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Democratic Republic of Congo – Refugee influx from Central African Republic (DG ECHO, UNHCR, local sources) (ECHO Daily Flash of 12 January 2021)

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  • In the aftermath of the elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) – which triggered increased insecurity in parts of the country – an influx of at least 24,196 individuals from CAR into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been reported by local sources.
  • The new arrivals place a great strain on local host communities who often lack the resources to meet their own needs.
  • Humanitarian access is extremely difficult in the area on the banks of the Ubangi River. Some arrivals have settled on islets in the river. Most urgent needs include food, water, shelter, health care, as well as core relief items and sanitation to prevent a potential spread of epidemic diseases such as COVID-19.
  • The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR also observed the return of Congolese citizens who have been living in CAR.
  • Insecurity in CAR may also affect UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation operation. Over 17,000 refugees in the DRC had expressed their intention to return home, but several areas in CAR that deemed safe to receive returnees are now potentially controlled by non-state armed actors.