Democratic Republic of the Congo UNHCR Operational Update, December 2017
As of 31st December, 87,307 refugees from Central African Republic had arrived since midMay 2017 in Nord-Ubangi and Bas-Uele provinces.
A first batch of newly constructed emergency shelters (192) were handed over to South Sudanese refugees in the new site of Kaka (Haut-Uele province).
1,700 Burundian refugees were transferred to the new site of Mulongwe (South Kivu province) since its opening in late November. Refugees received relief items and had access to basic services.
Update on Achievements
1,700 Burundian refugees (496 households) were relocated from transit centers and reception structures to the new site of Mulongwe (near Baraka, Fizi Territory, South Kivu province) since the opening of the site in late November. Refugees received nonfood items (mat, blanket, soap, kitchen set, jerry-can and bucket) and were accommodated in 24 common dorms before receiving their plot of land to build their own shelters and do agriculture. UNHCR partners AIRD and ADES provided building materials, cash vouchers and technical support for the construction of the family shelters, latrines and showers. 107 households received their plots during the month of December.
Refugees relocated to Mulongwe site received also WFP food rations while waiting to be registered in WFP’s SCOPE database and to be given electronic ration cards for the food fair.
The health post of Mulongwe site was operational with the support of health partner ADES. Operational partner AFPDE was building a health center in the village of Katolukulu, neighbouring Mulongwe, for the local population in the area as well as refugees from Mulongwe.
In Mulongwe site, standards for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities were met. 21 communal latrines were operational and 32 emergency latrines were finalized. 36 water taps were available on site.
In Lusenda camp, 400 new blocs of showers and latrines were under construction.
The water network was being extended to reach all areas of the camp. Moreover, awareness campaigns on hygiene best practices were carried out and prevention measures against cholera and diarrhea were taken.
In the Transit Centres of Kavimvira and Sange, latrines (20 in Kavimvira and 7 in Sange) and showers (16 in Kavimvira) were rehabilitated.
Central African refugees
On the 8th of December, the biometric registration exercise of newly arrived Central African refugees in Nord-Ubangi Province ended. A total of 39,150 people were registered.
Moreover, 37,108 new arrivals remained pre-registered in Bas-Uele Province and other 11,049 remained registered by National Commission for Refugees (CNR) as of 31st December 2017. Their biometric registration was planned for 2018.
From 4th to 9th December, UNHCR and WFP distributed cash to new arrivals who already registered with biometrics in four localities around Gbadolite (Mobayi Mbongo, Lembo, Kambo and Mogoro). 5,593 refugee households of 20,261 persons and 1,229 host families of 6,145 person received the cash.
4,174 children aged 0 to 4 years born in DRC received birth certificates from civil registry after supplementary judgments from mobile court hearings held from 11th to 31st December for children living in Mole, Boyabu and Bili camps as well as outside Inke camp.
Partner TSF started the construction works for rehabilitation of a health post of Kazawi, in Bondo territory, Bas-Uele Province. This area has a high concentration of new arrivals from CAR. The host community contributed to the works, providing construction materials.
In the four camps of Nord and South Ubangi provinces, 683 latrines and 880 transitional shelters were constructed, using cash-based interventions (CBI). 20 shelters were still under construction.
In addition to the above, 200 additional transitional shelter were completed in order to accommodate new arrivals in Inke camp.
In Ndu village (Bondo territory, Bas-Uele Province), local authorities granted plots of land to agricultural associations of newly arrived refugees and host community members, to enable them to carry out agricultural activities profitable to both communities. In Monga, partner ADES distributed 300 hoes to refugees and host community members for agricultural activities.
Partner TSF started the rehabilitation works for the airstrip of Monga (Bondo territory,
Bas-Uele Province). UNHCR opened a new office in Monga in late December, in order to better assist CAR refugees in that remote area. The road between Ndu and Monga was also under rehabilitation with support of partner AIRD.
Voluntary repatriation from DRC to Rwanda in 2017 has been at a significantly higher level than previous years, with more than 18,000 returnees (6,006 in 2016; 5,203 in 2015; 5,645 in 2014). Official figures for 2017 are to be confirmed by the Rwandan authorities.
The DRC authorities maintained their decision to not apply cessation of refugee status for Rwandan refugees at the end of 2017, differently from other countries in the region.
South Sudanese refugees
South Sudanese refugees continued to arrive in DRC over the course of December.
Between 18 and 22 December alone, some 200 refugees crossed into the DRC from neighboring Yei River State and found refuge at Meri site in Aba, Haut-Uele province, following clashes in Lasu, South Sudan.
Overall, 830 South Sudanese refugees were biometrically registered in December; the smallest number of new arrivals registered in 2017 over the course of a month. Between June and November 2017, an average of 1,430 refugees arrived in the DRC each month while during the first half of 2017, UNHCR registered an average of 2,030 refugees on a monthly basis.
The refugee site of Kaka, located 15 km from the town of Dungu (Haut-Uele Province), was opened. A first batch of newly constructed emergency shelters (192) were handed over to refugees who previously lived with Congolese host families in Dungu and to newly arrived refugees who temporarily lived in the classrooms of the Kaka village primary school. Other 200 transitional shelter were under construction. The local school and health center were rehabilitated.
In order to reduce the pressure on the surrounding forests, a group of refugees supported by UNHCR started producing fuel-efficient stoves for the refugee families at Kaka site.
220 Congolese households in Dungu center who had hosted refugees received a oneoff cash grant of 90 USD from UNHCR. These households – themselves living in very modest conditions – had voluntarily accommodating refugees and sharing their houses and food, and contributed significantly to the integration of the refugees into the local community. There were 1,256 South Sudanese refugees registered in Dungu center and until the opening of the Kaka site in December, most of them lived with Congolese host families for a period ranging from a few months up to three years.