from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA is appealing for increased funding from humanitarian and development donor countries to support the rising number of refugees fleeing to the country.
Authorities said the new arrivals were averaging 700 asylum seekers per month, mostly fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Somalia among other countries.
In 2018, Zambia received a total 9 371 refugees, with the majority coming from the DRC and Burundi.
The refugees are hosted in Luapula, Meheba and Mayukwayukwa in the north as well as in transit centres in Makeni in the capital Lusaka.
Critical needs range from food, shelter, infrastructure, logistics, education and health.
Abdon Mawere, Commissioner for Refugees in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said although there had been no major influx, the number of refugees had gone up in the past two years.
“Funding is required to provide critical humanitarian assistance to the refugees as well as the host communities,” he said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Zambia has a budget of US$30 million (R415 million), with US$1,14 million (R19,5 million) funded by the European Union (EU) and $500 000 (R6,9 million) received from the Government of Japan.
Mawere said Zambia was grateful for the donations.
“However, I wish to call upon donors to increase their contribution to assist us to fulfill our international obligation to give asylum to those who need it,” he pleaded.
– CAJ News