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Coronavirus - Zambia: UNHCR Operational Update

Coronavirus - Zambia: UNHCR Operational Update

Working with Partners

  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works closely with the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and other key government line ministries.

  • UNHCR also works in partnership with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and I-NGOs, such as Action Africa Help, Plan International, Caritas Czech Republic, CARE International and World Vision Zambia.

  • Most of the international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and UN agencies provide community-based protection and basic assistance to refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Mantapala settlement, northern Zambia.

  • The Government of Zambia, UNHCR and partners also provide community-based protection and basic social support to persons of concern in Lusaka as well as the older refugee settlements of Meheba and Mayukwayukwa, in Western and North Western Provinces.

  • The coordination and management of all refugee settlements is led by the Government, specifically the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees (COR), which takes the lead in coordinating and managing the settlements, including efforts of the Government, UNHCR and other partners directed at addressing refugee needs. This mandate is inscribed in the Refugee Act (Act No. 1 Of 2017).

Download Report: https://bit.ly/2ZwkC98

Main Activities


  • As of the 31 May 2020, Zambia hosted 88,151 persons of concern (PoC), including 60,136 refugees, 4,708 asylum-seekers and 23,307 others of concern (5,064 Rwandans and 18,243 Angolans).

  • During the month on May, 127 new arrivals, 58 in-situ and 24 births were registered, bringing the total of new persons of concern in 2020 to 2,075. The newly registered individuals in May came from Burundi, DRC, Eritrea and Somalia.

  • Breakdown of PoC figures by location in Zambia are as follows:

Mantapala: 14,128 individuals (14,127 refugees and one asylum-seeker).

Meheba: 27,318 individuals (17,593 refugees, 412 asylum-seekers and 9,313 others of concern).

Mayukwayukwa: 16,285 individuals (9,852 refugees, 44 asylum-seekers and 6,389 others of concern).

Urban Lusaka and Ndola: 18,016 individuals (12,964 refugees, 4,251 asylum-seekers and 801 others of concern).

Self-Settled (Government estimate): 12,404 individuals (5,600 refugees and 6,804 others of concern).

  • During the last week of May 2020, staff from COR and UNHCR undertook a joint border monitoring mission covering all reception centres in the regions of Luapula and Northern Provinces. A total of 53 asylum-seekers all from the DRC arrived within that week and were hosted at three of the five reception centres, bringing the total of arrivals in the two provinces in May to 66. Most of the new arrivals (74 per cent) originated from South Kivu.

  • In Meheba refugee settlement, UNHCR conducted training on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), referral pathways and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) for 24 SGBV Monitors (12 Congolese, five Zambian, four Angolan, two Rwandan, one Burundian). The SGBV Monitors were provided with masks, sanitizers and PSEA learning materials to safely continue community awareness-raising on SGBV and PSEA during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • UNHCR and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS) jointly held a consultation with the groups of community mobilisers to discuss SGBV issues pertinent to SGBV prevention in Meheba and Mayukwayukwa. The dialogue will continue over the course of a year with the aim of promoting men’s participation in SGBV through revamping the Men’s Network.

  • In Mantapala settlement, UNHCR selected 666 persons with specific needs (PSNs) to begin receiving cashbased-intervention (CBI).

  • UNHCR established protection hotlines for the settlements and at country-level, to help refugees swiftly report protection-related complaints in view of COVID-19 and any SGBV or SEA incidents.

  • Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Zambia, over 300 personnel were trained in COVID-19 prevention and awareness in the three settlements and Lusaka. A total of 5,000 information, education and communication materials developed by UNHCR and partners were distributed to refugees and their Zambian hosts to raise awareness about COVID-19

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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