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The Democratic Republic of the Congo Situation: UNHCR Regional Update (July 2018)

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The situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s most complex and challenging yet forgotten crises. As of 31 July 2018, 782,363 Congolese refugees are being hosted in African countries.

From 1 January to 31 July 2018 alone, some 121,618 Congolese fled to neighboring countries, with a particularly significant increase in refugee flows to Uganda, Burundi and Zambia.

On 17 July 2018, UNHCR together with 43 humanitarian and development partners launched the revised Regional Refugee Response Plan for $547 million to help respond to the needs of Congolese refugees in neighboring countries.

Regional Highlights and Operational Context

  • A total of 782,363 Congolese refugees and asylum-seekers are being hosted in countries in Africa, that have generously maintained an open door policy in granting asylum to old and new population groups.

  • The security conditions in the DRC, especially in the eastern and central provinces, remains volatile with sporadic outbreaks of violence leading to displacement of civilians within the country, and across borders to neighboring countries. This has placed the DRC refugee population among the ten largest in the world.

  • As of the end of July 2018, UNHCR received $37.5 million for the DRC situation, representing only 10 per cent of the total requirements for 2018.

  • The interagency Regional Refugee Response Plan for the DRC situation has received $59.6 million, as at 17 July 2018, representing only 11 per cent of the total requirements for 2018.

  • The DRC Humanitarian Pledging Conference was held in Geneva on 13 April 2018. Donors pledged USD $528.1 million. The total requirement is USD $ 1.7 billion.

  • The first UNHCR - UNDP Joint-Programming Workshop on the RRRP for the DRC Situation, was held on 02-03 July, at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya, organized by the Regional Refugee Coordinator for the DRC Situation, Ann Encontre and the UNDP Sub-Regional Platform Coordinator, David Clapp. The joint workshop aimed to strengthen the coordination of humanitarian and development assistance in hosting and return areas of Congolese refugees, as well as other displaced populations of concern, and to start the process of identifying other potential partners, including national and bilateral actors, as well as international and multilateral humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organizations. This initiative encapsulates a new way of working and has brought a new dimension to the concept of interagency cooperation through a coordinated response, as a basis for working as One UN with development actors.