UNHCR aids thousands of Congolese refugees returning home from Angola

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UNHCR aids thousands of Congolese refugees returning home from Angola

There have been fightings and crisis in Kasai region of the Democratic Republic Of Congo. This enabled thousands of residents and locals to flee the country to neighbouring Angola in droves to seek refuge.

However, the fighting amongst armed groups has reduced with relative peace back in the region. This has seen Thousands of these refugees return back home to get back their lives again.

The first group which will consist of a few hundred people will return as part of voluntary repatriation, which officially begins this week. This is a follow up to the tripartite agreement signed on 23rd August between UNHCR and the Governments of Angola and DRC on voluntary returns.

In total, more than 4,000 refugees are expected to be assisted to return home in the coming weeks. UNHCR will be providing returnees with transport, as well as cash assistance to help them reintegrate.

Since 18 August, over 12,000 Congolese refugees, have spontaneously returned home from the Lovua settlement in Angola’s Lunda Norte province.

Many of those returning spontaneously are facing terrible living conditions and the UNHCR has immediately swung into action in providing them with cash assistance, as well as humanitarian aids.

Similar assistance is also being provided to returnees who have reached Kananga, the capital of Kasai Central province.

Although fighting amongst armed groups has calmed down, some refugees are still unsure about the living conditions at home. This has seen Some moving to other places as they are unwilling to return home. Most of these refugees fear a return of inter-ethnic violence.

Public infrastructure, such as schools and health centres, have been badly damaged with a repair yet to happen. Existing facilities lack the necessary capacity to meet all of the needs of returnees.

However, the UNHCR has continued to support the Government of DRC’s efforts by providing and restoring basic services, as well as promoting social cohesion and reintegration efforts.

UNHCR, through its partner, War Child UK, is also conducting protection monitoring in Kananga and surrounding areas to identify and profile protection concerns and ensure adequate responses.

Despite the effort of UNHCR, there is still a need for massive financial from the international community, humanitarian organizations and the Government of DRC, to create sustainable conditions for returnees.

Current levels of funding are far below the amount needed to allow for a major rebuilding programme. In 2019, UNHCR has received just 57 per cent of US$150 million needed to help people affected by the DRC crisis.

Culled from www.unhcr.org

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