UNHCR begins registration of DRC refugees in northern Congo

Briefing Notes, 15 January 2010

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 15 January 2010, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

We begin today the registration of more than 100,000 refugees who fled ethnic conflict in the Equateur province in north-west Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since November last year.

The exercise kicks off in Betou district of Lukouala region in northern Republic of Congo (ROC), an area hosting more than 60 percent of the estimated 107,000 DRC refugees. The rest are scattered in the district of Impfondo, southern Likouala.

The registration is designed to ascertain the number of refugees and to properly identify them. We will also be profiling refugee families to determine their specific needs and cater our assistance programs accordingly.

A joint team of 50 people comprising UNHCR staff and local authorities is carrying out the registration on a 500 kilometres long stretch of territory along the Oubangui River. The operation, which took several weeks to prepare, is logistically challenging as the overwhelming majority of the DRC refugees are in areas that can be reached only by boats. The water levels are receding and we are running against time to complete the registration within two months before the dry season sets in and rivers become too low for navigation.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to deliver emergency assistance to the widely dispersed refugees. Despite the logistical challenges, so far we were able to ferry 161 metric tons of aid material for some 50,000 refugees. This aid includes blankets, plastic sheeting for shelter, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, which are being handed to the most vulnerable as a matter of priority. With continuing instability throughout most of the Equateur province, many refugees are telling UNHCR that they are not ready to return home soon.

Meanwhile, in the Central African Republic (CAR) where another 18,000 refugees from the Equateur province sought safety, our teams have completed registration in late December and continue to register new arrivals trickling in from the Libenge area.

Back in the Equateur province, UNHCR is taking part in an inter-agency humanitarian assessment mission to identify the needs of an estimated 90,000 internally displaced people affected by the recent ethnic violence and tensions.

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

DR Congo Crisis: Urgent Appeal

Intense fighting has forced more than 64,000 Congolese to flee the country in recent months.

Donate to this crisis

Registration

The recording, verifying, and updating of information on people of concern to UNHCR so they can be protected and UNHCR can ultimately find durable solutions.

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

As a massive food distribution gets underway in six UNHCR-run camps for tens of thousands of internally displaced Congolese in North Kivu, the UN refugee agency continues to hand out desperately needed shelter and household items.

A four-truck UNHCR convoy carrying 33 tonnes of various aid items, including plastic sheeting, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans crossed Wednesday from Rwanda into Goma, the capital of the conflict-hit province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The aid, from regional emergency stockpiles in Tanzania, was scheduled for immediate distribution. The supplies arrived in Goma as the World Food Programme (WFP), with assistance from UNHCR, began distributing food to some 135,000 displaced people in the six camps run by the refugee agency near Goma.

More than 250,000 people have been displaced since the fighting resumed in August in North Kivu. Estimates are that there are now more than 1.3 million displaced people in this province alone.

Posted on 6 November 2008

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

Since 2006, renewed conflict and general insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu province has forced some 400,000 people to flee their homes – the country's worst displacement crisis since the formal end of the civil war in 2003. In total, there are now some 800,000 people displaced in the province, including those uprooted by previous conflicts.

Hope for the future was raised in January 2008 when the DRC government and rival armed factions signed a peace accord. But the situation remains tense in North Kivu and tens of thousands of people still need help. UNHCR has opened sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) and distributed assistance such as blankets, plastic sheets, soap, jerry cans, firewood and other items to the four camps in the region. Relief items have also been delivered to some of the makeshift sites that have sprung up.

UNHCR staff have been engaged in protection monitoring to identify human rights abuses and other problems faced by IDPs and other populations at risk across North Kivu.

UNHCR's ninemillion campaign aims to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for nine million refugee children by 2010.

Posted on 28 May 2008

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Fighting rages on in various parts of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with seemingly no end in sight for hundreds of thousands of Congolese forced to flee violence and instability over the past two years. The ebb and flow of conflict has left many people constantly on the move, while many families have been separated. At least 1 million people are displaced in North Kivu, the hardest hit province. After years of conflict, more than 1,000 people still die every day - mostly of hunger and treatable diseases. In some areas, two out of three women have been raped. Abductions persist and children are forcefully recruited to fight. Outbreaks of cholera and other diseases have increased as the situation deteriorates and humanitarian agencies struggle to respond to the needs of the displaced.

When the displacement crisis worsened in North Kivu in 2007, the UN refugee agency sent emergency teams to the area and set up operations in several camps for internally displaced people (IDPs). Assistance efforts have also included registering displaced people and distributing non-food aid. UNHCR carries out protection monitoring to identify human rights abuses and other problems faced by IDPs in North and South Kivu.

Displaced in North Kivu: A Life on the Run

Jordan: New Refugee Registration Centre OpensPlay video

Jordan: New Refugee Registration Centre Opens

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visits a new registration centre in the Jordanian capital, Amman. The centre was opened to accommodate the growing needs of the many Syrian refugees living in Jordan.
Uganda: Mankell Meets Congolese RefugeesPlay video

Uganda: Mankell Meets Congolese Refugees

Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, creator of the popular Wallander novels, has long been interested in refugee issues. He recently toured UNHCR's operations in southern Uganda, meeting refugees from Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Our Sister, Our Mother - 2013 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Laureate
Play video

Our Sister, Our Mother - 2013 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Laureate

The 2013 winner of UNHCR`s Nansen Refugee Award is Sister Angelique Namaika, who works in the remote north east region of Democratic Republic of the Congo with survivors of displacement and abuse by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). She has helped over 2000 displaced women and girls who have suffered the most awful kidnapping and abuse, to pick up the pieces of their lives and become re-accepted by their communities.