The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has started the relocation of thousands of Congolese who crossed the border into Uganda to flee fighting back home.
The refugee agency said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that it had so far relocated about 500 asylum seekers to the nearby Nyakabande transit center, which can accommodate up to 1,500 people.
“Asylum-seekers at Nyakabande are screened for COVID-19, registered and given water, food, communal shelters and other items such as blankets. A system is in place to identify and fast track people in need of emergency assistance,” the statement said. It said over 11,000 Congolese have been forced to flee across the border into Uganda since fighting started in parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Sunday.
We are concerned that local capacity and services may be soon overwhelmed and request urgent resources to address the needs of the new arrivals,” the UN agency said.The agency said so far this year, it has received only 45 percent of the funding for its operations in Uganda, a country that hosts more refugees than any other in Africa.
Uganda is host to about 1.5 million refugees from neighboring DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea, according to the UN agency.