Democratic Republic of the Congo UNHCR Operational Update, 1 30 November 2019

UNHCR voluntarily repatriated 1,439 Central African refugees so far, since the start of the operation on 21 November. UNHCR will repatriate close to 4,000 refugees to the Central African Republic’s capital Bangui, and prefectures that were assessed as safe.

UNHCR conducted a large-scale verification exercise of 25,691 South Sudanese refugees in two settlements in Haut-Uele Province, and subsequently printed 12,705 individual identity cards and 7,710 attestations of family composition for refugees.

So far since 8 October, 2,589 Congolese refugees were repatriated from Angola to DRC. In addition, 14,757 spontaneous returnees were verified by UNHCR in Kasai Central Province (12,291) and in Kamako, Kasai Province (2,466).

Refugees

Burundian refugees UNHCR and partners carried out the annual participatory assessment based on Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) with refugees and host populations in and around Mulongwe settlement and Lusenda camp. 650 refugees and 30 host community members participated. They raised protection concerns such as security, child protection and the stigmatization of certain vulnerable groups, primarily female heads of household, survivors of sexual violence, and the elderly. The findings are used as a baseline for planning activities in 2020.

In November, 987 asylum seekers (265 households) were granted refugee status and transferred from Kavimvira Transit Centre (TC) to Mulongwe settlement. Upon arrival, UNHCR distributed essentials items such as kitchen sets, mosquito nets, blankets, jerrycans and mats, and WFP distributed food rations. 1,875 kg of laundry soap were also distributed to all asylum seekers and refugees in reception facilities and in Mulongwe settlement.

In addition, 288 new Burundian asylum seekers arrived in reception structures in November, among them 132 in Kavimvira TC and 164 at Sange Assembly Point (AS). 1,295 asylum seekers were transferred from Sange AS to Kavimvira TC, where they will be biometrically registered as asylum-seekers.

In Lusenda camp, an armed individual made irruption with two rifles. This, which led to panic amongst refugees and threatened the civilian character of the camp. The armed individual was later arrested by the police.

In Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, 35,917 refugees received the equivalent of $12 each in cash to respond to their basic food needs.

In Lusenda camp and Mulongwe settlement, 480 households (320 of Burundian refugees and 160 of the host population) received seeds and tools to help them to grow crops (beans, corn, hoes and rakes) and contribute to their self-reliance.

In Mulongwe settlement, 1,589 women and girls received dignity kits (including underwear, sanitary pads and soap), after a shortage that lasted since March 2019, although distributions should take place every three months. There are however still not enough kits to cover Lusenda camp. The kits currently being distributed only last one month, although they should last three. Additional funding is needed to purchase enough kits and to distribute them every three months.

In Mulongwe settlement, 100 adolescents (84 Burundian and 14 Congolese) who were enrolled in masonry and embroidery vocational training have received follow-up support from UNHCR and its partner ADRA to enable them to start their businesses. Support included the construction of a new fireplace for stone-making, and the distribution of sewing materials.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees