Angola: Inter-Agency Operational Update (1 – 31 January 2019)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 31 Jan 2019 View Original

Relocation of urban refugees was completed bringing the total refugee population in the Lóvua settlement to 19,700.

The construction of three permanent schools was concluded and inauguration will take place in February 2019.

KEY INDICATORS

75%
of Congolese refugees from Kasai in Angola are women and children

36,596
Biometrically registered Congolese refugees in Lunda Norte Province. Total of 23, 835 refugees are currently receiving food assistance.

53,000
Inter-agency planning figure for Congolese refugees by the end of 2019.

FUNDING

USD 59 million
requested for the Kasai emergency in 2019 (Regional Response for the DRC Situation)

Operational Context

The outbreak of violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in March 2017 triggered the internal displacement of some 1.4 million persons and the flight of over 35,000 refugees into Lunda Norte Province of Angola. However from August 2017, new arrivals decreased drastically. In 2018, the Lunda Norte refugee population only increased as a result of births and family reunification.

Refugees from Kasai were initially accommodated in two overcrowded transit centres in Dundo town, as well as spread throughout host communities in and around urban areas. The Government of Angola (GoA) therefore identified an area of land, Lóvua settlement, some 95 kms from Dundo town, for the refugees. In August 2017, relocation to this site began. By 19 January 2019, when relocation ended, over 19,700 refugees had been transferred to Lóvua refugee settlement by partners.

In October 2018, GoA initiated an operation to tackle illegal diamond mining, so called Operação Transparência. During the operation, over 400,000 Congolese nationals were expelled from Angola. Although the operation did not target refugees, a number of refugees in Lunda Norte were caught up in in and refouled. This prompted a surge in relocation to Lóvua as refugees accommodated there were at less risk.

Most refugees in Lóvua settlement celebrated the election of the new President of the DRC in January 2019 especially as he is from the same ethnic group and area of origin as a large majority of them.

Inter-Agency partners have been working together to ensure protection, build resilience among refugee communities and peaceful coexistence between refugees and host population. The main priorities for 2019 are: (1) to transition from emergency to development; (2) to strengthen refugees and host communities’ leadership structures; and (3) to support refugees and host communities on livelihood related activities.