UNHCR started its airlift of urban refugees in DRC last year, with three flights bringing home 624 urban Angolan refugees. Over 2,400 Angolan refugees sought shelter during Angola's nearly three decade long civil war
In DRC, the refugees will overnight in a transit centre in Kinshasa before departure where they will receive meals and a cash grant of about $100 to help them start a new life when they return home. After arriving in Luanda, the refugees will be given food and non-food items.
The Angolan government insists on tracing the families of refugees in Luanda as a prerequisite for urban Angolan nationals wishing to return. This is a painstaking and lengthy process.
There are currently an estimated 24,000 Angolan refugees in camps and settlements in DRC, the majority in the provinces of Bandundu and Bas Congo bordering Angola's northern provinces. There are also an estimated 72,000 Angolan refugees in DRC who have settled spontaneously. UNHCR will continue organising refugee returns to Angola from DRC throughout the year, mainly by land.