By February 2019, Zambia hosted over 78,000 refugees, with most arriving from the DRC after being forced to flee their homes due to the persistent violence and armed conflicts.
The Mantapala refugee settlement is home to about 14,000 refugees from DRC, a place that is shared with the local community. In 2018, about 100 Congolese refugees arrived every day to the settlement, after having been resettled from transit camps closer to the border.
As part of its operations in the country, UNHCR implemented over 500 Better Shelter Relief Housing Units (RHU) in the Mantapala settlement. The units are used as reception centres and other communal infrastructures such as security points and offices. Other units will be used as temporary shelters for the refugees hosted in Mantapala.
Read more about the situation in Zambia here.
A UNHCR staff member talks with Congolese refugees at a safe space for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse in Mantapala settlement, Zambia. UNHCR has opened four centres in the settlement where refugees can receive counselling, support, information and report abuses. ; During a two-day visit to Zambia in mid-October 2019, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi visited Mantapala settlement, where he met Congolese refugees integrating with the local community, running their own businesses and attending school. The integration he saw and praised was one example of Zambia’s generous attitude towards refugees. This attitude comes from the top down. In Lusaka he thanked President Edgar Chagwa Lungu for the strides he and his country have taken to integrate former Angolan and Rwandan refugees. Zambia currently hosts over 84,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia. They are mostly living in rural communities and UNHCR has pledged to continue investing in resources and development to benefit them and their hosts.