Zambia Red Cross Society provides assistance to over 1,000 asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

تم النشر: 18 يناير 2017 12:08 CET

by Euloge Ishimwe, IFRC


Zambia Red Cross Society volunteers have been supporting asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - since they arrived in late December 2016, until they began to be repatriated, in early January 2017.


In December 2016, there were reports of political tension in the second-largest country in Africa. And, as a result, some Congolese started fleeing to neighbouring Zambia.


To provide humanitarian assistance to the incoming asylum seekers, Zambia Red Cross Society deployed about 350 of its volunteers and staff to eight border posts.  The National Society secured and distributed - to those in need at the time of entry - emergency response materials such as tents, blankets, mosquito nets and food items. 


The National Society has been working with the government of Zambia and has partnered with the UNHCR to provide immediate support to the asylum seekers.  


On New Year’s Eve, political actors in the DRC signed a political agreement.


Since then, the number of asylum seekers in need of humanitarian assistance in Zambia has reduced, as many of them were repatriated.


There has not been any new arrival of asylum seekers in any of the transit camps.  


That said, the National Society, continues to be on high alert at all the border points with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, the Zambia Red Cross Society has continued to mobilize and activate more of its volunteers in branches along the DRC Border.