More than 9,000 children who have arrived at two temporary reception centres in a northern Angolan city from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) need urgent support, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said today.
“The protection of children, nutrition, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as prevention of disease, have been UNICEF's immediate concerns – and actions – since the arrival of refugees in Lunda Norte,” said Abubacar Sultan, the UNICEF Representative in Angola.
UNICEF, provincial authorities and other partners are providing assistance – life-saving interventions in health, water and adequate sanitation services – to children and their families who arrive at the camps in the city of Dundo, after days, often weeks, of travelling on foot. To date, more than 25,000 people have arrived in Angola, having fled violence in the DRC's Kasai province.
UNICEF is also taking action to protect 200 children who have arrived at the camps without their families.
The agency has trained social welfare workers on how to register these children because registration is critical to ensure the safety of children and protect them from trafficking, abuse and exploitation. By registering children, there is also a greater chance that they can be reunited with their families.
UNICEF and partners have identified temporary placement of the unaccompanied children in a friendly and protective environment while efforts are made to trace their biological families, Mr. Sultan said.