Thousands flee DRC for Zambia

Thousands of refugees from the area around the city of Pweto in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arrived in northern Zambia last Sunday. The people have fled after renewed fighting around the coppermines in the south of the DRC. Among the refugees are also soldiers of the FAC, the army of Congolese president Kabila.

MSF is providing the first medical reception (in co-operation with the Ministry of Health) and water and sanitary facilities for the refugees in Chiengi. Of the 10,000 who arrived on Sunday, 9,000 have already left. It is unclear where to. Many refugees prefer to stay in the border area or to leave for Lubumbashi in the DRC.

UNHCR is transporting the people from Chiengi to the refugeecamp in Kala which was established by MSF last August for the first wave of refugees. In the camp in Kala some 7,000 people are staying at present. Besides water and sanitary facilities, MSF also provides basic health care, mother and child healthcare and antenatal care. There is also a programme for supplementary feeding. It is expected that more refugees will cross the border in the near future.