Zambia needs US$20.9 m to integrate former refugees

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The Zambian government will require US$20.9 million to implement programmes outlined in the strategic framework for the local integration of former refugees in the country, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has disclosed.
UNHCR Representative in Zambia Laura Lo Castro said so far sectors totally lacking funds were water and sanitation, electricity and assistance to the construction of individual shelters for Angolans and Zambians moving in the new areas.

Ms. Castro stated that the rehabilitation of health and education infrastructures as well as road and bridges will need more resources than those available now for the services to meet national standards.

She said this during the launch of the strategic framework for the local integration of former refugees in Zambia in Lusaka May 2nd.

And Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula called on the donor community to support the local integration of former refugees in Zambia so that the programme is a resounding success and a model for the continent and beyond.

Dr. Simbyakula said in a speech read for him by his Deputy Nickson Chilangwa that government was committed to solving the root cause of refugees’ problems.

He however bemoaned the volatile situations in the Central African Republic and South Sudan which have resulted in the creation of new refugee and IDP emergencies on the continent.

The strategic framework for the local integration of former refugees is a comprehensive document that presents the local integration programme taking stock of the work already with regard to the local integration programme.

The framework outlines priority actions and specifies the responsibilities and resources required to implement the government’s pledge to locally integrate former Angolan refugees and commitment to Rwandan refugees who will meet the criteria yet to be approved.

Zambia currently hosts over 53, 000 people of concern mainly from Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Somalia with the majority residing in the two settlements, while the rest are in urban areas or are self-settled.

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