During the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR DRC is producing a condensed monthly Operational Update. Specific information about UNHCR’s response to COVID-19 in DRC can be found here. Refugees
■ Following the floods in South Kivu Province, road access to Kavimvira and Mongemonge Transit Centers,
and to Sange Assembly Point (hosting a total of 2,900 refugees and asylum-seekers), is compromised;
Kavimvira is accessible with difficulty, Mongemonge is accessible by boat only, while Sange is cut off. This
hampers protection and COVID-19 prevention activities.
■ In April, seven separated South Sudanese children were placed in host families in Biringi settlement, Ituri Province, following best interest assessments.
■ In areas hosting South Sudanese refugees, UNCHR has dispatched 58 mobile phones with SIM cards, and 36 pairs of walkie-talkies to 80 refugees, health centres and focal points to ensure communities are able to report any alerts in case of a total lockdown linked to COVID-19.
SHELTER AND CORE RELIEF ITEMS (CRIs)
■ Community shelters are being constructed in Mulongwe settlement in preparation of the relocation of
Burundian refugees from overcrowded Transit Centers (TCs) in South Kivu Province. Out of the 2,900
residents of the TCs around 1,400 persons have been granted refugee status and will be relocated. Despite
limited space in the community shelters, some space will be created between different families to counter the
spread of COVID-19.
■ In Bas Uele Province, UNHCR and partner Terre Sans Frontieres are providing cash-for-shelter assistance to 200 vulnerable refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) and host community members in Bondo and Bili. So far, 32 shelters out of 200 are finalized. The refugees build shelters themselves and receive doors, windows and cash as assistance. The most vulnerable hire builder to construct their shelters, whom they pay using the cash received.
■ In April, UNHCR and partners relocated 183 South Sudanese refugees (80 households) from Meri settlement to the new Bele settlement, both in Haut Uele Province. During relocations, medical checks, handwashing and social distancing were mandatory to help prevent COVID-19. As of 1 May, 1,715 refugees had been relocated to Bele (691 households) and received shelter, food and agricultural land.
■ From 27 April to 1 May, UNHCR and partners ADSSE distributed soap and mosquito nets to 21,863 South Sudanese refugees (6,437 households) in Meri settlement, Haut Uele Province. A door-to-door technique was used to avoid crowds amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
LIVELIHOODS AND FOOD SECURITY
■ In Nord Ubangi, Sud Ubangi and Bas Uele provinces, 220 refugee farmers from CAR, as well as host community members, received agricultural tools and seeds from UNHCR’s partners AIDES and TSF, to improve their self-reliance. In Bondo, Bas Uele Province, local authorities also allocated 5 hectares of arable land for their agricultural activities.
WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH)
■ In Bukavu (South Kivu Province), UNHCR equipped the Ndendere Transit Center and surrounding area with two standpipes to address recurring water shortages. This also contributes to the prevention of waterborne diseases and supports the regular washing of hands.