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Democratic Republic of the Congo UNHCR Operational Update, 1 - 31 July 2018

DR Congo
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7,600 refugee certificates were distributed to Central African refugees as part of an ongoing documentation campaign, which so far reached 17,000 and aims to reach over 39,000 Central African refugees in the DRC.

3,520 Central African and South Sudanese refugees and host community members (704 households) received seeds and plants in July, to enhance their self-reliance. Burundian refugees received kits to build their own shelters and latrines.

284 South Sudanese refugees were registered in July. At the same time, there were reports that Congolese refugees in South Sudan returned to DRC due to violence in South Sudan.

Update on Achievements

Burundian refugees

■ A small number of Burundian asylum seekers arrived at Kavimvira transit center and were awaiting registration. 1,647 people are currently staying at three transit centers; Kavimvira, Sange and Monge Monge. All were biometrically registered and their data was stored in ProGres.

■ In July, UNHCR reunified 2 refugee children with their families in Burundi, following a Best Interest Determination (BID). An urban Burundian refugee who expressed the wish to return was also accompanied to the border.

■ In Lusenda camp (South Kivu Province), 35 families who agreed to ensure temporary care of children in need participated in a UNHCR workshop on child protection, child-friendly communication, the families’ role in such a situation, and the prevention of emotional or physical abuse of vulnerable children. In Lusenda camp, Mulongwe site, and Kavimvira and Sange transit centers, 1,314 refugees also participated in 13 sensitization sessions on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), organized by UNHCR and its partner War Child.

■ On 23 and 24 July, 45 participants from administrative, military, judicial and police authorities in Uvira Territory were trained on UNHCR’s mandate, asylum procedures in the DRC, refugee protection, humanitarian principles, and SGBV prevention and response. The workshop was jointly organized by UNHCR and the National Commission for Refugees (CNR).

■ UNHCR visited the central prison in Mulunge, Uvira Territory, to monitor the situation of refugees. 34 refugees were in detention, including 12 who were condemned. 20 cases were still being processed and 2 detainees were awaiting trial. Detention conditions were poor; detainees did not receive sufficient food, did not have spare clothes, and lived in poor health conditions.

■ UNHCR transferred USD 47,656 to schools to help refugees in Lusenda camp cover fees for primary and secondary education. UNHCR also made payments for 288 students in Lusenda camp (USD 2,304) and 163 students at Mulongwe site (USD 306) to cover past fees. However, there is an urgent funding gap which means that currently, no school fees can be covered for the next school year.

■ In July, 260 kits were distributed by UNHCR’s partner ADES at Mulongwe site for households to build their own family latrines and showers. The kits consisted of construction materials and were supplemented by cash to pay for labor costs. In total so far, refugees built 423 latrines and 418 showers at Mulongwe site, supported by cash transfers. UNHCR’s partner ADES also built 8 blocks of emergency latrines for newly-transferred refugees.

■ In July, 205 households received kits to build their own shelter at Mulongwe site. 156 households finalized theirs during the month, bringing the total number of shelters at Mulongwe site to 932. 309 refugees who were recently transferred from Lusenda camp to Mulongwe site received non-food items (NFIs): blankets, mats and mosquito nets.

■ 33 SGBV survivors (19 in Lusenda camp, 14 at Mulongwe site) participated in two capacity-building workshops on business and commercial skills to start small businesses. The workshops were organized by UNHCR and its partner War Child.