2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Democratic Republic of the Congo
Since the beginning of 2012, ethnic tensions and inequitable access to land have led to renewed violence in the east and north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), resulting in the displacement of more than 2.2 million people inside the country. In addition, almost 70,000 people have crossed the border into neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda.
At the same time, in the first half of 2012, some 15,000 refugees from the DRC returned home, mainly to Equateur Province. Their reintegration will be supported by UNHCR through community-based projects and targeted assistance to individuals to enhance their livelihoods. More than 400,000 Congolese refugees currently remain outside the DRC.
At the end of 2011, UNHCR was assisting some 101,300 refugees in the DRC, mainly from Angola, Burundi and Rwanda. Following the invocation of the cessation clauses for Angolan refugees on 30 June 2012, some 16,000 Angolans have returned home from the DRC, while 2,000 individuals will benefit from an exemption procedure. Of the 71,000 Angolan former refugees currently remaining in the DRC, some 23,000 have expressed their wish to return to their country and some 48,000 would like to integrate locally. As part of its comprehensive solutions strategy, UNHCR will uphold both options in cooperation with the Governments of Angola and the DRC. Before year-end, 10,000 people are expected to repatriate, followed by another 13,000 by the end of 2013. For those wishing to stay in the DRC, an estimated 1,500 residence permits will be issued before the end of 2012, leaving 46,500 to be delivered in 2013.
In light of the upcoming application of the cessation clauses for Rwandan refugees in 2013, UNHCR has helped some 8,000 Rwandans to return home since the beginning of 2012. This repatriation operation will continue in 2013. Regrettably, lack of security in some areas in the east of the country has forced UNHCR to suspend assistance to an estimated 47,500 Rwandans.
Due to an overall deterioration in the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), some 5,000 Central African refugees have fled to the DRC's Equateur province, where they are being provided with basic assistance.
UNHCR will continue to protect refugees in both urban and rural areas and assist them to enhance their livelihoods and self-reliance. For those willing to return, UNHCR will organize "go and see visits" to the country of origin and coordinate voluntary returns. Resettlement will be considered an option for the most vulnerable refugees.
For internally displaced persons (IDPs), UNHCR will continue to lead the Protection Cluster and coordinate assistance that focuses on life-saving activities and the provision of basic services such as shelter, health, water and sanitation.
To support the reintegration of returnees, the Office will support community-based activities, including livelihood programmes.
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) continues to be a major concern for UNHCR. Such violence prevents women and girls, as well as boys and men, from leading healthy lives. Refugees and IDPs are particularly at risk of rape and sexual abuse at home, in public places and at school, while the perpetrators are rarely prosecuted and punished.
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for the Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|Others of concern||Angola||59,500||59,500||-||-|
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Fair protection processes and documentation
The quality of registration and profiling is improved or maintained.
All IDPs are registered on an individual basis. Basic needs and essentials services Shelter and infrastructure are established.
All returnee households live in adequate dwellings and are provided with shelter materials and maintenance tool kits.
The potential for integration is realized.
Some 50 per cent of Angolan former refugees opting for local integration are provided with residence cards.
The potential for voluntary return is realized.
Some 80 per cent of Rwandan refugees (i.e. all those who wish to repatriate) will return to Rwanda in safety and dignity.
All refugees returning to the DRC arrive in safety and dignity.
Security from violence and exploitation
The risk of SGBV is reduced and the quality of the response to it is improved.
All known SGBV survivors receive support.
Strategy and activities in 2013
UNHCR will provide technical assistance to the Government to help it develop a local integration framework for Angolans who decide to remain in the DRC. It will also support the voluntary repatriation of Rwandan refugees and seek alternative solutions for those remaining in the DRC. Emphasis will be placed on self-reliance projects, mainly targeting vulnerable households.
The Commission nationale pour les réfugiés (CNR) will receive UNHCR assistance to implement national and international refugee laws and conduct refugee status determination (RSD) and thereby create a more favourable protection environment for people of concern.
In Equateur Province, the reintegration of returnees will be supported through community-based projects in return areas and the provision of individual and family assistance packages, including cash grants.
UNHCR will also offer technical support to the central and provincial governments to help them integrate IDPs locally and give them access to national social structures.
UNHCR will combat SGBV through prevention and response programmes that will ensure coordinated responses for all survivors. The multi-sectoral responses will combine health care, legal and psychosocial support and safety interventions. They will also address gender inequality and other root causes of SGBV through longer-term approaches aimed at changing behaviour.
Insecurity and poor infrastructure will continue to hamper access to a significant number of vulnerable people. Many territories in the DRC have weak administrative and legal structures, preventing humanitarian actors from performing their responsibilities effectively. Tensions in hosting areas may hamper peaceful coexistence.
Organization and implementation
UNHCR's main governmental counterpart is the CNR, which is headquartered in Kinshasa and maintains offices throughout the country in refugee and IDP locations. CNR's presence in the Field will be reinforced in 2013.
As Protection Cluster lead, UNHCR has developed close links with the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), whose mandate has been extended until June 2013. UNHCR is also an active member of the Non-Food Items (NFIs) Cluster, assuming the lead role for the shelter component.
With regard to reintegration activities, UNHCR is seeking the involvement of local authorities and development actors in the early stages of repatriation to ensure people of concern a sustainable return.
Since 2010, UNHCR and the Ministry of Social Affairs have jointly led the protection and prevention pillar of the Comprehensive Strategy on Combating Sexual Violence in the DRC. UNHCR participates actively in the UNAIDS joint team, and is a partner in the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS) framework, which builds on the Government's Stabilization and Reconstruction Programme (STAREC). UNHCR also continues to participate in the UNDAF.
UNHCR's budget for the DRC has grown steadily since 2008 as it works to assist an increasing number of IDPs as well as returnees. As a result, in 2013 UNHCR's financial needs will amount to USD 156 million.
It is expected that the 2013 budget for the DRC will be further revised through the establishment of a supplementary budget to address additional needs related to the crisis in eastern DRC which could not be assessed at the time the present budget was approved.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update