The European Union has given Zambia €1 million, which is approximately K12 million for DRC Refugees and Local Communities.

EU Programme Manager Patricia Pennetier announced this in a statement, Tuesday saying the money would be used for establishing facilities at the Mantapala Refugee Settlement in the sectors of water and sanitation as well as education.

“The European Union has been analysing the situation in close consultation with the Government of Zambia and the UN system. The Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, went to Nchelenge mid-February with the Ambassadors of France and Italy and the Head of DFID, to directly appraise the challenges and needs of the population. In the meantime three EU Member States – Italy, Germany and Sweden – have already made specific humanitarian contributions,” Pennetier stated.

“In addition to the contributions of EU Member States, the European Union has decided to allocate €1million for DRC refugees and local communities. This amount will be used for actions and facilities at the Mantapala Refugees Settlement in the sectors of Water & Sanitation and Education which have been identified as seriously under-funded. All activities will be implemented by civil society organisations which are coordinated by both the Government of Zambia and the UNHCR.”

She observed that the number of refugees was likely to go up.

“Over 15,000 refugees are currently being hosted at Kenani Transit Centre in Nchelenge District, and the number is expected to further increase should the current trend continue. The Government of Zambia with the support of the UN system and NGOs has started the relocation of Congolese refugees from the Kenani Transit Centre to a newly opened permanent site, Mantapala Refugee Settlement, with a capacity to host a population of up to 20,000 refugees. Despite the laudable efforts of the Government of Zambia to accommodate thousands of refugees in distress, most of them women and children, there are evident needs of protection and assistance, including food, water, health care, and education,” stated Pennetier.