UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has stepped up efforts to ensure that displaced populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have access to cash support to meet their needs and to empower them.
UNHCR has just completed a large-scale cash distribution to more than 17,600 nternally displaced people and returnees in the Luiza Territory – one of the areas that’s been worst hit by the violence in the Kasaï region.
These beneficiaries will be among millions of internally displaced people, refugees and other people of concern in many countries worldwide who have been able to take greater control of their lives since UNHCR began expanding cash-based assistance in 2016.
Having either fled or survived atrocities, those benefiting from this assistance in the DRC are the most affected, with 83 per cent of them being women. The cash assistance, which ranges between US $100 and $130 per household, is offering much-needed support to vulnerable families.
“This support will help people meet their immediate needs and help prevent the risk of rights violations,” said Julien Morel, UNHCR’s Regional Officer for the cash-based assistance programme in DRC. “Families can reinvest in productive means like buying seeds for planting, tools or livestock, lost as a result of the conflict, according to their needs and priorities.”
Families whose shelters have been destroyed also receive additional monetary, material and technical support to assist them in reconstruction and to promote faster reintegration into the communities where they live.
In August, UNHCR also provided monetary assistance to nearly 4,000 Burundian refugees in Mulongwe camp, in South Kivu province. More than 1,500 families were able to build their own shelters and latrines, using local construction methods. Parents have also been able to enrol their children in school and buy school uniforms and learning supplies.
To distribute the money, UNHCR facilitated the opening of mobile money accounts and distributed a mobile phone and a SIM card to each family. This enables refugees to not only receive cash in a secure manner but also to communicate with their families and relatives. This type of response is also benefitting the local economy as it increases access to mobile money services by the host population in and around Mulongwe.
UNHCR’s cash assistance aims to help refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people meet their needs in dignity, be protected and ultimately become more resilient. In the past two years, over 10 million people in 94 countries worldwide have been assisted.
In 2018, UNHCR plans to distribute more than US $3 million in monetary aid to the DRC. More than two-thirds of the assistance will go to displaced Congolese and returnees, helping them rebuild their lives.
For more information, contact:
In DRC: Andreas KIRCHHOF, email@example.com, +243 817 009 484
SOURCE: UN REFUGEE AGENCY