Democratic Republic of the Congo UNHCR Operational Update, 1 - 31 July 2019

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 31 Jul 2019

UNHCR and partners are speeding up groundwork for the voluntary repatriation of 4,000 Central African refugees located in camps in Sud Ubangi Province, following a Tripartite Meeting held on 5 July between UNHCR and the governments of DRC and CAR.

From 23 to 25 July in Lóvua settlement (Angola), a first crossborder meeting took place between UNHCR’s DRC and Angola offices, to discuss the voluntary repatriation of DRC refugees from Angola.

In response to the arrival of some 4,300 displaced persons in Kasenyi, Ituri Province, UNHCR is building 600 emergency shelters and 40 community hangars through partner CARITAS. These structures will be able to host up to 5,400 IDPs, both older and more recent caseloads.

Refugees

Burundian refugees

  • On 9 July, 88 Burundian refugees were voluntarily repatriated by UNHCR from Lusenda camp in DRC, to Burundi. This was the first repatriation convoy from DRC to Burundi.
  • The World Food Programme (WFP), in coordination with UNHCR and implementing partners, has transitioned from voucher-based food assistance to cash assistance for Burundian refugees in Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, South Kivu Province. Cash helps refugees access the food market, and allows them to build their own livelihoods. In partnership with the TMB bank, each refugee received a small amount to meet their food needs of August.
  • In July, UNHCR and its partner the National Refugee Commission (CNR) registered 188 newborns in Lusenda camp, while 19 households (29 persons) were physically verified and biometrically registered, after having been absent during the June registration exercise. Each refugee aged 12 and above received an identity card. Civil status documentation is essential to ensuring refugees’ rights and protecting them from statelessness.
  • In July, four unaccompanied children in Lusenda camp were reunited with their families, after UNHCR and partners ICRC and War Child held a child’s Best Interest Determination (BID) panel meeting.
  • As part of the UNHCR “Sport for Protection” project, funded by the International Olympic Committee, a football tournament was held in Lusenda camp, with eight men's teams and seven women's teams. The teams consist of refugees and local youth as the project promotes peaceful coexistence and youth talents.
  • UNHCR provided rapid malaria diagnostic tests to health facilities in Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, in order to improve screening and drug prescription. Malaria is the main cause of morbidity among refugees in Lusenda and Mulongwe, especially for children under five.
  • In Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, 104 visually-impaired persons received an ophthalmic consultation through UNHCR’s partner AIDES, in anticipation for the prescription of corrective glasses.
  • To encourage self-reliance, UNHCR’s partner ADRA provided fishing tools and fishing permits to the Fisher Committee at Mulongwe settlement.
  • UNHCR provided a protective kit against Ebola to its partner ADES, as preventive measures are being reinforced in Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, South Kivu Province. Following a measles outbreak in DRC, refugees in both locations are encouraged to get vaccinated.
  • UNHCR’s partner ADRA organized a workshop to raise awareness on environmental protection. Participants consisted of 76 members of the refugee and host population at Mulongwe settlement, including 54 women and 22 men.