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Zambia: 22,000 Angolans since October

Briefing notes

Zambia: 22,000 Angolans since October

27 January 2000

As fighting continues in south-eastern Angola's Moxico Province, UNHCR and its partners are grappling with the logistical challenges of assisting refugees arriving in Zambia's neighbouring Western province.

Since October, some 22,000 Angolan refugees have fled to Zambia and more are expected.

About 1,200 of the 5,000 refugees trapped by floods in the Kalabo area of Zambia have already been airlifted by UNHCR and WFP to Mongu and brought further inland to the refugee camp of Mayukwayukwa. This operation should be completed by Monday (31 January). Refugees remaining in Kalabo after the airlift will continue to be assisted in a reception centre until transport by boat to Mayukwayukwa can be resumed.

Another 8,000 refugees who have arrived in Sijembela, to the south of Kalabo, remain of major concern because of their isolation and the difficulties in reaching them. A convoy transporting 46 MT of aid (food and non food items) is expected to arrive in Kalabo today.

A proposed camp site initially identified near Sioma, north-east of Sijembela, to receive new arrivals has been found unsuitable. Preparations are now underway for a new site located in Lukama, on the main road to Sijembela. This site should be able to absorb any additional influx.

Due to the major constraints imposed by the logistical difficulties in Western Province, additional donor support has been requested, particularly for vehicles and rehabilitation of the infrastructure in Western Province, but also in terms of food for WFP and medical supplies for UNICEF.