Africa

Refugees on rise in Democratic Republic of Congo

At least 60 Burundian refugees are entering DRC every day since early February, UN Refugee Agency says in latest report

Ekip   | 21.03.2017
Refugees on rise in Democratic Republic of Congo

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the

By Godfrey Olukya

ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo

The number of refugees coming to the Democratic Republic of Congo is on the rise, especially from Burundi, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Tuesday.

The latest figure from the agency puts the refugee count at 460,923.

According to UNHCR's DRC fact sheet, currently there are 245,052 Rwandan refugees, 103,420 refugees from Central African Republic, 71,529 from South Sudan, 39,499 from Burundi and 494 from Angola in the country.

It also said there are 539,106 DRC nationals living as refugees in neighboring countries.

The refugees from Central African Republic are located in South Ubangi, Burundians are in North Kiivu and south Kivu, while those from South Sudan are living in upper Uele and Ituri.

The UN agency said it needs $232.9 million dollars to help the refugees in 2017 but has so far received only 3 percent of that money.

Of late, the biggest number of refugees coming to DRC are from Burundi.

At least 60 Burundian refugees are entering DRC every day since early February, it said.

Andrea Kirchhof, UNHCR’s senior regional external relations officer in Democratic Republic of Congo, told Anadolu Agency the agency did not have enough resources to adequately support the Burundian refugees.

''We do not have enough resources to support all the Burundian refugees arriving. New arrivals have spiked in February, and our transit centers and the refugee camp of Lusenda are at the limit of their capacity,'' Kirchhof said.

He added that some of the new arrivals do not even find space in the transit centers anymore and are forced to wait outside.

''We urge donors for more support to Burundian refugees in DRC and the region,'' he added.

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