• Conflict and insecurity in the DRC contributed to a sudden influx of Congolese refugees into Zambia in 2017. Approximately 49,000 Congolese refugees were sheltering in Zambia as of August, including approximately 4,300 refugees who arrived since January 2019, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
• Many Congolese refugees traveled long distances to reach Zambia, arriving in the country in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Once in Zambia, the majority of Congolese refugees are sheltering in camps and transit centers in Zambia’s Luapula and North Western provinces. Refugees in Luapula lack access to livelihood opportunities, markets, and arable land for farming, making it difficult for vulnerable households to buy or grow enough food.
• In FY 2019, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partnered with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide locally and regionally procured emergency food assistance to approximately 13,500 refugees sheltering in Luapula’s Mantapala refugee camp.
• Nearly 90 percent of FFP’s contribution to WFP supported the procurement of food directly from Zambian communities near Mantapala. Purchasing food products in the areas hosting refugees supported local Zambian farmers, bolstered local markets, and increased the speed of food assistance delivery.