Zambia: Caring for refugees and the displaced

  • International staff: 16
  • National staff: 6 Throughout much of the last year, MSF assisted some of the nearly 200,000 refugees fleeing to Zambia, primarily from Angola. Refugees also came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Beginning in October 1999, a wave of Angolan refugees arrived in the Zambia's Western and Northwestern provinces. Several thousand were eventually brought to a refugee camp in Kalabo, where MSF provided full emergency public health services through July 2000. At that time, the camp was closed and the remaining refugees moved by long boat to a new site at Mayukwayukwa, where MSF had set up an emergency water supply system. The influx in the northwest was followed in January by the surprise arrival of up to 15,000 Angolan refugees in southwestern Zambia. For two months beginning in February 2000, MSF provided health care, water and basic materials for the refugees and vaccinated all children between six months and 15 years for measles, before the transfer of the refugees to a camp in Nangweshi. At the Nangweshi camp, MSF has a feeding center and provides 24-hour health services. The organization is also putting in a water pipeline. In Maheba, in northwest Zambia, MSF has begun providing health care, water and basic necessities to some of the area's 40,000 Angolan refugees. In August 2000 MSF helped open a camp for Congolese refugees, also in the north, when fighting in Congo intensified near the border. MSF provides emergency public health services for about 10,000 refugees. Through August 2000, MSF cared for 6,000 displaced Zambians along the east bank of the Zambeze River, in Chavuma. In addition to carrying out vaccinations, the organization set up mobile clinics for villages in areas where the displaced were living.