable Livelihoods in Zambia


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Zambia receives over 1,000 new refugees each year, most of whom are placed by the government in rural settlements. The Zambian government provides them with land and UNHCR provides primary health care and education, water and sanitation, and other socio-economic support systems. Depending on available funds, UNHCR typically provides cash assistance, income-generating activities, and livelihoods interventions. UNHCR and its government partners acknowledge that the Graduation Approach can significantly improve the targeting, sequencing, integration, and sustainability of the support provided to refugees in Zambia.



Trickle Up is assisting UNHCR in Zambia to integrate the Graduation Approach into their existing projects for refugees. We are helping UNHCR Zambia streamline its programs for refugees, as targeted, sequenced Graduation support can help avoid long-term dependence. We seek to ensure UNHCR livelihoods programming strengthens sustainable productive activities and enables refugees to effectively utilize the generous support provided by donors and development partners.



Graduation will enable UNHCR Zambia to reduce the number of cash assistance recipients by engaging refugee families with the capacity to be economically active to achieve self-reliance. Graduation will also help determine staffing and administrative systems necessary to enroll new refugee arrivals and other vulnerable groups who qualify into the Graduation Approach. To ensure the economic stability of participants after the project, we seek to facilitate the successful integration of Angolans and Rwandans recently eligible for residency in Zambia.


Project Objectives

  • Build the capacity of UNHCR to integrate the Graduation Approach into its existing interventions with refugees in Zambia
  • Provide economic empowerment to refugees in settlements in Zambia to increase self-sufficiency, economic stability, and improve their lives

Project Data

As the implementation process begins, data will be provided when available.

Meheba Refugee Settlement, Solwezi, Zambia


Start Date: 10/2016
End Date: Ongoing


Number of Participants: 130

Vulnerable Populations

Women, Rural, Refugees, Extreme Poor

Project Components

Stipend for Consumption Support, Asset Transfer, Coaching, Savings/Self-Help Groups (savings and credit services), Technical Livelihood Skills Training, Financial Literacy and Capability Training, Legal Services, Healthcare Services

Our Partners

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated by the United Nations to lead and coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. Trickle Up and UNHCR have been partners since 2013.

Other Project Partners

Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare