LUANDA – THE influx of refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo has placed too much pressure on existing reception centres, which are running out of space, in neighbouring Angola.
An average of 400 refugees are arriving in Angola daily fleeing the bloody instability in the Central African country.
Authorities estimate approximately 30 000 people have fled instability in the Kasai region of the DRC into Angola since early April.
Among these are over 13 000 children, 9 000 of them unaccompanied.
Refugees are settled at Cacanda and Mussungue centres as well as the military airport, which has been receiving refugees evacuated by helicopter from border areas.
The sites are close to full capacity, prompting United Nations agencies to appeal for funding from international donors and extra land from Angola.
UN Children’s Fund has received US$ 2,4 million (R30,7 million) out of the multi-agency funding of $ 10.5 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund.
Angola and UN agencies have identified a new site for relocating the refugees in Lóvua municipality, which is away from the border and anticipated to provide appropriate settlement conditions and services.
UNICEF is supporting partners to develop the site plan, and to establish water points, sanitation facilities, child-friendly spaces and classrooms.
Continued clashes, a shortage of basic items including food, as well as disorder in DRC, will likely continue to spark refugee influx with dire protection and life-saving needs hence the need for more reception
Refugees have arrived mainly from Chitatu, Kananga, Kandjaji, Lupemba and Mudjiadjia in the Kasai region beset by clashes between armed forces and militia.
Over 1,3 million people have been displaced.
Protection assessments confirm brutal violence, with women and children arriving with severe wounds and reporting harassment, rape and killings.
– CAJ News