Resettlement Support Center

Nairobi, Kenya

Photo: CWS/RSC Africa

Photo: CWS RSC Africa

Key Partners

UNHCR, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, IOM – International Organization for Migration


14,388 individual* refugees departing to the United States

RSC Africa assists refugees throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to apply for resettlement to the U.S. CWS staff at RSC Africa interview refugee applicants, giving them a chance to explain in their own words why and how they were forced to flee their homes; then, for refugees whose admission is approved by the U.S. Government, CWS staff at RSC Africa provide a three- to five-day overseas cultural orientation, assisting approved refugees to prepare to rebuild their lives once in the U.S.

Each year the United States accepts approximately 70,000 refugees from around the globe. These refugees are given an opportunity to start a new life, away from the persecution and violence that caused them to flee their homeland. Since 1990, the Resettlement Support Center Africa (RSC Africa), based in Nairobi, Kenya, has helped to resettle more than 200,000 refugees to the United States as part of the United States Refugee Admissions Program.

RSC Africa began in 1990 as a one-room office with a few staff. Today, more than 250 employees spread over five floors of an office building in Nairobi assist thousands of refugees from across the continent. A team of almost 100 staff also travel throughout the region using Nairobi as their base, in an effort to meet and assist refugees where they are, be that in refugee camps or urban locations throughout Africa.

In April 2015, RSC Africa opened a sub-office in Pretoria, South Africa, that will provide both refugee processing and cultural orientation to refugees located in the southern area of the continent.

Administered by CWS as part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. government, RSC Africa interviews refugees and prepares case files for adjudication by officers of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services. RSC Africa is charged with processing refugee applicants to the USRAP from 49 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa. RSC Africa resettled 11,001 refugees to the United States in FY 2013 and 14,228 individuals in FY 2014. This FY 2015, RSC Africa was tasked with resettling 15,000 individuals. However, this number has grown in an effort to assist the entire worldwide program in meeting the global target of 70,000. The target for RSC Africa has now been increased to 17,500 individuals, and the overall goal is well within reach.

* Please note: figures about refugee resettlement are tied to the U.S. Government fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30. This differs from the CWS fiscal year of July 1-June 30.