UNHCR seeks $605 million for Congolese refugees in Africa – KT Press

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DRC refugees in Africa

UNHCR, the UN refugee agency and 69 aid organizations today launched a Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) to provide immediate humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2023.

The plan calls for US$605 million to support Congolese refugees seeking safety in neighboring countries in the Southern and Great Lakes regions. It also aims to provide support to their local host communities.

The African continent hosts over one million Congolese refugees and asylum seekers, most in Uganda (479,400), Burundi (87,500), the United Republic of Tanzania (80,000), Rwanda (72,200), Zambia (52,100), the Republic of Congo (28,600) and Angola (23,200).

In 2022 alone, attacks by armed groups in eastern DRC will cause some 98,000 refugees to face deportation to Uganda, where a total of about half a million Congolese refugees now live.

According to the UNHCR, many refugee settlements and camps in host countries have reached or exceeded capacity, and available basic services such as healthcare, water and sanitation are either stretched to their limits or too expensive.

Food insecurity is a growing concern as people struggle to afford necessities due to rising prices linked to the effects of the conflict in Ukraine.

UNHCR and partners are calling on the international community to ensure continued support for these generous host countries to provide security, shelter, food, health, education and other basic services to vulnerable refugee populations.

The fund will also help promote economic self-reliance and resilience for refugees and vulnerable host communities. It will focus on youth and women-led initiatives to reduce dependence on aid.

At least 521,000 people have been forced to flee in North Kivu province alone since March 2022.

Congolese refugees in Rwanda are hosted at Kiziba-Karongi, Mugombwa-Gisagara, Kigeme-Nyamagabe, Nyabiheke-Gatsibo, Mahama-Kirehe and Nakamira transit centers in Rubavu.

The United States was the largest contributor to the UN for refugees in Rwanda in 2022 with $17.7 million, followed by the Europeans at $7.4 million and Germany, $2.6 million, in the top three.

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