UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and 69 aid organizations today launched a Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) to provide urgent humanitarian assistance and protection to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in 2023.
The plan seeks US$605 million to support Congolese refugees who have found safety in neighbouring countries across the Southern and Great Lakes regions. It also aims to provide support to their local host communities.
More than one million Congolese refugees and asylum-seekers are hosted across the African continent, the majority in Uganda (479,400), Burundi (87,500), United Republic of Tanzania (80,000), Rwanda (72,200), Zambia (52,100), the Republic of the Congo (28,600) and Angola (23,200).
In 2022 alone, attacks by armed groups in eastern DRC led to the exile of some 98,000 refugees to Uganda, where a total of almost half a million Congolese refugees are now hosted.
Settlements and camps have reached or exceeded capacity in many refugee host countries, and available basic services such as healthcare, water and sanitation are either stretched to their limits or too costly, according to UNHCR.
Food insecurity is a growing concern as people struggle to afford necessities due to rising prices linked to the impacts of the conflict in Ukraine.
UNHCR and partners are calling on the international community to ensure continued support for these generous host countries, so vulnerable refugee populations can be provided with protection, shelter, food, health, education, and other basic services.
This fund will also help to promote economic self-reliance and resilience for refugees and vulnerable host communities. It will focus on youth- and women-led initiatives to reduce dependence on assistance.
Since March 2022, at least 521,000 people have been forced to flee in North Kivu Province alone.
Congolese refugees in Rwanda are hosted in Kiziba-karongi, mugombwa-gisagara, kigeme-nyamagabe, Nyabiheke-Gatsibo, Mahama-Kirehe and Nkamira transit centre in Rubavu.
The United Nations of Amarica were the biggest contributor of fund needed for the refugees in Rwanda in 2022 with $ 17.7 million, followed by European $7.4 million and Germany, $2.6 million in the top three.