More than 1,500 Congolese refugees who have fled violence and ethnic tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been relocated from reception centres in northern Angola to a newly established settlement, the United Nations refugee agency today said.
Addressing journalists in Geneva, Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the Lóvua settlement was created “to improve the living conditions of refugees.”
Built on about 33 km2 of land allocated by the Government of Angola, the site allows refugees to receive a plot of land to build shelters and to grow food to supplement their food rations.
UNHCR and partners plan to relocate tens of thousands of Congolese refugees to the new site, which is some 100 km inland from the border with the DRC.
“While the security situation in the Kasai region remains volatile, the Angolan authorities and UNHCR with partners are ready to provide protection and assistance for up to 50,000 Congolese refugees by the end of 2017 at Lóvua,” Mr. Edwards said.
Some 33,000 refugees are currently in reception centres that Mr. Edwards termed “over-crowded.”
The UN agency has called for financial support to assist the refugees. A humanitarian appeal for $65.5 million launched in June is only about 32 per cent funded.
“Additional funding is urgently needed to continue developing infrastructure and services for refugees in Lóvua settlement,” Mr. Edwards said.